Although America was created without recognizing that all human beings are equal despite that “storied” claim in the Declaration of Independence, there was a sense that in 2016 more human beings were considered equal than ever before. That was simply unacceptable to racists, xenophobes, and particularly the evangelical right and now that they own the entire government with a fascist in the White House, they are celebrating by targeting non-white, non-evangelicals for violence and demands to “get out of my country.” This week, another white xenophobe with a gun expressed that sentiment with another Trumpism; “go back to your own country.” And then he pulled the trigger and shot a man because he wasn’t a white Christian; and American citizen, but not a white Christian.
On Friday, while a 39-year-old Sikh man was working on his car in his driveway, a “stocky, 6-foot tall white man holding a gun and wearing a mask” approached him and started some kind of argument according to police. The argument didn’t last very long at all; they seldom do when only one of the “debaters” is holding a gun. The white guy finally revealed the real reason he approached the Sikh man to start a “discussion” when he said “go back to your own country” before shooting the man. The two Indian men shot in Kansas by another white guy told his victims before he opened fire “to get out of my country;” a country Trump and one of his puppet masters, Steve Bannon, claim was created by god almighty to be uniquely snow white and Christian.
The victim didn’t suffer life-threatening injuries, but the white guy with a gun and a mask covering his face was able to escape capture by the police. The family of the victim called on federal authorities to get involved and the Kent, Washington police echoed that request but at first hesitated to say it was because it was a hate crime.
Likely wary of inciting punitive action by the White House, Seattle, Washington law enforcement officials say they are investigating the shooting as “a suspected hate crime” according to a report in the Seattle Times. It is unclear why police just “suspect” it is a hate crime when the motivation was certainly hatred of “the other.” The other in Trump’s America is no longer just African American; they are non-white and non-Christian and probably didn’t support Trump’s presidential bid to create the America that is living up to his ideal of what makes America great; telling non-whites and non-Christians to “go back to your own country” or face the prospect of being a victim in a “suspected hate crime.”
It is possible that because America is now “great” due to a racist xenophobe running the empire, the definition of “hate crime” may have been changed to make America even greater; or conceal the Trump effect driving these kinds of heinous acts. It is noteworthy that although in a civilized society a white guy shooting a non-white American citizen and telling him to go back to his own country would definitely be considered “heinous,” but America is no longer civilized and no small number of Americans who voted for Trump would say the Trump-incited shooting is what “makes America great.” It is a comment this author heard firsthand on Saturday night.
Fortunately, the Seattle shooting victim’s name hasn’t been released for glaringly obvious reasons. Someone is likely to finish the job of the masked shooter because the “target” is still alive and still in “his” own country because he is an American citizen. If police are not worried another Trump acolyte will finish the job, they might be concerned that the masked shooter is still roaming around likely looking for more victims. The victim was recovering in a private hospital as of late Saturday according to relatives who do not share in Trump’s surrogates’ idea that America is getting a little greater with every attack on “the others.”
The idea of America being great because Trump gets to live in the White House contradicts the sense of terror being felt by non-white, non-Christians around the nation. In fact, a couple of weeks ago after two computer engineers of Indian descent and a hero were shot by a white racist in Kansas, family members said, in interviews, that they were fearful of the current atmosphere in America and feared for their children’s lives. A relative of the man slain in Kansas, Venu Madhav, explained why there is a growing feeling of dread among Indian people living in Trump’s great America. Madhav said,
“There is a kind of hysteria spreading that is not good. Such hatred is not good for people. Something has changed in the United States.”
What changed is for over the past year the idea of America as an all-inclusive society renowned the world over for embracing all people from all nations was taken over, with a giant assist from the nasty demographic, by a seriously nasty man who helped make racism a stellar feature of “America the great.”
Part of America being great in Trump-land is making non-white, non-Christians terrified to go out of their homes or seen in public. Now the Indian community is feeling what Muslims and Mexicans have been feeling over the past year; sheer terror and that is the point of white people targeting non-whites and non-Christians. Many local Sikhs expressed abject fear that another one of their own was the target of hate and said they are frightened to even go to the grocery store or any other public places. Many related noticing an increase in name-calling and other racist incidents since the day after the election. Many are hurt and can’t comprehend the lack of tolerance and ignorance permeating the population.
One man, Sandeep Singh, said that “Sikhism teaches about equality and peace. It’s sad to see that’s what it has come to” in referring to the violence and racial animosity. Another Sikh adherent who served in the U.S. Marines and fought for “his” country in Iraq, Gurjot Singh, said of the violence, “This is our country. This is everyone’s country.” Mr. Singh also related that he was “dismayed that people think others who look different aren’t equal or don’t contribute equally to the community.” He said, “This is equally my country as it is your country. It doesn’t anger me. It hurts me.”
Mr. Singh should know that it hurts a lot of Americans, but it is time that it should start angering them to action besides signing stinking online petitions that serve no useful purpose to affect the kind of change this nation is desperate for after barely a month of a hate-driven administration. Reuters reported, by way of the tweet that Trump claims it is nonsense for anyone, much less relatives of Indian men shot by white guys, to suggest that Trump’s xenophobic and racist rhetoric had any connection to racist and xenophobic hate crimes; no matter that the shooters parroted Trumpisms about “getting out of my America” prior to pulling the trigger.
What is going to be absent, again, is a Trump call to his followers to disarm and stop doing what he’s been preaching over the past year or so; tell those “others” to “get out of my country” or get gunned down. However, if Trump were to demand that his surrogates stop targeting non-whites and non-Christians, that would mean he is not a hateful xenophobic racist; something everyone under the Sun knows he is including his hateful zealots.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.