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‘Stop Asian Hate’ Goes Viral As People Speak Out After Atlanta Shootings

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Calls to “Stop Asian hate” have gone viral on Twitter as people speak out after several Asian women were killed during mass shootings in Atlanta.

Eight people died in the violence at three massage parlors in and near the city on Tuesday.

Police have arrested 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long in connection with the shootings.

The motive for the attacks is not yet known, but they reportedly took place in businesses where most of the employees are Asian. The shootings also come amid a spike in anti-Asian hate crimes across the U.S.

Police officers are seen outside an Atlanta massage parlor where three people were shot and killed. Mass shootings in and around the city on Tuesday have led to calls for an end to Asian hate.
Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images

Researchers at the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University found a 149 percent increase in such crimes compared to 2019, VOA reported.

A report released on Tuesday by Stop AAPI Hate revealed that the organisation had been notified of 3,795 incidents from March 19, 2020, to February 28, although this is likely just a fraction of the actual number of cases. They include verbal and online harassment as well as physical assaults.

Swathes of Twitter users, including celebrities and politicians, are now calling for the discrimination to end as the hashtag #stopasianhate goes viral.

Actor Daniel Dae Kim wrote: “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. #StopAsianHate”

Actress Tiya Sircar tweeted: “#StopAsianHate That’s it. That’s the tweet,” while Jackée Harry wrote: “As today’s tragedy further proves, racist rhetoric is far too dangerous to ignore. #StopAsianHate.”

Pakistani activist Usama Khilji posted: “Terrible act of racist terrorism in Atlanta against Asian women. Guns need to be outlawed in the U.S. and more work needs to be done to build tolerance & respect for diversity. #StopAsianHate”

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. #StopAsianHate https://t.co/0QaLoXhtP0

— Daniel Dae Kim (@danieldaekim) March 17, 2021

As today’s tragedy further proves, racist rhetoric is far too dangerous to ignore. #StopAsianHate

— Jackée Harry (@JackeeHarry) March 17, 2021

The targeting of our Asian brothers and sisters is sickening, but not surprising given the normalizing of anti-Asian hate speech in the past year. We have to #StopAsianHate, enough is enough!

— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) March 17, 2021

Colorado Congresswoman/Trump acolyte/gun extremist encouraging hatred against Asian Americans across the country. #StopAsianHate https://t.co/fnEMbcrT7q

— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) March 17, 2021

The former President used racist phrases like Kung Flu that inflamed discrimination against the Asian American community. Officials that continue to use ethnic identifiers in describing the virus are part of the problem. Please instead be a part of the solution. #StopAsianHate https://t.co/xxg3A12aAH

— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) March 17, 2021

Actress Mindy Kaling wrote: “The targeting of our Asian brothers and sisters is sickening, but not surprising given the normalizing of anti-Asian hate speech in the past year. We have to #StopAsianHate, enough is enough!”

Richard Pan, a state senator in California, posted: “Tonight we mourn the mass murder of 8 women at Asian spas in Atlanta. Tomorrow we will again demand action to #StopAsianHate.” He added hashtags including the phrase #HateIsAVirus.

Gun control activist Shannon Watts condemned a Tuesday tweet by Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert that read: “Though the media doesn’t want to admit it, we’re coming towards the end of the China Virus being a dominant force in our lives. Be happy!”

Watts tweeted: “Colorado Congresswoman/Trump acolyte/gun extremist encouraging hatred against Asian Americans across the country. #StopAsianHate.”

Political adviser Ann O’Leary wrote: “This violence is horrific. And, it is upsetting that when I scroll on Twitter, it is mostly Asian American leaders and journalists speaking out. We must all collectively lead and work to stop this hate directed against our Asian American sisters & brothers. #StopAsianHate.”

Rep. Ted Lieu of California said: “The former President used racist phrases like Kung Flu that inflamed discrimination against the Asian American community. Officials that continue to use ethnic identifiers in describing the virus are part of the problem. Please instead be a part of the solution. #StopAsianHate.”

Lieu has joined many other activists and lawmakers in blaming the increase in violence on former President Donald Trump’s anti-Chinese rhetoric during the pandemic.

Reacting to the rise in hate crimes last September, Rep. Grace Meng of New York said: “Enough of the demeaning usages of ‘Chinese virus,’ ‘Wuhan virus,’ and ‘Kung-flu,’ especially from our nation’s leaders, such as President Trump, GOP leader [Kevin] McCarthy and others.

“Enough of the scapegoating. Enough of using the Asian American community to stoke people’s fears about COVID-19.”

The Georgia attacks began at about 5 p.m. local time when four people were killed and another was wounded in a shooting at Young’s Asian Massage in Cherokee County—about 40 miles north of Atlanta, according to Reuters.

Captain Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department reportedly said two women of Asian descent were among the dead, along with a white woman and a white man. He added that the injured person was a Hispanic man.

Later in the evening, officers responded to a robbery at the Gold Spa beauty salon in Atlanta just before 6 p.m. They found three women shot dead, Police Chief Rodney Bryant said, according to Reuters.

The officers were then called to another spa across the street where a fourth woman was found dead with a gunshot wound, Bryant said. All four victims were reportedly of Asian descent.

Baker told Reuters they were “very confident” the same suspect was the gunman in all three shootings, but investigators were working “to confirm with certainty” that the incidents were related.

Long, 21, of Woodstock in Cherokee County, was arrested at 8:30 p.m. in Crisp County, about 150 miles south of Atlanta. CNN reported that police captured him after a high-speed car chase.

Although the motive has yet to be determined, New York Police Department’s Counterterrorism Bureau said it would be deploying forces to the city’s Asian communities.

“While there is no known nexus to #NYC we will be deploying assets to our great Asian communities across the city out of an abundance of caution,” the bureau wrote on Twitter.

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