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Surge in Hate Crime Against Asian Americans: Wanton Harassment and Shootings

Derogatory bronze plaques bearing the message “Wuhan Plague” spotted around the city

ATLANTA, March 17, 2021: There is an escalating wave of hate crime against Asian Americans around the city. Numerous people have come forward to explain how they have been racially profiled. It is also evident through the wave of racially motivated crime culminating in the shooting to death of six Asian American women.

Among those who have come out to condemn the racist trend is a student, who was told “Thanks for [the] Covid-19,” while on his way to buy snacks from a Boba Tea shop. The shocking statement was directed at this student presumably because of his Asian American ancestry.

Similarly, in Suwanee, Georgia, an Asian-American couple suffered a racial slur vandalism in February 26th at around 9PM. This happened at the Movie Tarven’s parking lot at Lawrenceville. The victims, Lammone Bounphengsy and his wife Sonethida, were walking out of a movie theather when they noticed that their car had been spray-painted with hurtful words.

Local advocates in Atlanta have expressed growing concern at the escalating harassment and verbal abuse being levelled against Asian-Americans. According to Chris Chan, who sits at the Asian American Action Fund as the advisory chair, there is violence being meted out against businesses owned by Asians.

The Tuesday night shootings were orchestrated by Robert Aaron Long. He targeted a couple of spas in Atlanta and a third spa out of town, in Acworth. The shootings left eight people dead. Four of the deceased were women.

Also Read: STOP Asian American Hate.

Commenting on the tragic incident, Georgia state senator Michelle Au said that although the news was shocking and saddening, she was not surprised. She added that although it was too early to jump to conclusions – on whether the attacks were racially motivated or not, there is a potential link that it was hate crime against Asian American people.

She told the Washington Post:

“But just stepping back for a bit, I think that there is a picture in this country, especially over the past year, of increasing discrimination and violence against our Asian American communities.”

Senator Au also said that no matter what the authorities established as the motive behind the Tuesday night spa shootings, there remains a backdrop. The shooting took place in a landscape in which Asian Americans are fearful and terrified of their lives as events unfold. In her opinion, there are escalating attacks against Asian Americans, especially in Atlanta.

The police reported that the suspect said that the shooting was not motivated by racial hatred. According to Rodney Bryant, the Atlanta Police Chief, it is not clear whether there was an ulterior motive driven by racial hatred.

Across the country, racist attacks against Asian Americans are getting so rampant that advocates have started reacting with alarm. In New York and Seattle, this has become such a potentially dangerous scenario that the police have increased patrols and other security measures in Asian American neighborhoods.


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