Oak Creek Shooting: A Heavy Heart
I've started to write this blog post a few times in the past couple of days. I have been conflicted about how to approach this and what to say.
I think like a lot of Wisconsinites, my emotions have run the gamut. I have been angry. I've been a little embarrassed. I have been overwhelmingly sad.
Since I was a little kid, writing has always been cathartic for me. It helps me work through things. Let me do a little work here.
I have been angry. The level of hate and the deepness of the intolerance makes me mad. How can someone's heart be so hard? Innocent people wake up on a Sunday morning and head out to worship. Some evil, twisted dirtbag shows up and guns down several of the worshippers. It is maddingly sickening.
I've been a little embarrassed. I love Milwaukee. It's a great place, but I think we have a little inferiority complex here in Wisconsin. I always want Milwaukee to be in a good light. I felt a painful twinge when a family member from out of state emailed me, asking what the heck was going on in Milwaukee. Southeast Wisconsin is a great place and I hate it when our little corner of the world gets stained.
I have been overwhelmingly sad. The Sikh people are a peaceful, hardworking community. They mind their own business and by and large aim to make our community a better place. Many Sikh's are the shining example of living the American dream. They come here to avoid religious persecution and discrimination in their own country. They come here and own businesses and work hard. They support their families and hire others. They come here to chase the American dream and now they are living a nightmare. It makes me sad.
I've been truly inspired watching the members of the Sikh community. They are strong. They are forgiving. They are kind. As journalists stood outside the temple shooting scene on Sunday, members of the Sikh community, uncertain about the fate of their own loved ones, were busy asking reporters if they needed food or water or a place to sit. They were totally selfless. They have every right to be angry. Most have quickly turned that anger into forgiveness and a quiet confidence that somehow they will find a way to continue living the American dream.