We are heartbroken and enraged by the mass shooting in Indianapolis last week, and we send our heartfelt condolences to the loved ones, family members, friends, and community members mourning these tragically lost lives.
Four of the eight people murdered were members of the local Sikh community, as were 90% of the employees at the targeted FedEx facility. This shooting comes on the heels of the tragic deaths of six Asian American women in Atlanta last month during a time of heightened anti-Asian sentiment. We also recognize the recent brutal murders of Black and Brown community members. These atrocious acts of violence towards our communities, amid a time when the whole world is facing an unprecedented pandemic, have shaken us to our core.
The pain, anguish, and grief from tragedies such as the Indianapolis shootings bring to mind the long, brutal history of racism that has reared its head time and time again. We remember Balbir Singh Sodhi, who was the first person killed in an act of hate-based violence after 9/11. We remember the seven people killed in the shooting at a gurdwara (Sikh temple) in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, in 2012. These wounds are still fresh in our hearts.
Our organizations and the Sikh, pan-Asian, and multi-faith communities we represent stand in solidarity with Indiana’s Sikh community, and against acts of hate wherever and whenever they occur, and towards anyone irrespective of caste, creed, or religion. In an effort to address the rise in racially motivated hate violence against communities of color, Asian American state senators Jay Chaudhuri and Mujtaba Mohammed have introduced the Hate Crimes Prevention Act to be considered by the NC legislature. On May 5th at the North Carolina General Assembly, NCAAT, NCAAT in Action, and the Triangle Sikh Foundation, among a host of other Asian organizations will be standing in solidarity to advocate the passage of this legislation as one concrete way to confront these acts of hate. To join us, visit http://ncaatogether.org/nctogether
It is by standing together that we can remain strong through this difficult time. As we make space for grief, we must also look to fight fear and hate with solidarity, hope, and love.
To support Sikh communities in Indianapolis during this time, the Triangle Sikh Foundation has coordinated to raise a fund for the victims. The fund would be collected for the welfare of victims of the shooting in Indianapolis. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
For additional resources visit:
– Sikh Coalition https://www.sikhcoalition.org/
– SALDEF https://saldef.org/
— The NCAAT team, The Triangle Sikh Foundation, and NCAAT in Action