Hate crimes

Is the Murder of Indian Americans by Xenophobes Getting Enough Attention?

Yes and no

|

Three Indian Americans have been killed in the US in the last few weeks sending shock waves in the Indian press that is blaming Trump's belligerent anti-immigration rhetoric.

Immigrant Rally
JC Olivera via Foter

Stunningly, there are even calls that the Indian government issue a travel advisory to those thinking of coming to the United States. Meanwhile, in America, the murders have elicited barely a peep.

At first blush, the American media response seems rational, I note in my morning column at The Week. Hate crime stats are notoriously unreliable and, even at close quarters, three murders, one of which may not even be a hate crime, may not a newsworthy pattern make.

But even if it turns out that these numbers have gone up significantly since President Trump's election, it would still likely be the case that Indian Americans (and other minorities), on the whole, are less likely to be targeted by a fellow American than, say, Muslims are by fellow Indians in majority-Hindu India. And Muslims in India are less likely to be targeted than Hindus in majority-Muslim Pakistan.

So why all the fuss?

Because communities don't form their threat perceptions based on stats and data. If they did, Islamic terrorism would not get nearly as big play as it does in the American press given that the odds of any American actually being killed in a terrorist attack are lower than him/her getting struck by lightning.

And Indian Americans, along with anyone who might remotely look like a Muslim, face a triple whammy in this country.

What is it? Go here to find out.

NEXT: A Chainsaw Man Explains How to Fix Obamacare

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Indian Americans, along with anyone who might remotely look like a Muslim, face a triple whammy in this country.

    Cue the DDS.

  2. “Go back to your country.” The second shooting involved a Sikh man in a Seattle suburb who was injured in his driveway after a gunman opened fire, allegedly yelling the same thing.

    At least in the second case, there’s something fishy with it.

  3. I usually have my white American husband in the driver’s seat for the border stop when we drive from Detroit, near where we live, to Canada, to lower the odds of a full car inspection

    And to keep it from going into a ditch. Am I right, fellas?

    1. The good people of Michigan and Ontario should surely thank her staying off the roads, whatever the reason. Indian and a woman and retarded? Talk about your triple whammies.

    2. She does tend to veer sharply to the left on occasion….

  4. Well, this ought to be good. I am particularly interested in John’s explanation as to why we shouldn’t generalize from these incidents, but why we should instead double down on generalizing from any terrorist incident to all 1 billion Muslims.

    1. Something something intersectionality

    2. There have been two documented cases in the last year of people murdering Indians for being Indians. If we ever get a case where 50 are murdered in a bar or someone flies an airplane into a building full of Indians or there develops an ideology that calls for the indiscriminate murder of Indians in this country, we will be able to generalize from that and have a real problem. That doesn’t seem to have happened, however.

      So basically we can generalize from the problems we face regarding radical Islam but can’t here because the circumstances are different. I guess being retarded and making up for it by being profoundly ignorant prevents you from understanding that generalizing depends upon the circumstances.

      You really do lack basically reasoning skills. Just out of curiosity, are you able to feed yourself? Do you have full-time assistance?

      1. ideology that calls for the indiscriminate murder of Indians in this country, we will be able to generalize from that and have a real problem. That doesn’t seem to have happened, however.

        I would replace the last sentence with, doesn’t seem to be happening, because it has happened. Andrew Jackson would agree.

      2. [Sets hook, reels it in, gaffs John by lower lip and pulls him into the boat, takes a couple of pics, and throws John back in the water]

        1. John’s lips must have more holes than cartilage by now.

      3. Waiting for the some east Seattle bartender to pull out a shotgun and murder a white dude, and then explain “the light was dim and I thought it was some darkie ayrab or injun that looked like an ayrab or sunting darkie. How was I suppose to know it was a fellow ‘murican?”

  5. Isn’t India the second most populous country in the world? Is it really genocide if three are killed?

    1. It’s a irresistible wave of hate-fueled violence!

    2. “Is it really genocide if three are killed?”

      I know, f’ing amateurs.

  6. they are vulnerable to hate crimes

    Oh FFS. *Everyone* is vulnerable to “hate crimes”. That’s one reason the concept is utter BS. Also, there is absolutely no conclusion to be drawn from a rate of incidence that climbs from 0 to 2 (or 3!).

    1. Somebody needs to retake their “hate crime” indoctrination.
      There are 10’s of millions of Americans who cannot be hated upon.

  7. FIRE DALMIA!!!

    Three Indian Americans have been killed in the US in the last few weeks.

    This is bad.

    Hate crime stats are notoriously unreliable and, even at close quarters, three murders, one of which may not even be a hate crime, may not a newsworthy pattern make.

    This is dumb, and incredibly misguided on a libertarian website! “Hate Crimes,” as described here, don’t exist: EVERY VIOLENT CRIME IS A HATE CRIME. How can you seriously reconcile your slogan, which promotes “free minds,” with this garbage piece that supports punishments for people based solely on their ideas and beliefs???

    1. “Hate Crimes,” as described here, don’t exist:

      Hate crimes, as described here, exist in the sense that the Bureau of Justice Statistics keeps track of them as such. We can argue until the cows come home about whether all violent crimes are hate crimes (and IMO you’re correct that they are), but statistical analysis of them does in fact exist, and, as Dalmia points out, is notoriously unreliable.

    2. That is not true. Just because hate crimes should not exist in the law does not mean they don’t exist. If the guy in Kansas shot the guy because he was an Indian, that is a “hate crime” for the purposes of what she is talking about. What that means is debatable. But it is what it is.

      1. “But it is what it is.”

        Who let Aristotle in?

  8. I think it’s also important to remember that what happens in the news isn’t necessarily reflective of what’s going on in people’s minds.

    There’s an old saying on Wall Street about how the yield curve has correctly predicted five of the last two recessions. Because moral panics are happening in the Indian press, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re reflective of what’s happening in the minds of Indians–or the minds of Americans.

    The press is obsessed with Trump for the time being. It’s like following hockey trades on a Canadian hockey site. Go to the discussion boards at TSN, and if St. Louis trades a defensemen to the Washington Capitals, you’d think it was all about the Toronto Maple Leafs somehow. That’s just the way they see the hockey world–everything that happens is all about the Leafs.

    Trump is in the news a lot on immigration issues. Everything that happens to immigrants must be related to him somehow.

    He’s like global warming and the weather. Unexpectedly warm today? Must be global warming since that’s what everybody talks about when they talk about the weather.

    Guilt by association is an association fallacy, but it sells newspapers.

    Doesn’t mean it’s reflective of what anybody is thinking. If they weren’t talking about Trump, it might be about Brad Pitt should get the kids or a Bollywood starlet, I guess.

  9. “And Indian Americans, along with anyone who might remotely look like a Muslim, face a triple whammy in this country.”

    Jews still have you beat statistically. Soooo…..

    “What is it? Go here to find out.”

    Nope.

    1. I didn’t fall for it either.

      1. I wonder if Dalmia’s recent columns aren’t part of some elaborate clickbait strategy. Her editor at The Week probably had a conversation like this with her:

        “Yo, Shikha. Baby. You just ain’t getting the clicks anymore. You need to pick it up.”

        “So this is what you’re gonna do: Head on over to Reason and troll the libertarians. Write something so ridiculously dumb, like ‘if you oppose illegal immigration, then you’re Jefferson Davis’ or ‘Indians in America are getting slaughtered by the bushel because TRUMP!’ and then link to your column here. Golden, baby, golden!”

  10. “Hate crime stats are–”

    Ok, somebody say something, please. Welch? Gillespie? KMW?

    No one’s going to say anything about a writer on a libertarian site embracing the notion of hate crimes? You know, the ones that punish thoughts more than actual acts of violence?

    FFS, you’re pathetic.

    1. I have no idea whether Shikha thinks hate crime laws are a good idea. But you really have to twist yourself into knots to take this sentence for an endorsement of such laws:

      “Hate crime stats are notoriously unreliable and, even at close quarters, three murders, one of which may not even be a hate crime, may not a newsworthy pattern make.”

      1. Fair enough

  11. “Because communities don’t form their threat perceptions based on stats and data. If they did, Islamic terrorism would not get nearly as big play as it does in the American press given that the odds of any American actually being killed in a terrorist attack are lower than him/her getting struck by lightning.”

    Just because the media is selling this stuff doesn’t mean everyone is buying it.

    People also like to watch TV shows about zombies and vampires. Terrorists are scary and exciting.

    For most people, watching the news on terrorism is like watching professional wrestling or a science fiction movie with a lot of special effects. You get lost in the plot, and it’s exciting. Then you get up for work the next day and go about your business.

    1. This is a most excellent depiction of how terrorism in the news is actually digested by average Americans.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1EFKZs3Bvk

  12. The first thing I want to inow is, is three in a week statistically unusual? Is it in or out of line with the homicide rate in the general population?

    Also; how many of themthree were Brahmin caste? Because my admittedly limited experience has been that almost all Brahmin males are assholes. Maybe they DESERVED to be shot, on their own demerits?

    1. How many a week is acceptable, you vile Trumpster!

      lol

      The only acceptable response is to be ashamed of yourself, America, and being an American.

      Oh, and if you’re Christian, white, heterosexual, blue collar, or (for pity’s sake) Republican, then you should be ashamed of that, too.

      Don’t you know anything about cosmopolitanism?

      1. Is it a crime to hate yourself?

        1. I guess the interesting question is whether it’s racist to hate yourself for being white, etc.

          We’ll get to that question after we figure out whether democracies, like the Weimer Republic, should be allowed to vote themselves out of existence.

    2. Most American Media have no clue about the Indian caste system, and if they do then they suppress their negative feelings towards what is obviously a superior system of promoting racial harmony among many disparate peoples.

      Bollywood is wonderful; pay no attention to those filthy street urchins shoveling shit from the streets.

  13. I’m sure these are totally not false flag attacks and the narrative won’t break down once they get investigated more closely, unlike all the previous times. It’s a terrible thing that these individuals were murdered, but that doesn’t make it national news.

    1. The one in Kansas won’t break down as a false flag operation unless a restaurant full of people were in on it.

      1. I don’t think restaurant patronage confers telepathy. There are not a lot of details about the perpetrator or his motives available right now, besides the testimony of the people who witnessed the shooting.

        1. That having been said, if it never turns out to be anything other than someone shooting people because of their ethnicity, I would agree that it’s not a false flag.

  14. This is a confusing article. The headline talks about murders of indian americans and then proceeds to provide no details on those. Only to talk about muslim hindu issues

  15. Because communities don’t form their threat perceptions based on stats and data. If they did, Islamic terrorism would not get nearly as big play as it does in the American press given that the odds of any American actually being killed in a terrorist attack are lower than him/her getting struck by lightning.”

    This is the most idiotic fallacy. No, your chances of being killed by a terrorist in the past have been that. Unless Dalmai can predict the future, she has no idea whether that is true going forward. What were your chances of being killed by a terrorist in New York City the morning of 911? According to Dalmia effectively zero. The problem is the past predicts the future right up until it doesn’t. And it is a complete logically fallacy to assume that it forever will.

    That, of course, doesn’t mean that the chances are greater. They might be less. Time will tell. But what those chances are are not a function of the risk in the past. They are a function of current conditions and those in the future which are impossible to know for certain. Answering that question is of course hard and Dalmai avoids it and goes for the easy fallacy.

    1. Lightning and terrorism are both dangerous enough to change our behavior.

      People do not play golf in thunder storms because it’s dangerous. Same reason they don’t publish cartoons about Muhommed.

      1. Exactly that. My chances of being killed by lightning are really low because I don’t spend my life running around outside with metal objects during thunderstorms. Maybe our chances of being killed by a terrorist are so low because, let me go out on a limb here, we have a comparatively small Mulsim population in this country?

        1. That’s what I came here to say. But you’ve already said it.

        2. we have a comparatively small Mulsim population in this country

          It’s more than that.

          I live in what amounts to the “Little Egypt” of NYC. My chances of being killed by a neighbor are considerably less than if I lived in a similar neighborhood in, say, Brussels or Paris.

    2. My brother’s girlfriend was in the World Trade Center the first time it was bombed.

      She moved to the west coast before 9/11, but her chances of being killed by a terrorist were pretty good.

      Your chances of being carjacked if you live in the suburbs are pretty remote. If people want to lock their doors for safety anyway, that doesn’t mean they’re being irrational or paranoid.

      The legitimate purpose of libertarian government is to protect our rights from various threats–terrorists being one example, and taking reasonable precautions against unlikely disasters is prudent.

      The question is whether the precautions being taken really are prudent and whether anyone’s rights are being violated–not the statistical likelihood of any one of us being a victim.

      1. The question is whether the precautions being taken really are prudent and whether anyone’s rights are being violated–not the statistical likelihood of any one of us being a victim.

        Yes. And that is my point below about moral urgency not being the same thing as statistical urgency.

      2. I say a curse for the 9-11 perpetrators every time I go to the airport.

        1. I say a curse on the government that tied the hands of airlines by not allowing their pilots to be armed and defend their vehicles; and by hobbling the security teams through rules and regulations which made it legal to carry box cutters on board a PRIVATELY-OWNED airplane. All of which gave the 9-11 hijackers unarmed and vulnerable vehicles to use for their nefarious purposes. Thank you, government!

          Because Trumpistas want everyone to believe that terrorists can travel through walls.

  16. The other problem with this article is the casual equation of moral urgency with statistical urgency. For example, when the DC snipers were running around shooting people a few years ago, the chances of any one person being shot by them were likely smaller than being struck by lightening. Yet, it was rightfully quite a big deal and something that the public rightfully expected law enforcement to stop. Why? Because there is a moral urgency to people being murdered at random that stands apart and above the statistical likelihood of any one person being murdered.

    It is the same thing here. it doesn’t matter that as of yet Islamic terrorists haven’t been able to murder enough people to make Dalmia feel like she is in danger. What matters is they have been routinely murdering people in this country in the name of religion several times a year and in some cases in large numbers since 2001. That matters. And fuck Dalmia for pretending that moral urgency is somehow determined by the chances of it affecting her sorry ass.

  17. If they did, Islamic terrorism would not get nearly as big play as it does in the American press given that the odds of any American actually being killed in a terrorist attack are lower than him/her getting struck by lightning.

    What are any American’s odds of dying from smallpox, polio, whooping cough, or measles?

  18. Stunningly, there are even calls that the Indian government issue a travel advisory to those thinking of coming to the United States.

    Never mind the alarmingly frequent gang-rapes, murders and angry mob lynchings of westerners traveling in India. Yeah it’s the US that has the problem with foreigners.

  19. If Indian Americans did not want to be murdered by xenophobic Trumpistas, then they would go back to whatever Third World hellhole they damned came from! Who are they to come over here and tell is who we can execute on sight?

    Why don’t they make their economy grow if you think they help ours? H1B visas are part of a globization conspiracy to threaten our precious bodily culture, Mandrake! We need to build a wall around the Indian Ocean! Wall! Wall!

    [Did I get most Trumpista tropes right?]

    1. Did I get most Trumpista tropes right?

      Yes, every day the President is on TV talking about how you can now murder select people with impunity.

      1. Re: kbolino,

        Yes, every day the President is on TV talking about how you can now murder select people with impunity.

        No, that’s not correct. He said he could. Because he’s special.

        1. Where has he ever said what you asserted?

          1. Re: american socialist,

            During the campaign, of course. Were you living under a rock, perhaps?

            I guess some felt empowered by his words.

            1. citation needed. Quote it please

            2. “If Indian Americans did not want to be murdered by xenophobic Trumpistas, then they would go back to whatever Third World hellhole they damned came from! Who are they to come over here and tell is who we can execute on sigH”

              Where was this advocated by him?

              1. Not him. You’re quoting mock Trumpista speech meant to make a point, Am-Soc. Is that what you’re going to be doing from now on?

                1. I am quoting what you said about indian americans and shooting them on site and the other assertions you act like trump has advocated

                  Where has this happened?

                  1. Re: american socialism,

                    An assertion is a proposition I posit as truth. Those are comments created with a sarcastic tone in order to make a point. Thus, they’re NOT assertions.

                    The point is that the anti-immigrant rhetoric coming out of the administration is leading some people to dehumanize immigrants to the point they harbor little regard for their lives as individuals. The very worst things started with seemingly innocent exhortations by politicians who should’ve known better.

          2. Fix your sarc detector

    2. Can you show the details that these are indeed trumpistas?

      1. Re: american socialist,

        Can you show the details that these are indeed trumpistas?

        “Trumpista is as Trumpista does.”

        /From that great political philosopher, Forrest Gump.

        What is the difference between yelling “God is great!” in a crowded bar and start shooting, and yelling “Git back to yer ol’ country!” and then start shooting, Am-Soc? In both instances, the victims end up VERY dead.

        1. Ok? Are they getting off because of this? What about the other two…the article did not go into details

  20. What happened to old Mexican? He or she seems to have gone crazy once trump assumed the presidency. every post is about trumpistas as if all the complaints just came about on 1 20 2017

    I dont get it

    1. The same thing happened around when Obama got elected, although I don’t know if it was to the same degree. A whole host of people decided to just collectively lose their shit. It’s quite counterproductive, really, because it allows the target of their insanity to get away with stuff that they probably shouldn’t be able to get away with, just because the only volume the opposition has is 11. With opponents like these, who needs friends?

      1. Yea it is odd. I wasnt an obama fan (am not a trump fan) but i didnt worry and obsess over everything about them.

        Is it like a drug to them they actually like complaining and whining 24 7? It is as if they secretly desire trump or obama so they can moan

    2. Re: american socialist,

      What happened to old Mexican?

      Hello!

      He or she seems to have gone crazy once trump assumed the presidency.

      He. Not she.

      And NO, I haven’t gone crazy. I am still the same principled libertarian I have been always. It is the closeted Trumpistas who kicked the door down and said “Here I aaaaaam!” with Trumpista flamboyancy. Now we know who they are. You should know better than contrast my positions with theirs and then say *I* am the crazy one.

      1. Who are they? Every single post you talk about trumpistas

        Whether in mocking form or whining. Look i get a few posts doing so….but doing it over and over and over especially when not part of the article like the other thread suggests you are upset or going crazy

        1. Re: american socialist,

          Who are “they” are all those who claim that free trade makes “us” poorer, or that immigrants impose a burden on taxpayers [which is a lie] or advocate economic nationalism which runs contra sound economic theory and even individual liberty which, ipso facto, implies Trumpistas are Fascists. And no, I am not using the term lightly.

      2. Being glad that the evil, corrupt, and lying HRC + being willing to give Trump a chance, (i.e. waiting until he actually does something before criticizing him) = Trumpista

        1. Being glad that the evil, corrupt, and lying HRC lost

        2. Re: DenverJ,

          I’m glad HRC lost but that does not mean I believe the alternative is much better. I am profoubdly worried about the economic future of this country if El Trumpo succeeds in imposing his economically illiterate policies.

          1. This is really a late reply, but for anybody who peruse it later:
            I am, too. But so far, he hasn’t done anything worth freaking out over, yet, and accusing people who aren’t up in arms yet, over hypotheticals, of being pro Trump is… premature

  21. “Reason transformed into a front-end for The Week so slowly nobody even noticed.”

  22. People are woefully and willfully ignorant. The post 9/11 shit with the Sihks was infurating as is this shit with the Indians. I hate people. I probably should stop watching ID channel ’cause that doesn’t help.

  23. I also think all the people on the left with their non-stop identity politics and race baiting fuel this divisiveness as much or more than any of the toddler president’s rheteric. Trump may have benefited from some of this shit but he didn’t create it. There is plenty of blame to spread around.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.