In 2008 I dropped out of a PhD program in Chicago and moved to Vancouver. Sickened and exhausted by the hypocrisy and complacency of the elite liberal academy, I threw myself into grassroots activism in a more concerted way than I ever had. One of the most respected and omnipresent radical activists based in Vancouver is Harsha Walia, who works with No One is Illegal, The Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, and countless other organizations. She’s one of those women who is so committed and so tireless in the pursuit of social justice it torques comprehension of human capacity. Harsha’s brother and parents attend the gurudwara (Sikh “temple”) where white supremacist, neo-Nazi Army veteran Wade Michael Page shot dead 6 people on Sunday, injuring many others. Here are Harsha’s reflections and analysis at Racialicious.
[...]While these murders were abhorrent, they were not ‘senseless’. The ad nauseaum suggestion that the killings were senseless attempts to construct the shooting as random and without logic, when in fact racist hate crimes operate through the very deliberate and precise logic of white supremacy.
The local Sikh community in Milwaukee had been raising concerns about racial harassment, targeting, and violence for at least the past year. The Sikh Coalition has reported more than 700 incidents of anti-Sikh hate crimes in the U.S. since 9/11. One of those was 49-year-old Balbir Singh Sodhi, the first post 9/11 hate-crime fatality. He was shot five times on September 15, 2001 in Mesa, AZ and his murderer Frank Silva Roque admitted that he killed Sodhi because he was dark, bearded, and wore a turban. White supremacy is fostered, cultivated, condoned, and supported–in the education system and mainstream corporate media, from military missions to the prison industrial complex.[...]
White supremacy, as a dominant and dominating structuring, actually necessitates and relies on a discourse that suggests that hate crimes are random. Otherwise, whites might just have to start racially profiling all other young and middle-aged white men at airports or who are walking while white. Whites might have to analyze what young white children are being taught about in schools and in their homes about privilege and entitlement. Whites might have to own up to and seek to repair the legacy of racialized empire, imperialism, and settler-colonialism that has devastated and continues to destroy the lives and lands of millions of people across the globe.[...]