Tuesday’s horrific spree killing at three different spas in the Atlanta area, with eight victims, including six women of Asian descent, comes during a time when hate crimes against Asians have risen sharply.

Egged on by the former president, who insisted on calling COVID-19 the “China Virus” and, even more despicably, “Kung Flu,” (who wants to tell him about the origins of the 1918 flu?), racists have targeted Asian Americans for violent acts in the last year. It’s getting worse.

All too often, officials ignore the racist elements of such crimes, and this happened yesterday. During the initial press conference about the shooting, Captain Jay Baker, speaking on behalf of the Cherokee Sheriff’s department, described the alleged killer, Robert Aaron Long, as having had “a really bad day.”  (Baker had posted images of a racist tee shirt in 2020 and has since been removed from his spokesperson role in the case.) The killer drove to three different Atlanta area spas, all of which are primarily staffed by Asians, to murder women and customers.

We have a responsibility to stand in opposition to this rise in racism, which has deep roots in American history.

Donate and Educate Ourselves

To help the families of the victims, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Atlanta, has a fund. I have donated, and I encourage you to do the same if you haven’t already.

To help educate ourselves about the uptick in violence against Asian American Pacific Islander communities in the last year, Stop AAPI Hate is a good place to start.