Now consider the case of Prabhjot Singh, a Sikh doctor in Harlem.
He was supposed to be one of the good guys: A doctor in Harlem. Professor at Columbia. An anti-racist and national leader in speaking out against White Supremacism. Frequent guest on the Huffington Post, New York Times and other liberal outlets. Active in UN public health initiatives for poor people.
He even lives in Harlem.
So when Dr. Prabhjot Singh decided he would stroll through his neighborhood last Saturday night, he figured he was safe.
Then four blocks from Malcolm X Boulevard, Dr. Singh met up with 20 black people on bikes. According to the NBC affiliate in New York:
“I heard ‘Get Osama’ and then ‘terrorists,’ and then the next thing I felt was someone moving past me, ripping at my beard and then hitting me in the chin.”
He ran. They chased him and knocked him down and beat him some more.
Singh said he thought he could have died if passersby hadn’t intervened to help fight off the more than dozen young men who jumped him.
They broke his jaw. Kicked out a few of his teeth. And all that.
Dr. Singh is a Sikh, a member of the faith that wears distinctive turbans and beards. But this mob thought he was a Moslem and taunted him for that. Not knowing that Moslems and Sikhs are long and bitter rivals.
After the attack, he wondered why anyone would bother him: He is after all, an American and a member of the Harlem community. Or so he thought. He told MSNBC:
Singh’s priority now is to continue his work as a doctor in his East Harlem community, he said. “This is not the Harlem I know,” he said. “If anything, [this experience] makes me more committed to our community and the work we do there.”
Last year, he wrote an op-ed for the New York Times saying the biggest danger of hate crimes to Sikhs was from White Supremacists. He cited that six times in one article:
“There is also the question of whether white supremacist groups have specifically targeted American Sikhs,” Singh said.
His commentary was in response to the killing of six Sikhs in Wisconsin by a neo-Nazi.
But in Harlem that Saturday night, there was nary a white face to be found: Police released surveillance video that showed the attackers were black.
Alleged attackers, sorry.
But the same man who relentlessly condemned white racism for violence against Sikhs all of a sudden became circumspect about the race of his attackers. And eager to put it in context.
Dr. Lamont Hill from the Huffington Post asked him to describe the assailants:
They were young men. Probably from the neighborhood. Certainly not reflective of the neighborhood I’ve come to know and work in.
It was dark. They seemed like they were young African American men. But again, it was dark.
Its one thing to be told in the news or in a book that a community is not as dangerous as you thought they were. But its completely another thing to know someobody personally.
Understanding really comes from deeper engagement.
While Dr. Singh seeks deeeper understanding of his assailants, so do police. But the assailants, so far, have not turned themselves in.
These are just some of the hundreds of examples of racial violence and lawlessness in more than 80 cities around the country as documented in my book: White Girl Bleed a Lot: The return of racial violence to America.
Thomas Sowell said : ”Reading Colin Flaherty’s book made painfully clear to me that the magnitude of this problem is greater than I had discovered from my own research. He documents both the race riots and the media and political evasions in dozens of cities.” – National Review.
Get it here: