Democrats spoke fervently on Wednesday regarding Tuesday's fatal shootings in Atlanta. They stated it is clear that the people who were shot are among the most vulnerable in the United States: Asian women. According to authorities, the man suspected of gunning eight people in three separate shootings at Atlanta spas on Tuesday has allegedly admitted to the killings and gave his motive as "addiction to sex."
Georgia Spa Killings of Asian Descent
The incident has sent alarm through the Asian American community. The community has increasingly been targeted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before the suspect's claim of "addiction to sex," one day after the shooting, investigators were attempting to unravel what could have compelled Robert Aaron Long, 21, to commit the worst mass killing in the US in nearly two years. Tuesday's attack was apparently not racially motivated, reported KTLA 5.
The suspect remarked he would like to punish individuals he saw as feeding his addiction. According to Cherokee County sheriff Frank Reynolds, "He apparently has an issue, what he considers a sex addiction, and sees these locations as something that he wanted to eliminate," reported Intelligencer.
Authorities said it is not clear if race was a motivating factor. According to President Joe Biden, "[T]he investigation is ongoing and the question of motivation is still to be determined. But whatever the motivation here, I know Asian-America are very -- they are very concerned, because as you know I have been speaking about the brutality against Asian Americans for the last couple of months and it is very, very troublesome," reported ABC News.
The Stop AAPI Hate advocacy group described the murders as an atrovious tragedy for victims' families but also for the AAPI community, which has been reeling from large levels of racial discrimination. If it turns out that the trigger for this particular mass shooting arose from a tortured libido and mind, Asian Americans still reportedly are right to be concerned of possible connections between the shootings and the surge of violence targeting them.
According to Austin elected officials and community leaders on Wednesday, they are disgusted with the murder of eight people in Georgia -- most of whom were of Asian descent -- and are calling on others to denounce brutality and hate crimes against Asian American citizens. As saddening as the news of the killings was for Amy Mok, executive director of the Asian American Cultural Center, she stated the denial of the crime as racially motivated is appalling.
Democrats have underscored on the race of the victims amid a recent upsurge in anti-Asian attacks. Stop AAPI Hate stated it has received almsot 3,800 reports of hate incidents throughout the US since March 2020, suggesting a remarkable increase from previous years.
According to Rep. Judy Chu, a Californian Democrat, former President Donald Trump ignited the flames of xenophobia against AAPIs with his rhetoric. Chu cited the former president's use of racist language including "Kung-flu" and "China virus" when he spoke about the novel coronavirus over the course of 2020 as a catalyst for the uptick in violent hate crimes.