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Let’s Not Forget That The Wisconsin Shooting Didn’t Just Happen To Sikhs, It Happened To Americans, Too
I’ve been avoiding writing this post because the shooting in Wisconsin at a Sikh temple that left six innocent people dead has made me feel simultaneously furious and powerless, the worst kind of impotency, not only because it’s the second incident of mass gun violence in less than three weeks and lawmakers have simply thrown up their hands on that issue, but because the Wisconsin shooting seems to me to be the convergence of all of the insidious, paranoid, dehumanizing, and Otherizing rhetoric directed at people of color–whether they be undocumented immigrants or Muslims or the President of the United States–that’s been ramping up in our culture for years now.
The Wisconsin shooter has been identified as 40 year-old Army veteran Wade Michael Page, who was killed by police at the scene. Page has been described as a “skinhead,” “the leader of a racist white-power band,” and a “neo-Nazi” with ties to white supremacy. Meanwhile, Page’s victims are Sikh, brown-skinned and members of a peaceful religion that’s often confused with Islam, which has increasingly made them targets of racist hate crimes all over the country since 9/11.
The fact that Sikh Americans have to clarify that they’re members of a peaceful religion and justify their own innocence even when victims of a heinous violent crime speaks volumes about how many Americans view people of color in this country. This is the effect of the “show me your papers” mentality writ large. “Do you belong here” begets “Do you deserve to be here” begets “Do you deserve to be.”
And don’t get me started on how Muslim Americans factor into all of this. If the majority of Continue reading Let’s Not Forget That The Wisconsin Shooting Didn’t Just Happen To Sikhs, It Happened To Americans, Too
Filed under: Domestic Terrorism, Gun Control, Gun Violence, Hate Crimes, Hate Crimes Against Sikhs, Hate Speech, Indian-Americans, Mass Shootings, Milwaukee Wisconsin, Muslim Americans, Muslims, Never American Enough, Otherizing, Otherness, Perpetual Foreigners, Prejudice, Racist Hate Crimes, Religions, Sikh Americans, Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, Sikh Temple Shooting, Sikhism, Sikhs in the U.S., Wade Michael Page, Wisconsin
Within the last week, two female campaign volunteers, one for Obama, the other for McCain, have been attacked because of their political allegiances. The first incident happened last Saturday in Caledonia, WI, when 58 year-old Chicagoan Nancy Takehara was canvassing a residential neighborhood and was assaulted by an angry homeowner who is a McCain supporter. Takehara told a local news station that she was “grabbed…by the back of the neck” and that her attacker, who believed that she was affiliated with ACORN, “was pounding on my head and screaming.” Her attacker has since admitted to grabbing Takehara’s hair, and the police are investigating. The second incident allegedly occurred Wednesday, when 20 year-old Ashley Todd of College Station, TX (my birthplace, wouldn’t you know?), told police that she was mugged at an ATM by a black man in Pittsburgh, where Todd was volunteering at a McCain phone bank, and then beaten when her attacker saw that she had a McCain bumper sticker on her car. She also alleged that her attacker carved a “B” on her right cheek with a dull knife, which the McCain campaign’s Pennsylvania Communications Director immediately told state reporters stood for “Barack,” before all the facts were known about the assault.
Now, we don’t stand for violence. Sure, sometimes we kid and say things like we’re going to beat so-and-so’s ass or cut a certain douchetard’s dick off, but we are using hyperbole in those instances and–
WHOA. WAIT A GODDAMN MINUTE AND HOLD THE FUCKIN’ PHONE BANK.
This just in…
Today, Pittsburgh Assistant Police Chief Maurita Bryant told reporters that Todd has since admitted “…she was in her vehicle driving around, and she came up with this idea. She said she has prior mental problems and doesn’t know how the backward letter ‘B’ got on her face.” (Well, we’ll tell you how that backwards “B” got on her face: she cut herself while looking in the mirror and is such a stupid twat that she didn’t realize mirrors reverse images. Good job, DumbAsh!)
Meanwhile, the attack on Nancy Takehara was all too real. And, as we said before, committing physical violence against someone who holds a different opinion from your own is reprehensible and not to be tolerated under any circumstances.
Not that we wouldn’t love to give that lying little shit Ashley a matching shiner right about now.
(P.S. Do you Twitter? Ashley Todd was part of a group called 50 College Republicans, which broadcasts their doings at Life in the Field (DumbAsh’s blog for them has since been deleted). They use the hashtag “#litf08″ for their Tweets. Here’s a fun way to usher in your weekend…plug in #litf08 in your Tweets with your own, uh, Ashley Todd observations, et voila…it shows up on their site! Happy Friday!)