Just a month after the arson and vandalism at Dur-ul-Arqam mosque in Escondido, California, another attack left one dead and several injured at Chabad of Poway in San Diego. A nineteen-year-old white man, John Earnest, was identified as the shooter. Earnest is also being charged in connection with the aforementioned arson.
Now, and in the aftermath of every event like this in the past, we have to ask: what do we do to prevent situations like this from happening in the future? This general question has been incredibly difficult to answer, so perhaps it should be narrowed down. How do we eradicate narratives of white supremacy in the United States?
Governor Newsom believes the answer lies in security. He announced that his new budget proposal would increase financial allocation to help religious and community-based nonprofits strengthen security. It should be noted that this would be no small bump—Gov. Newsom suggested that the grant program’s funds would be increased from $4.5 million to $15 million.
Still, it should be asked: is this a long-term solution? It is unclear. What is clear, however, is that it is incredibly terrifying that this kind of hate—exists in the hearts and minds of some of our citizens. And although this hatred might take different forms, it seems that these forms are both predicated on the same premise: that difference in identity—whether that means being part of a different race, religion, sexual orientation, or the many other categories that we use to define our individual persons—should necessitate different treatment. And if you happen to not be part of the majority, that “different” treatment becomes synonymous with “worse.”
This idea needs to be discredited and eradicated from the public consciousness. Until then, security will have to do.
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