On Sunday, white supremacist Wade M. Page walked into services at a Sikh gurdwara in Wisconsin and opened fire, killing six and injuring three. He was eventually shot dead by police. Many turned to Twitter to comment on the news as it developed.
Some Sikhs and experts on Sikhism turned to Twitter to answer questions about the community and share their personal stories.
The US media suggested that the shooter targeted Sikhs because he confused them for Muslims. This was corroborated by the fact that he was the lead singer in a white supremacist band and had a 9/11 tattoo. Commenters on Twitter were not happy with the media’s slant, arguing that the media suggested targeting Muslims was fine.
Some said that it was time to reconsider gun rights, enshrined in the second amendment of the US Constitution. This shooting came just weeks after the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado.
Some pointed out that while people of color in the US often fear for their own safety when a violent killer “looks like them,” whites do not have this problem.
There were some glaring signs in the media coverage that reporters knew very little about Sikhism. The Asian American Journalists Association tried to help.
In the end, the US public learned about Sikhism and the Sikh community in this country. But did it have to happen this way?