Purely psychological answers are not enough to promote long-term recovery in communities after hate crimes. The media needs to talk about the role of education, advocacy and activism as ways that communities can heal after traumatic events that involve hate.
In a special one-hour Democracy Now! broadcast, we examine two key influences on Wisconsin Sikh temple shooter, Wade Michael Page: The neo-Nazi music scene and pervasive white supremacism in U.S. military ranks.
If we don't ask why a small religious community in the Midwest was targeted by a 40-year-old white man, if we don't make this discussion as loud and robust as the one that followed the attack on those young people in Aurora, we're in danger of undermining what America stands for.
We didn't invent hatred or fear of the Other. The difference is that in America, guns -- even military-grade assault weapons -- are legal and easy to acquire. Hate, plus unregulated guns, is a deadly equation. And one that has the potential to curtail free expression.
The Sikh world offers its condolences to the victims of the tragedy, their loved ones and their community. May God grant families of the deceased the strength to bear the loss of their loved ones, and grant healing and solace to the wounded hearts.
Considering the various challenges our communities have overcome, as well as my own experiences of growing up in Texas, I have no reason to believe that Sikh and American identities are mutually exclusive.