Hundreds rally in Atlanta to support Asian American community after fatal shootings

Clay Curtis
March 22, 2021

Eight people, six of whom were Asian and two were white, were killed in three shooting incidents in the Atlanta area by a suspect identified as 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, who is now detained and charged with eight counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault. Almost 3,800 such incidents were reported to the organization nationwide.

U.S. lawmakers decried the spike in anti-Asian violence in a congressional hearing on Thursday, where Democratic Representative Grace Meng, who is of Taiwanese descent, testified that the "community is bleeding".

The incident was harrowing for communities on both sides of the border amid rising anti-Asian sentiment over the past year.

Then-President Trump a year ago said little to discourage the attacks but often used racist language to describe the deadly virus, calling it "kung flu" and the "China virus", even after being warned that his rhetoric was incendiary. She said she has not noticed racism toward her, because it was not part of her upbringing in Taiwan.

The incidence of hate crimes against Asian Americans rose by 149% in 2020 in 16 major cities compared with 2019, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.

According to several reports, Asian American communities across the country are on high alert after a surge in hate crimes since the start of the pandemic.

The law says an additional penalty can be applied for certain crimes if they are motivated by a victim's race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, or mental or physical disability.

"A lot of times we keep things to ourselves, we don't want to cause trouble - that's what our grandparents would say, 'We don't want to get involved, '" said Garces, who works as outreach, marketing and events manager for the Asian Business Association of San Diego.

He urged Americans to stand against racism and xenophobia, calling hate and racism the ugly poison that's long-haunted our nation.

Last March, a US -born Hong Kongese Uber driver posted a video that went viral of him picking up passengers in San Diego's Convoy District and being harassed with coronavirus jokes.

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Ms Kim's statement yesterday was the North's first public message to Washington since President Joe Biden took office in January. Kim Yo Jong criticised ongoing military drills in South Korea while warning the new United States administration.

"We have big concerns about how people have been treated", he said.

"I feel like Asian Women, in general, are very sexualized and also objectified, and I feel like this is kind of like a culmination of all of that", Gangarapu said. They said they're determined not to stay silent any more in order to make more people aware of the problems faced by Asians. "As states are reopening and vaccines available, people are out again, and we are seeing that uptick again".

Before they met with Asian-American leaders, Biden and Harris received a coronavirus update at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where they thanked health officials for their effort fighting the pandemic.

Greg Hynson, who had been Tan's friend and a regular customer at the spa, told the local outlet that he still can't believe his friend of six years is gone and described the violence as "just so surreal".

"They've been attacked, blamed, scapegoated and harassed", he said".

"This tragedy, this senseless murder", said Huynh, "because some white dude "had a bad day" really hurt". Officials said they were "absolutely distraught when we found out that the shooter was a member of our congregation". But I am speaking to those to whom humanity still matters.

"To have them talk about it in this way, so publicly, and to say AAPI, or to note that our communities are going through hard times, is huge", Au said. "So we felt that she was going to be an incredible advocate on our behalf in the White House".

Biden ordered the USA flag flown at half-staff at the White House to honor the victims of the Atlanta area shootings.

A report by the center found that hate crimes against Asian Americans in 16 major USA cities rose by 149% from 2019 to 2020, a period when overall hate crimes dropped 7%.

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