Celebs Speak Out After Eight Killed – Including Six Asian Women – In Atlanta-Area Spa Shootings
There are no words for this kind of tragedy.
On Tuesday evening, eight people were shot to death in the Atlanta, Georgia area at three separate massage parlors. Six of the victims were Asian, leading authorities to originally suspect the shootings were part of a wave of recent Anti-Asian hate crimes that have increased during the coronavirus crisis.
The group Stop AAPI Hate released a statement in the wake of the incident. It read:
“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. Few details about these shootings have been released, including whether or not they were motivated by hate.
This latest attack will only exacerbate the fear and pain that the Asian American community continues to endure. There has been a documented pattern of recent attacks against our community, as we have received nearly 3,800 reports of hate incidents across the country since March 2020. Not enough has been done to protect Asian Americans from heightened levels of hate, discrimination and violence. Concrete action must be taken now. Anything else is unacceptable.
As further details of this tragedy unfold, our hearts go out to the loved ones of the victims and to the Asian American community in Atlanta.”
The suspect apprehended for the crimes, Robert Aaron Long, later confessed to the killings. Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds reported in a Wednesday press conference:
“He made indicators that he has some issues, potentially sexual addiction, and may have frequented some of these places in the past.”
Reynolds claimed that racism “did not appear to be the motive,” instead describing the victims as “targets of opportunity.” We have to wonder though, if Long had been “frequenting” Asian massage parlors to enable a sex addiction that blossomed into murder, how a particular violent impulse towards Asian women does not include racism as an underlying factor.
Authorities also claim the suspect had planned to travel to Florida to kill more people before he was arrested.
Cherokee County Sheriff’s Captain Jay Baker added the spas acted as “a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate.” Capt. Baker shared:
“He was pretty much fed up and had been at the end of his rope. And yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did.”
Understatement of the f**king year. And whittling down a supposed motive to just “a really bad day” is completely disrespectful to the families of those eight lives lost last night.
Celebs of Asian descent, many of whom have already spoken out about anti-Asian bigotry following Donald Trump’s repeated use of the phrase “China Virus” to describe a worldwide pandemic that his government particularly mishandled, once again raised their voices following the tragedy. On Twitter, Olivia Munn wrote:
“The violent attacks and murders against Asians are still happening. Please help us. We need help to be safe in our country. #StopAsianHate. Please.”
Lost alum Daniel Dae Kim also tweeted:
“The race of the person committing the crime matters less than the simple fact that if you act with hate in your heart, you are part of the problem. And to those with the power to help and yet sit idly by, your silence is complicity.”
Rising star Lana Condor also spoke out on social media, saying:
“Wake up… your Asian friends and family are deeply scared, horrified, sick to their stomachs and wildly angry. Please please please check in on us, please please please stand with us. Please. Your Asian friend needs you, even if they aren’t publicly grieving on social media. X”
George Takei, who has been open about his family’s experience as victims of US internment camps during World War II, also lent his voice to the outcry. He shared:
“Call a hate crime what it is. And GOP leaders, stop fanning violence with anti-Asian rhetoric. You should be ashamed at what you have unleashed. Three days ago, the leader of the House GOP called it the ‘China Virus’ again. Words have consequences, especially those from our leaders. Reporters: Ask politicians who trade in racism if they feel responsible or remorseful for violence committed in the wake of their words.”
It’s hard to come to terms with the levels of ignorance, hatred and racism in this country, and often hard to figure out how we as individuals can combat those forces. One solution for those of us who feel helpless at home? A virtual training course on bystander intervention designed to combat “the rise in Anti-Asian/American and xenophobic harassment.” Check it out HERE.
Our hearts go out to the victims of this unthinkable tragedy. We truly hope that a future without racist violence is possible for all Americans.
See some more celeb reactions below:
A post shared by Eddie Huang (@mreddiehuang)
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