In the early 2000s, I lived right next to a corner liquor store in a different part of Silverlake than I live now. Often at the time you’d see the likes of your everyday guy or girl to the likes of Beck buying a sixer of whatever beer looked good.
It was run by a very friendly Sikh man. He and I would often chew the fat on the weekend or weekday and talk for sometimes up to an hour at time.
Then 9/11 happened. He was immediately threatened on a daily basis until people understood what being a Sikh actually was. He was forced to post a big sign in his window explaining his faith. Afterwards we had a long discussion about how sad it was that he had to deflect against the religion of Islam.
“So if I were a Muslim, would stoning my store or killing my people make anything better?” He asked.
He was a wise man as most Sikhs are.
“Hate is, hate is hate,” he added.
I had no response as he was as right as rain. Now a decade later after the terrible Wisconsin shooting-I feel the same way.
It’s a sad moment when I hear people say, “They weren’t even Muslim…”
Racism is racism-whether it’s 2001 or 2012. Whether its Islamphobia, Anti-semitism, Anti-Christianity, Anti-Atheism or even homophobia you get the picture.
We can do better America-I know we can.