Father’s Day this year, two heavyset men were loitering near a Sikh temple in British Columbia. Then the president of the temple, a Canadian citizen and an activist named Hardeep Singh Nijjar, stepped out and climbed into his pickup truck to drive home for dinner with his family.
The two waiting men, wearing masks, fired through Nijjar’s window about a dozen times. Temple members bravely ran after the gunmen, who escaped in a getaway car driven by a third man.
[NOTE: I learned something valuable from this piece: “fear speech” is distinct from (but closely related to) “hate speech,” and its emergence in research further complicates such tangled issues as how to preserve free speech in the toxic media culture we seem stuck in. I didn’t find simple or easy solutions here. But being enabled to think more clearly about what we’re facing — to me that’s progress. Check it out.]
Ms. Angwin is a contributing Opinion writer and an investigative journalist.
[F]ear is weaponized even more than hate by leaders who seek to spark violence. Hate is often part of the equation, of course, but fear is almost always the key ingredient when people feel they must lash out to defend themselves.