August 7, 2012
Shaking the Sikh peace
One of those unfinished project from my days as senior writer at The Jewish Journal was a piece on Southern California skinheads and neo-Nazis. I did the piece about the academic that white supremacists love, but I never finished an “American History X”-type piece.
The reasons such a piece would be of interest to L.A.‘s Jewish community are fairly obvious—specifically years of run-ins with white supremacists and some targeted attacks on Jews. It would have been less obvious to me why, say, the Sikh community would be interested in such a story.
That is no longer the case. Sunday, Wade Michael Page, an Army veteran and known white supremacist, allegedly opened fire in a Sikh temple, killing six.
There has been a long history of hate-based attacks on Sikhs, who bare long beards and turbans, and carry a small dagger (as is required by their religion). They are a peaceful, and misunderstood, religion.
Page, on the other hand, reportedly was not:
One question that always gets asks after mass shootings, particularly against a specific group of people, is whether the shooter was a lone wolf or part of a pack.
But you also have to ask what this tragedy will mean for the families left grieving, and for the community that now might wonder just how safe their temples are.