I implore of my white friends, when your nutty uncle or classmate goes off about some set of foreigners, you must make a fuss, cause a family crisis, become unpopular, speak up. We cannot do this for you.
By Rinku Sen, ColorLines
August 6, 2012
It could be terrorism, but we don’t yet know. It could be someone who has a beef with Sikhs. It’s too early to talk about gun control. These statements ran in a continuous loop through my head yesterday, even when I wasn’t watching coverage of the mass shooting at an active gurdwara in a suburb of Milwaukee. Throughout the day, the hollowness in my solar plexus signaled grief and the tightness in my throat signaled panic, and I felt deep, deep resistance to the notion of saying anything about it. What is there to say that isn’t a cliché?
Details are going to emerge in the coming days, but I already know what they’ll amount to. A white man, in his 40’s, nursing resentment over 9/11 for more than a decade, planned for a long time to kill some “enemies.” The guns will turn out to be legally acquired, or if not, so accessible as to make the law meaningless. The man will turn out to be mad. In the debate, people will argue that the cause is racism…no, it’s gun control…no, it’s mental health. It is impossible for us to navigate the deadly tangle of all three. [...]
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