Gunman Identified in Sikh Shooting
The Southern Poverty Law Center (a very good resource for learning about hate groups in America) has now released some new information regarding the identity of the gunman in yesterday’s tragic shooting at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee. His name is Wade Michael Page, and he has been involved in various neo-Nazi groups as well as some white supremacist hardcore bands. A link to one of his interviews can be found in the SPLC article.
The movement of white supremacist modern rock, metal, and punk bands in America is pretty fascinating in itself, actually – worth a few pages of analysis at least. Page was a member of a band called End Apathy (Myspace link), which was formed in 2005. I almost hesitate to link to his music because I don’t want it to be seen in any way as an endorsement or support of his music, so please keep that in mind if you decide to go to their Myspace page. Here’s a hint though, you probably won’t like their tunes.
In my previous post I wondered why anyone would target Sikhs in America? All hate crimes have a kind of twisted logic to them, but since I actually don’t know of any previous recent conflicts regarding Sikhs in America, I have to wonder what Page was thinking when he chose this target? Many people are suggesting that perhaps Page thought that Sikhs are Muslims or related to Muslims in some way (including the son of one of the victims in this interview with Matt Lauer, who seemed to be trying to present the suggestion as diplomatically as possible). There is a lot of anti-Islamic hatred and rhetoric in America, and anti-Islamic violence would make more sense, for lack of a better word. That doesn’t make this crime any more or less tragic, but it does highlight the real irony in most hate crimes – the groups that are targeted in hate crimes are very rarely the real perpetrators of perceived “offenses.”
However, this is just speculation. Page might have actually had some kind of antipathy towards Sikhs for some reason, or perhaps he was simply targeting anything he thought was foreign. I’ll keep updating as I learn more.