This tragic day irrevocably changed the life of a friend of the Mindful Living Network®, Amardeep Kaleka. He was the producer and editor of all our Alter Your Life® shows. His father, the founder of Oak Creek Sikh Temple in Wisconsin, was gunned down trying to protect the community he served. In an instant, an ex-Army and member of a white supremacist band killed innocent people and changed the lives of the over 400 Sikhs community members.
What is happening to our communities today? Worst yet, why are there people so bent on creating terror, chaos, and suffering to our already fractured society?
Hate Kills the Innocent
Take the Oslo shooter, who in 2011 gunned down 84 people at Utoya followed by detonating an explosive in Oslo that killed seven people. His motive: to seize political and military control of Western Europe and to implement a cultural conservative political agenda. Tactlessly put, their goal was to destroy Muslims and their supporters before they destroy the white European civilization. Fast forward a little over a year later, a “frustrated neo-Nazi” activist opened fire at a Sikh (pronounced: “seek”) Community temple in Wisconsin and killed six people before killing himself — a coward who is unable to face the judgment of the crimes he committed.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which has been tracking hate crimes and hate groups since the 1970s, the number of known hate groups in the U.S. has grown 69 percent since 2000. Hate groups are classified as anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, black separatist, Christian identity, Holocaust denial, Ku Klux Klan, neo-Confederate, neo-Nazi, patriot movement, racist music, racist skinhead, radical traditional Catholicism, sovereign citizens movement, or white nationalist. The gunman had actually been tracked by the SPLC since 2000 for his activism in the extremist world.
What’s Going on Here?
What we are seeing here are patterns of vitriol and intolerance that are repeating themselves with growing frequency and ferocity at the global scale (let’s not forget the Aurora movie theatre shooting only weeks ago in Colorado). Have we lost our tolerance and compassion for human life? Have we misplaced our penchant and desire for peace?
All of us at the Mindful Living Network® grieve for our friend, Arm, who lost his beloved father, Satwant Singh Kaleka (he is pictured in this article). He was a father, grandfather, husband, and a community leader who advocated compassion and non-violence. We will not forget that we are a community comprised mainly of peaceful souls that are here on earth to love and be loved.
Let’s take a moment of silence to say our prayers and reflect on ways we can stop propagating hatred in our communities. You can donate to the victims’ families at We Are Sikhs and support the Sikhs Community.
Light, healing, and love,
All of us at the Mindful Living Network