Hard times breed spikes in racism, violence
The Kansas City Star
Just as much as guns are a problem in America so is the bad economy helping to fuel violence and hate.
People who land on hard times are easy prey for hate groups. Wade Michael Page was one of them.
He is the gunman who was killed after he shot to death six persons and wounded several others Sunday at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis. Page, 40, had been demoted and discharged from the Army, where he had served from 1992 to 1998.
Drinking problems also caused Page to lose his job as a truck driver. Financial trouble that followed led to his house, which he bought for $165,000 in 2007 in Fayetteville, N.C., to go into foreclosure, The Washington Post reported.
The Southern Poverty Law Center had been monitoring Page because of his ties to the white supremacist movement. The center described him as “a frustrated neo-Nazi who had been the leader of a racist white-power band,” The New York Times reported.
Such hate organizations often target minorities as scapegoats, blaming them when things go wrong. The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks led a lot of people to focus their hatred on Muslims. Page’s and other white supremacists’ ignorance resulted Sikhs to be misidentified and scapegoated as Muslims.
It is a tragic and toxic American mixture of racism, hard times, hatred and guns. It has to end before more innocent people are hurt.