He wanted to challenge what people saw when they looked at him. Clearly, his getup did the trick.
Who says Captain America can't be a Sikh dude with a beard and a turban?
What does an American look like?
That's the question Vishavjit Singh wanted to explore in the film below. He's so often mistaken as a "foreigner" that he decided to wear his American identity on his sleeve — and the rest of his body for that matter — and hit the streets of New York City to see how people would react.
Singh was born in Washington, D.C.
He's as American as it gets. But more specifically, he's an American Sikh.
While the U.S. touts itself as the melting pot of the world, a lot of us have limited (and skewed) views of people who aren't of European heritage.
Like a lot of others, Singh struggles with being treated as an outsider every day — and some people can be huge assholes about it. Costume play is his way of pushing back:
When I first donned the Captain America uniform, you could see people's response was different. They realized, well, this guy, he's got a turban and a beard, but he's expressing his, maybe, patriotic fervor. But they saw me ... and they said, "Wow, this is cool. Maybe he's one of us."
He wants to inspire more people to be not just tolerant but welcoming of the diversity and cultural richness of this country.
When is the end of the Captain America alter ego? I don't know. We might reach a time where people really don't judge me for what I look like and, for that matter, nobody judges anybody else for what they look like. We judge people based on their actions.
And his advice to younger generations who face the same challenges:
I love this guy. He just oozes talent and kindness. And he's really very funny. Watch the video to see for yourself.