The New Yorker has an article asking why the shootings in the Sikh temple were covered so differently that the shootings in Aurora two weeks before. The author points out that, whereas the shootings in Colorado gripped the nation, only only one network sent an anchor to report on the Sikh murders.
We lament the overt racism and xenophobia of extremist groups in America, but moments like this hint that hate groups are the visible expression of a cancer that remains untreated in the mainstream population as well. If a crowd of white Christians are assaulted, it is seen as a tragedy for us all, as it should be. But hate crimes against people of color is still seen and covered as a problem for minorities but not for “us.” Rape is seen as a problem for certain women, but not for “us.” If some Sikhs are murdered, it is seen and covered as a tragedy for Sikhs, but not for “us.”
For those with eyes to see, the lesson is clear. The three monsters of racism, sexism and classism still live invisibly beneath the consciousness of our nation. As long as we don’t say anything overt, we consider ourselves innocent, but, we are not innocent of the blood of the stranger until by “we,” we mean everyone.
Thanks to Prof. Jason Brownlee for sending.