Whenever there is an incident like the one that took place Sunday in Oak Creek that targets a specific group of immigrants, I always feel like America let those people down. In the case of the Sikhs, they came to the US to escape political and religious persecution--or the Caste System in India where the lower classes really have no chance of moving up in society. But in one senseless act, the ability to live free is taken away.
The son of the Sikh temple President Satwant Singh Kaleka spoke with a Milwaukee television station yesterday. He told the story of how his father came to America in 1982 after a crackdown on Sikhs in his home region of India. His dad had 30-dollars in his pocket, limited English skills and few other Sikhs to provide him any help. Kaleka worked 18-hours a day at two gas stations--saving his money until he was able to buy a station of his own. That was followed by the purchase of another and another until he operated a chain of convenience stores in the Milwaukee area.
Here was a man who came to the US--legally I might add--with almost nothing and became a millionaire--a One Percenter, if you will--through nothing but hard work and financial discipline. Those on the left like to say the "American Dream" is dead, or is out of reach for people nowadays--but maybe we've just become too complacent with the opportunities presented to us--and it takes someone coming from a situtation that isn't so positive to appreciate what America's free market system can provide.
And what did Mr Kaleka do with the millions he made from his gas stations? He didn't buy a McMansion in a gated community. He didn't buy three luxury SUVs and a cigarette boat and a summer house in Door County. He used his money to build a temple in Oak Creek so that his fellow Sikhs had a proper place to practice their First Amendment right to freedom of religion. And it would be in that temple that he would die--fighting with a neo-Nazi, white supremecist who was jealous of the success that Kaleka and his fellow immigrants enjoyed.
And while I'm on the topic, can those who are trying to "explain" the Oak Creek shooting please stop saying the gunman "must have thought the Sikhs are Muslims". If the victims had been Muslims would that have made it "easier to understand"? Please. Like most white supremecists, this gunman was a failure--and was looking for someone else to blame for his lot in life. It's as simple as that.