On Friday, March 3, a man was shot in a suburb outside of Seattle after being berated and told to go back where he came from. He wore a turban, and the shooter presumably interpreted him to be of Middle Eastern origin. The man was a Sikh, a population that is enduring harassment and worse alongside Muslims in the United States’ most recent rise of Islamophobia due to the widespread ignorance of the religion.
Late last week, activists affiliated with the #Blacklivesmatter movement interrupted presidential candidate Bernie Sanders at a Seattle rally. What they had to say was important, yet the substance of their protest was often sidelined in commentary about their actions. Even after their protest worked, and Sanders’ website posted a detailed campaign plan for racial justice, many still condemned the disruption. Examining why reveals the dangers of viewing such events from a single perspective – a perspective that ultimately helps reinforce sexist and racist stereotypes.