How Hate Gets Counted

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Do American Sikhs count?

The horrific shooting at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee on Aug. 5, in which a white supremacist, Wade M. Page, killed six people before fatally shooting himself, elicited an outpouring of sympathy from American leaders and a greater understanding of the role Sikhs have played in American life.

But there are two disturbing aspects of the response to the shooting that deserve wider public attention.

First is the notion of “mistaken identity” — the assumption that Mr. Page, who had long-established ties to radical right-wing groups, mistook Sikhs for Muslims, his presumed target. The second is the government’s failure to accurately measure the extent of anti-Sikh violence in America — a gap that must be remedied.


The New York Times Company

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The New York Times