2012 attack: Biden remembers victims of Oak Creek Gurdwara shooting

Admitting that there has been an increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans, US President Joe Biden mourned the loss of Sikhs in a shootout by a white supremacist in a Gurdwara in Wisconsin ago nine years.

“That day in 2012 I was with another friend who is half Sikh – he’s a Sikh. And we were dealing with 10 people shot dead in a heinous act of fanaticism at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Seven people lost their lives that day. Today we honor all those affected by the tragedy, ”Biden told reporters at the White House.

When interacting with reporters during his meeting with AAPP civil rights leaders, Biden acknowledged that there had been an increase in hate crimes, harassment, intimidation and other forms. of prejudice against Asian Americans during the pandemic. “It doesn’t seem to stop,” he said.

Several American Indians have been invited to attend Biden’s meeting at the White House. Among them were Seema Agnani of the National Coalition for the Development of the Asia-Pacific American Community (national CAPACD); Satjeet Kaur of the Sikh Coalition; Kiran Kaur Gill of the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF); and Neil Makhija of Indian American Impact.

In a separate statement, Rajwant Singh, chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education, thanked Biden for his “compassion” and “tough stand” against hatred and violence. “The Sikh community has been shaken by this tragedy and our community is still concerned about the hate rhetoric tolerated by certain political interest groups,” he said.

“White supremacist groups have been on the rise in recent years and intimidate many other minority groups in America. The position of President Biden and Vice President Harris is unambiguous on this critical issue. This is the most important message our political leaders can send across the country and the world, ”Singh said.

Congresswoman Judy Chu, Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), said, “Today we remember and honor the seven victims of this domestic terrorist attack and we dedicate ourselves once again to the values ​​of peace and openness that characterize the Sikh religion. ”

Nine years ago, innocent worshipers were killed in a senseless act of hatred and violence in a Sikh gurdwara, said MP Grace Meng. “These devotees were targeted simply because of their religious identity, a pattern that is all too common in the Sikh community,” she said.

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has said to this day that America continues to fight racism and systemic inequality. “It is more important than ever that we commit to rejecting hatred and intolerance in all their forms. These acts of violence and hate do not reflect our country’s values ​​and we must work proactively to end them by passing legislation to end gun violence, ”she said.