After Indian shooting in Kansas, providing support on UMN campus

Daily Editorial Board

Last week, Adam W. Purinton yelled ethnic slurs at two Indian men at the Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kan. before leaving. He then brought a firearm back to the bar and shot them both with a premeditated intent to kill. Both immigrants to the U.S., Mr. Kuchibhotla was killed, and Mr. Madasani was badly wounded.

This wasn’t the first attack against the Indian community. In 2012, a gunman opened fire at a Gurdwara — a Sikh temple — in Oak Creek, Wis., killing six innocent people.

The latest attack is yet another expression of vile hatred simmering in our country, exacerbated by dangerous political rhetoric. Before attacks like this, many thought that anti-immigrant sentiments were focused on Muslims. In fact, many people in the Indian community — especially some devout Hindus — voted for Trump because of his inflammatory tone toward Muslim people. What’s abundantly clear is that this is no longer about a specific group of people — it’s become clear that non-white and minority groups are the target of this dangerous climate of xenophobia.

And this pandemic of xenophobia is not isolated — we’ve seen how it affects our campus. Over the past year, the Minnesota Daily has reported on many cases of anti-immigrant acts and anti-Semitism. In a time when anti-immigrant thoughts and action are pervasive, we must be moved by the good will of social-consciousness to speak out against hatred.

The Indian community on campus, especially student groups like the Indian Student Association and Bharat, can be a platform to provide the solidarity that many students need. They can also be utilized as a platform to thoroughly educate the campus community on the diversity of cultures in India. But allies are needed too, and when we see the manifestation of bigotry, we must interject with hope, inclusivity and resilience.