Tomorrow marks two years since the Indianapolis FedEx shooting and horrific killing that took eight lives, half of whom were Sikh Americans. We solemnly remember these eight victims: Matthew R. Alexander, Samaria Blackwell, Amarjeet Kaur Johal, Jaswinder Kaur, Jasvinder Singh, Amarjit Sekhon, Karli Smith, and John “Steve” Weisert.
This shooting was driven in part by hate. Unfortunately, the fear of being attacked because of race or faith was not new to the Sikh community. Following the September 11 attacks, there were many incidents of racial and religious profiling, particularly against Arabs, Muslims and the South Asian community. Over two decades later, hate directed at Sikhs appears to be endemic and is now coupled with an unprecedented surge of gun violence in our country. We cannot be complacent while our communities live in fear and continue to be victims of hate crimes and shootings.
Our communities deserve the right to feel and be safe without impending fears of race-based violence. That’s why we are fighting for stricter gun laws and sufficient mental health resources. And we cannot stop until we achieve safety and justice for all.