But Indian Americans, like other people of color who look remotely like they may be Muslim, face a triple threat: They face the same odds as other Americans of being targeted in a terrorist attack. In addition, they are vulnerable to hate crimes (post-9/11, there was a definite spike in attacks against Indian Americans, especially Sikhs, who wear a turban). And they experience racial profiling by authorities. (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) So it is understandable that the Indian press — given the large diaspora in America — should follow the plight of Indian Americans closely.
The question is why hasn’t the American press devoted more attention to these shootings? The vast majority of Americans probably don’t even know about these attacks.
At first blush, maybe this makes sense. A few killings — one of which may have been a random act — don’t a newsworthy pattern make. But as Barkha Dutt, a popular news anchor in India asked in The Washington Post, would Americans have reacted with the same nonchalance if the perpetrator wasn’t a white guy named Adam but a Muslim named Akbar? And instead of yelling “Get out of my country” he had chanted Allah hu Akbar? Furthermore, what if the victim had been a white (or black) American rather than an Indian American with an unpronounceable name? “Can you imagine the hell that would have broken loose?”