Wednesday, March 01, 2017

White American Terrorism in Trump’s Heartland

One of the main theme's of Donald Trump's, a/k/a Der Trumpenführer, campaign pitches was to fan racism, xenophobia and a hatred of those white reactionary Americans deemed as "other."  The later category includes LGBT individuals, non-Christians, and, of course with skin of a different color. With Trump's election due to the failure of the Electoral College to protect the nation from a dangerous demagogue, the forces of hate within the ranks of both white supremacists and Christian extremists have been emboldened.  Even in gay friendly Key West, a gay couple was assaulted by an individual who sounds like a Southern red neck, who yelled to the victims that they were in Trump's America now.  A significant part of my client base is comprised of Indians from India who I have found to be loyal clients and wonderful people. After a hate crime motivated shooting in Kansas that left a young engineer dead, many in the Indian community in America are fearful.  Like other minorities, they fear what may be coming under the Trump/GOP agenda of diminishing the rights of those who are not white, heterosexual right wing Christians.  The Washington Post looks at the disturbing situation.  Here are highlights:
To most Americans, a shooting in Kansas last Wednesday will be remembered as just another incident of gun violence in a country where homicides are tragically commonplace and where far too many disturbed loners have ready access to firearms.
To many Indians, though, the murder of Srinivas Kuchibhotla was the harshest warning yet about the reality of President Trump’s America.
Kuchibhotla, an engineer at satellite navigation company Garmin, was having an after-work drink with his friend and colleague Alok Madasani at their regular bar in Olathe, a town 20 miles southwest of Kansas City. The duo, both Indian nationals who received master's degrees in the United States, were confronted by 51-year-old Adam Purinton, who hectored them with ethnic slurs.
"He asked us what visa are we currently on and whether we are staying here illegally," said Madasani to the New York Times. "We didn’t react. People do stupid things all the time."
But an enraged Purinton returned with a shotgun and opened fire, killing Kuchibhotla, 32, and injuring Madasani and Ian Grillot, an onlooker who intervened in defense of the Indian men. Eyewitness accounts suggest Purinton yelled at the pair to "get out of my country."
Purinton was arrested at another restaurant in Missouri after telling an employee there that he needed a place to hide because he had just shot some "Middle Easterners." News reports described Purinton as a mentally troubled man with an alcohol problem, but the racial undertones of his actions are unmissable.
The shooting led to anguish and anger both in India and among the South Asian diaspora in the United States, with many linking Kuchibhotla's senseless death to the xenophobic populism of the Trump campaign.
"There is a kind of hysteria spreading that is not good because so many of our beloved children live there," said Venu Madhav, a relative of Kuchibhotla, to India's ANI news agency.
Indians rank among the fastest-growing immigrant populations in the United States, but there are signs they could face tougher times under Trump. The White House is reportedly keen on curtailing the H-1B work visa program that has enabled tens of thousands of Indian nationals like Kuchibhotla to work for American tech companies. Trump's chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, one of the architects of the president's "America First" doctrine, previously articulated his dismay with the way in which South Asians supposedly dominate Silicon Valley.
[T]he shooting has deepened the fears of many South Asians — and other minorities living in the United States — over the racial tensions taking hold.
"The situation seems to be pretty bad after Trump took over as the U.S. president," said Kuchibhotla’s distraught father to local media in India. "I appeal to all the parents in India not to send their children to the United States in the present circumstances."
The Trump administration dismissed any suggestion of a link between the shooting, which could be justifiably defined as a terroris attack, and Trump's rhetoric.
[T]he Trump campaign rose in part through the unleashing of xenophobic passions and with the gleeful support of white nationalists. . . . But while Trump tweets incessantly about jihadist threats around the world, the White House has remained rather silent about the violence carried out by white nationalists against minorities, including a deadly attack on a mosque in Canada last month. So far, he has not tweeted anything about the Olathe shootings.
"Toxic rhetoric has contributed to scapegoating immigrants and religious minorities," said Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) in a statement on Friday in which he linked Purinton's alleged xenophobia to Trump's politics of walls and bans. 

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