Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Do Bigots Love Slurpees, Too?

It might have a reputation as a liberal oasis, but Seattle has its share of bigots. One of them was out there on Monday night at a local convenience store, making America safe from people who wear turbans:

A 35-year-old Seattle man is facing assault and hate crime charges following allegations that he accosted a clerk at a Queen Anne convenience store.
"For unknown reasons a person threw change on the floor near the victim's feet then punched the victim on the left side of the head," the detective said.

"After the suspect struck (the clerk) with his fist he said, 'You're not even American, you're Al-Qaeda. Go back to your country.'"

Charge: Seattle Man Attacked Shopkeeper, Calls Victim A Terrorist

The victim's offense was wearing a turban, which isn't a piece of Arab headgear. It's a piece of Sikh headgear:

A national Sikh organization came out in support Tuesday of a Seattle convenience store clerk attacked in an apparent hate crime.
In accusing Stainbrook of committing a hate crime, King County prosecutors asserted he targeted the clerk in part because he was wearing a turban. Turbans -- dastaars, to Sikhs -- are considered an article of faith to adherents of the religion, which originated in South Asia more than 500 years ago.

Sikh org on clerk attack: 'Americans must be free to practice their faith without fear'

According to the Seattle Weekly, the man who did this is a local criminal who has a history of violence and drunkness. That history includes:

According to court records, Stainbrook has prior convictions for assault, trespassing, public intoxication, DUI, and two separate convictions for making "terroristic threats" in Hawaii.

Man Charged With Hate Crime For Attack At 7-11

[emphasis mine] The man knows his terrorists, it appears.

Unfortunately, this is the sort of person who is likely to be set off by the hateful rhetoric that various charlatans and opportunists have been using against Muslims. If you wonder why I have criticized Democratic politicians for being so mealy-mouthed about this, here is an example of why. This guy didn't get the idea that we have an Al Qaeda cell in a 7-11 entirely on his own. It's possible that if he hadn't been deathly afraid of turban-wearing terrorists at that moment, that he just would have victimized some other person, but that strikes me as debatable.

Josh Marshall summed this up pretty well:

It's not enough that we have American Muslims facing a new wave of Islamophobia on the American right, hyped up to greater extent by the coming November election. But it appears the we now have another case of a Sikh who's fallen victim to backwoods American cultural illiteracy.

AWS (Americaning While Sikh)

Well, except that this guy doesn't seem to be from the backwoods. He doesn't even have that as an excuse.

There are days I think that you could replace half the brains in America with cabbages and not lose a bit of intellectual capacity.


Dana Hunter said...

I beg to differ. Replacing just 35% of American brains with cabbage could lead to a substantial increase in IQ. We could make the increase even larger by using cauliflower instead. We can test this theory by starting with the Catfood Commission as our initial transplant group.

Cujo359 said...

Sadly, we will never know who is right here.