The Sikh Coalition, an advocacy group for Sikhs in the US, is publicizing an attack in West Texas on a Sikh student who was delivering pizzas.
The local police department failed to designate the attack as a hate crime, failed to take the attack seriously by designating it a misdemeanor assault, and so far have failed even to file the misdemeanor charge against the attackers.
Here’s a description of the attack. Note that it appears from the language that the attackers had mistaken him for a Muslim. See if you think this sounds like a misdemeanor:
He brought pizzas into a home on a delivery and four men took the pizza. Without paying, they began eating, while at the same time hurling racial epithets at the Sikh man and threatening him.
“I’m going to **** you up in Iraq, I’m going to **** you up in Afghanistan, I’m going to **** you up over here.”
The men then grabbed the Sikh student and threw him into a swimming pool. The four attackers surrounded the pool, kicking him in the head and body. Every time he tried to escape, they would stomp or hit at him. For 20 minutes, he swam for his life trying to escape. He eventually seized an opportunity to flee and barely made it to his car with two men in pursuit.
I found this story over at The American Muslim, but it’s also been published in newspapers in India, Pakistan and New Zealand, so it certainly is getting widespread attention.
I have several criticisms of the Sikh Coalition’s advocacy. Nowhere in the press release do they name the town where this happened, or what specific police department failed to do its job. Consequently, the effect of this advocacy is greatly diminished as the opportunity to hold the town and police department up for public opprobrium and shame (powerful behavior changers) has mostly been lost.
In the press release it says, “Due to the sensitive nature of the case we have been asked not to release personal information at this time.” Why? If this has been reported to the police it is a public matter, likely published in the town paper’s police log.