On August 5, 2012 a man entered a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, and murdered six people. As people in Africa and the diaspora, we are quite used to religious oppression, and generally take precautions to prevent terroristic attacks of our temples and even many churches. One of the duties of ushers for some and designated warriors for others, is to be at least a physical buffer between attackers and congregants.
Others don’t seem to be as aware of how deadly religiously motivated crazies can be. Some believe the solution is to restrict access to firearms, but this would only work in the case of known criminals. Also, what constitutes a criminal is grossly unfair. Mostly, tougher gun control laws would impact the poor, especially those of color. It would not keep guns out of the hands of “law abiding” citizens who tow the line, believe what the television tells them, and then take action accordingly since after all, they’re being told that all us darkies, especially immigrants, are the enemy.
I think the best way to show love to the Sikh community is to inform as many as possible of the history of religious and ethnic oppression and extremism in the U.S. Apparently, these people thought they were in the “land of the free”. It is shameful that the truth is hidden from people, making them sitting ducks unaware that there is a significant percentage of the population who hates them enough to violate the sanctity of a house of worship.
They need to be told about the witch hunts. They need to be told about the penalties for practicing African faiths. They need to be shown how non Christian faiths are disrespected in the media. If they saw the difference between movie “voodoo” and Vodun, they would understand how far the people around them are willing to go to smear things they don’t understand.
So show some love and share some information.