Community members gathered Thursday night, August 9th to talk about the Sikh Temple shootings that killed six and critically wounded three. Thursday night’s discussion was moderated by U.S. Attorney James Santelle, and Rev. Jesse Jackson attended, among other leaders.
Sikh community members say it hasn’t been uncommon for them to experience discrimination on a smaller scale. Leaders, Sikh community members and members of the Oak Creek community at large discussed Thursday what can be done to stop future attacks and discrimination.
...Those in attendance Thursday questioned how violence against Sikhs can be stopped. They say they’ve been victims of smaller attacks for years.
Reverend Jesse Jackson was on hand to provide support, as well as Representative Mark Honadel.
“I’m here to listen — to learn what the Sikh community concerns are,” Honadel said.
Balwant Singh Hansra says the Sikh faith values openness and that’s why he says some temples are open 24 hours. Now, he questions whether more needs to be done to protect Sikhs and whether police need to be involved.
“This tragic thing is forcing us to re-evaluate. We don’t want to change or sacrifice our principles, but we need to evaluate,” Hansra said.
...Members of the panel didn’t have the answers to every question, but the consensus among Sikhs seemed to be that they want more community-wide education about the Sikh customs and faith.
The sad truth is many groups experience discrimination and are victimized on a small scale.
What happened last Sunday was horrific. The loss was enormous, and the grief crushing.
Blame Wade Page, the cold-blooded murderer, for his unspeakable crimes. He chose to kill innocents.
No responsible citizen, no decent human being thinks what he did was acceptable.
The overwhelming majority of people in Oak Creek and the surrounding area show respect for Sikhs. There's been an outpouring of sympathy, concern, and support for the Sikh community.
It's not fair to cast aspersions on the southeastern Wisconsin community as a whole, suggesting that intolerance is a problem.
I'm not saying the meeting on Thursday was unnecessary. I think it's great to learn about others' faiths. It's great for members of different faiths to come together, with mutual respect.
I just think we need some perspective. What Page did was not sanctioned by our community. His actions were evil, and thankfully, extremely rare. Our society doesn't accept such behavior.
We don't need Jesse Jackson here.
Must this become a politicized media circus?
When is Gloria Allred going to show up?
I don't like the exploitation.
Video, from FOX6 News: