The shootings this week in Atlanta are yet another opportunity for an examination of our collective national conscience regarding the intersection of violence, racial bigotry, and misogyny. There has been a pattern of anti-Asian violence across this country in recent months, particularly against women and the elderly, which may be in part attributable to the scapegoating of Asians during the pandemic. Whether or not this is legally determined to be a hate crime, it is clear that race was an element of the attack and we must speak out against violence targeted towards any group of people.
Also disturbing is the fact that the shooter had been able to purchase his gun earlier that day, enabling him to act quickly on his hate. Such quick access to instruments of mass violence allowed one man to rob eight people of their lives, and countless other people of daughters, sisters, friends.
We grieve with the victims’ families and loved ones, and we stand with Asian-Americans in calling for an end to hate speech, stereotypes, discrimination, and violence.