Their names are Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani. Mr. Kuchibhotla is dead now, and Mr. Madasani is wounded. 51-year-old Adam W. Purinton, apparently did not like immigrants and believed it was his right, as a white male, to take their lives into his own hands.
It started in a restaurant in Olathe, Kansas where Mr. Kuchibhotla and Mr. Madasani were enjoying an after work drink before heading home. The two gentlemen, originally from India, were both educated in the U.S., and both were engineers, employed by Swiss communication device company, Garmin. Nonetheless, Mr. Purinton took umbrage at their very presence, and started spouting ethnic slurs, finally telling them to “get out of my country.” Mr. Madasani finally tired of the verbal abuse and went in search of the restaurant’s manager to lodge a complaint. When he returned to his table, Purinton was being escorted out, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief, thinking the episode was over.
But a few minutes later, Purinton returned, gun in hand, and opened fire. When the gunshots stopped, another patron, Ian Grillot, thinking the shooter had run out of ammunition, came out to attempt to subdue him, and for his heroic efforts was rewarded with a gunshot to the chest and hand. Meanwhile, Mr. Kuchibhotla lay dying, and Mr. Madasani was receiving CPR. Their only crime was that they were not WASPs. Mr. Purinton’s crime, however is a hate crime … it is a crime against ALL of humanity just as surely as is any terrorist attack.
Had the tables been turned … had an immigrant from ANY country shot a white man … you can bet your last dollar that Donald Trump would have tweeted until he had blisters on his tiny fingers. But on this? Not a single twit nor tweet. Silence. Silencio. Nada. Zip. In fact, the only response from the administration in Washington came from Sean Spicer who said that any loss of life is tragic but it would be absurd to link the action to Trump’s stance on immigrants. I do not think it is ‘absurd’ at all, and neither does the Indian government.
Purinton was arrested later that day at an Applebee’s restaurant in Clinton, Missouri, where he told the bartender, “I’m on the run; I’m hiding out from the law. I shot those guys, and that’s why I’m hiding out from the police.” Not only white and with a sense of entitlement, but also incredibly stupid. Apparently known as the town drunk, a neighbor said, “We always wondered if he might hurt himself, but we didn’t think he would hurt someone else.” Purinton has reportedly been charged with murder in the first degree and remains in jail pending a $100,000 bond.
Mr. Kuchibhotla’s widow, Sunayana Dumala, said in a press conference yesterday, “I, especially, I was always concerned, are we doing the right thing of staying in the United States of America? But he always assured me that only good things happen to good people.” Welcome to Trump’s America. The Hindustan Times carries a full transcript of her touching speech in which she seeks answers and ponders moving back to India.
The Indian Embassy in the U.S. has called for a speedier investigation and asked to be kept abreast of the investigation. Investigators have stopped short of calling this a ‘hate crime’, but I ask … what else can it be? And, since the FBI is involved in the investigation, it is obviously being considered a hate crime. Hate crimes have become so predominant since Trump’s election that the New York Times now devotes a weekly column, titled ‘This Week in Hate’, to report and track them. This, Mr. Trump, is your legacy — a legacy of hate and inhumanity.
So where is all that anger over this crime? Where is all that self-righteous, ‘moral’ indignation? Where are all those indignant people who would be foaming at the mouth, including the so-called leader of the nation? The incident has been reported, though not widely commented on, and the White House remains silent. People get more angry and vocal when it comes to who can use which restroom than they do the murder of a good man. A life is a life. One is no more important than another, yet it would seem that to the politicians and a large portion of U.S. society, Mr. Kuchibhotla’s life was of lesser value … hardly worth mentioning. Is this who we have become? Is this the same nation who once valued its immigrant population? I do not recognize it, and I am deeply ashamed of it.