On Tuesday, eight people were shot and killed at three different spa locations in the Atlanta area. According to the New York Times, six of these people were Asian American women.
Atlanta police arrested and charged a man after going on a rampage shooting in three Asian-owned businesses where seven women, six of them Asian Americans, and one man were killed. Although the perpetrator denied his actions to be racially motivated within custody, authorities are still not yet willing to rule out bigotry as the leading cause, as the hate toward Asian Americans has only surged since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the beginning of the virus outbreak, Asian Americans have suffered immensely and have been subject to violent hate crimes and racial slurs. Racist epithets about the coronavirus and the previous presidential administration are thought to have attributed to furthering the spread of hate and discrimination, causing the statistics surrounding anti-Asian hate crimes to rise 150%.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke out about the shooting in Atlanta on Wednesday. Mr. Biden announced earlier that he and his administration plan to focus on combating anti-Asian racism.
“At this very moment, so many of them, our fellow Americans, are on the front lines of this pandemic trying to save lives and still — still are forced to live in fear for their lives just walking down streets in America,” Mr. Biden said. “It’s wrong, it’s un-American, and it must stop.”
Harris also addressed the situation stating, “This speaks to a larger issue, which is the issue of violence in our country and what we must do to never tolerate it and to always speak out against it,” Ms. Harris said. “I do want to say to our Asian-American community that we stand with you and understand how this has frightened and shocked and outraged all people.”
Per the New York Times, Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris plan to meet with members and leaders from the AAPI or Asian American and Pacific Islander community on Friday.
In response to the mass amounts of bigotry, many people and organizations have been speaking out about and protesting the violence against Asian Americans. Stop AAPI Hate is “a national coalition addressing anti-Asian hate amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Yet, the event that occurred on March 16 isn’t just one isolated incident. Stop AAPI Hate says to have received almost 3,8800 reports of anti-Asian hate incidents across the nation from March 2020 to Feb. 2021 alone, which they noted are just the ones that are reported. They released a statement Tuesday saying, “The reported shootings of multiple Asian American women today in Atlanta is an unspeakable tragedy—for the families of the victims first and foremost but also for the Asian American community, which has been reeling from high levels of racist attacks over the course of the past year.”
Many politicians, celebrities and activists such as former president Barack Obama, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Sandra Oh are just a few of the thousands of people who spoke out about the lives taken and crimes against the AAPI communities.
If you are looking for ways in which you can help support AAPI communities here are a few suggestions VALLEY hopes will allow individuals to educate themselves and take action in order to combat anti-Asian hate.
Being an Ally
Continue to speak out against anti-Asian hate and violent acts on social media, to your family and your friends to help spread the message of equality. Start conversations with your friends, family and colleagues about the injustices the AAPI community faces.
Educate yourself and others about AAPI history.
Reporting crimes against Asian American’s helps make the world safer for everyone in it. You can report a crime on Stop AAPI Hate by clicking this link.
If the opportunity to protest presents itself, make sure you are protecting yourself and those around you in wearing a mask and following CDC guidelines.
Stay safe and make sure you know your rights.
Social Media Accounts to Follow
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.