"Media outlets have sought to clarify the distinctions between Sikhs, who surely don’t deserve this kind of treatment, and Muslims, who—it is implied—do. The message is not that, as a country, we ought to aim for better. We just ought to have better aim."
Maura Fitzgerald in GuernicaMag aptly describes the counterproductive, muffled communal response to the racist, xenophobic violence growing in America.
Other communities have been throwing up distress signals for a while now. We see them, and we don’t come to their aid. The shootings in Aurora were atrocities: no one deserves to be killed “at random.” But dying at gunpoint because you’re a black man, or because you’re a Muslim—or because your turban sure makes you look like one—is no better. We’d all like to believe it goes without saying.
Saying that Target A was mistaken for Target B or that Sikhs were mistaken for looking like Muslims is implying that one should be better at recognizing Muslims, further suggesting that it is okay to attack Muslims. This is not just about America’s dysfunctional relationship with gun control but more specifically about the American (mis)understanding and hostility towards racial difference. Majority of the media outlets’ “analyses” as well as the lack of appropriate response to the shootings and phobia by political figures only gives more room for potential killers to go out yet another brutal killing spree.