The city of Indianapolis continues to mourn. Final Thursday, eight souls have been taken from us in a mindless act of violence.
We know their names: Matthew R. Alexander, Samaria Blackwell, Amarjeet Johal, Jasvinder Kaur, Jaswinder Singh, Amarjit Sekhon, Karli Smith and John Weisert. We proceed to honor their reminiscences, and hold their households in our prayers and in our hearts.
We’re additionally conscious of those that have been injured and are nonetheless recovering. They, in addition to those that witnessed this terrible occasion however have been lucky to flee with out bodily harm, will carry the heavy reminiscence of being terrorized on this method ceaselessly.
The Sikh American group — a group I’ve been part of for many years, and one too typically misunderstood or unknown in our nation — has been thrust into the highlight as a result of 4 of these killed are amongst our households and associates. Some individuals are asking who Sikhs are and what we imagine. We recognize their efforts to study extra about us, as we’re members of the world’s fifth-largest religion and have been a part of this nation for more than 125 years.
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However first, it’s most vital for us to say: Regardless of the reasoning behind this tragedy, no group and no particular person deserves to be focused by violence or hatred. We’re grieving as a metropolis and a nation, Sikh and non-Sikh alike. I mourn the lack of all eight victims as a result of they’re human tales — loves, hopes, passions, deeds, and futures — that have been ended too quickly.
What’s the position of hate?
We additionally urge that the total investigation into this horrible crime proceed, and that regulation enforcement think about all potential motives as they work to study extra.
We all know, from the authorities and the shooter’s family, that he had a troubled past. Police stories observe he had apparently visited white supremacist web sites. Although police haven’t but decided a motive, authorities should examine the position that bias and racist hate could have performed within the lethal bloodbath: As a former worker, he knew the place he was attacking, and he knew they employed a various workforce — together with many Sikhs, who’re visibly distinct with our articles of religion, together with turbans and uncut hair.
As our nation grapples with racist hate that targets varied communities, it’s vital that we name on our management to stamp out hate. Doing so requires our authorities to analyze the position of hate in assaults like this one.
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On this time of grief, we name for unity and oneness amongst all folks. When tragedy grips our hearts, it’s our means to come back collectively as one humankind that sustains us. Solely collectively can we start the lengthy course of to therapeutic, whether or not meaning bodily, psychological or religious restoration. And solely collectively can we name for motion from our elected officers to make a safer and extra inclusive society for all folks.
And eventually, as our complete nation processes incidents of violence in Indianapolis and elsewhere, we additionally should look inwards and ask ourselves: What are we keen to do to make the world a greater place? How are we extending our fingers to our neighbors, sharing with these much less lucky, or serving our group in a selfless method?
By opening our hearts and embracing the issues that make us just like each other, we will conquer the worry, ignorance, and hate that current a menace to us all.