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‘Soft Attacks’

When killings and beatings become news and go viral via social media, we call men monsters that we failed to call out as boogie men when their expressions of hate were less violent but none the less vile. In the solace of solidarity with victims of intolerance and hate, understand this; ‘soft’ is an erace word. (read in menu above “WORDS!“)

Listen. Really! Listen to the interview of Amardeep Kaleka, son of the president of Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, Satwant Kaleka. His thoughts during the interview turned to what he called ‘soft attacks’.  ‘Soft Attacks’ according to Mr. Kaleka are, “. . .things that kind of go unnoticed. Like you get a broken window or somebody slashes your tires.”

Of his personal experience with ‘soft attacks’ he shared an occasion of an incident in the U.S. State of Georgia where someone hit him from behind as a prelude to confronting him with a wagging finger accompanied by a suggestion that he get out of the United States of America.

At a gathering of over 200 members of his community offering their support to he and his family after the loss of his father in the shooting, Mr. Kaleka learned that many of the people had experienced ‘soft attacks’.

Poised against a wave of ignorance and intolerance since 9/11,  Mr. Kaleka said that Sikh victims of ‘soft attacks’ felt that their experience was not something that they should ‘put out there’ or even ‘tell their friends or family’. Just hours after the slaying of his father Mr. Kaleka found himself on national television telling the world about ‘soft attacks’ directed against him saying, “I did not tell my family until they started to share their stories.”

It is the silence of members of the Sikh community who are often mistaken for Muslims and harassed for the difference they represent that accounts for the adjective ‘soft’ used to describe the string of attacks before yet another act of domestic terrorism. This type of silence shushes rustlings of intolerance that tend towards acts of lethal violence.

The only thing ‘soft’ about the types and kind of attacks prior to this episodic indulgence of extreme violence by a well documented white surpremacist is the way and the tones that it was not spoken of in our post-racial society’s discourse of difference and conflicts of difference.

When killings and beatings become news and go viral via social media, we call men monsters that we failed to call out as boogie men when their expressions of hate were less violent but none the less vile.

In the solace of solidarity with victims of intolerance and hate, understand this; ‘soft’ is an erace word. (read in menu above “WORDS!“)

“American Swastika takes readers through hidden enclaves of hate in America, exploring how White Supremacy movements thrive nationwide, even as the country on the surface advocates racial equality. The authors explain the difference between movements such as the KKK, the Aryan Nation, and Skinheads, among others, then discuss the various ways White Supremacists cultivate, maintain, and spread their beliefs, largely under the radar of most Americans.” “Authors Pete Simi and Robert Futrell draw on over a decade of research and interviews, from the infamous Hayden Lake Aryan compound in Northern Idaho, to private homes in L.A., to hate music concerts around the country. Through descriptive case studies, the authors look at hate in the home, talking with parents who aim to raise “little Hitler” and discussing the impact home schooling and cultural isolation can have on children. The authors also describe Aryan crash pads, Bible studies, and rituals, take readers through the hate music scene from underground bars to massive rallies, and examine how the Internet has shaped communication and created disturbing new virtual communities.”–BOOK JACKET.

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Curriculum Vitae

Tom L. States PhD Candidate

Fields of Interest: Political Theory, International Relations, Marxist Political Economy

Research Topic: eRacism - Conflicts of Difference

Education History: Williams College, BA Political Science; New York University, MA Politics; York University PhD Candidate

Languages: English, German

Hometown: Greenwood, Mississippi

Words of Wisdom: “IT” is what you are when you are young. Your youth mistakes certainty of the few things that you think you know for knowledge of things that it takes a life time to understand. With time and a few life experiences “IT” becomes the thing you pursue to give your life meaning. Somewhere along the way of having or getting “IT” you ask yourself, ‘Is this “IT”? Panic sets in when you realize that “IT” is your life. Fear and insecurity is that feeling you get when “IT” has not been worth a life time.

Bookshelf

Harvey, David. Justice, Nature, and the Geography of Difference. New York: Longman, 1996.

Fanon, Frantz. Black Skin White Masks. Trans. Charles Lam Markmann. New York: Grove Press. 1967.

Cancian, Francesca M. Gender Politics: Love and Power in the Private and Public Spheres. Gender and the Life Course. Ed. Alice S. Rossi. New York: Aldine, 1985.

Sand, Shlomo. The Invention of the Jewish People. New York: Verso, 2009.

Lay, Shawn. The Invisible Empire In The West: Toward a New Historical Appraisal of the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920's. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2004.

Journal

Carothers, Thomas. Think Again: Civil Society. Foreign Policy Date, (Winter: 1999-2000).

Ober, Josiah. The original meaning of "democracy": Capacity to do things, not majority rule. Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in Classics. American Political Science Association meetings, Philadelphia, (2006).