• R.M. Powell-Dennis

Anti-Asian Hate is Rising— A Shooting in Atlanta, Georgia

Elect Black Women PAC grieves the loss of 8 lives from the shootings that happened on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, in Atlanta, Georgia. A shooting targeting the Asian community, left 6 Asian women dead after the shooter visited 3 different spas.

The rise of hate crimes against Asian Americans due to former President Trump’s divisive rhetoric promoted xenophobia and discrimination. Shortly after the first confirmed case of Covid-19 happened in America, he labeled it the “China virus.” Between March 16 and March 20, 2020, former President Trump used the phrase “China virus” more than 20 times.

Hate crimes overall rose 20 percent after former President Trump took office in January 2017. And in March 2020, former President Trump wasted no time blaming China for the global pandemic while simultaneously taking no responsibility for his lack of response to the pandemic while serving as President of the United States.

Former Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and other Republican politicians called the virus the “Wuhan virus,” adding to the divisive rhetoric. Human Rights Watch began documenting the rise of Asian hate crimes from around the globe as the anti-Asian rhetoric increased.

Prior to the shooting on March 16th, there have been over 2,800 anti-Asian hate crimes in the United States.

EBWPac encourages anyone who experiences or witnesses an anti-Asian hate incident to report it. The reporting tool is a joint effort between the Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council, the Chinese for Affirmative Action, and the Asian American Studies Department of San Francisco State University.

Investigators in Atlanta have not yet ruled the shooting a hate crime nor have they stated whether the shooting was racially motivated. They do know that when the shooter was apprehended that he was headed to Florida with the intent to commit additional acts of violence.

Elect Black Women PAC will not participate in elevating the shooter’s profile by sharing his name other than to say it was another shooting by a white male.

The violence must end. Now. The Black community is intimately familiar with racially motivated attacks and murders, some that captivated the nation’s attention and some that did not. The shooting in Atlanta happened as jury selection for the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, the officer who murdered George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

Just as you marched with the Black community during the summer of 2020 under the banner of Black Lives Matter, we stand with our Asian communities. Racism runs deep and we must stand together to eradicate it. We see you and you are not alone.

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