Asian Americans were already worn down by a year of pandemic-fueled racist attacks when a white gunman was charged with killing eight people,most of them Asian women,at three Atlanta-area Massage Parlors.

Shelby stand in support of the Asian and Hispanic community outside Young’s Asian Massage
anti-Asian violence outside the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles

Asian Americans grieve,organize in wake of Atlanta Attacks.

Asian Americans were already worn down by a year of pandemic-fueled racist attacks when a white gunman was charged with killing eight people,most of them Asian women,at three Atlanta-area Massage Parlors.

(1 of 6) After dropping off flowers Jesus Estrella, left, and Shelby stand in support of the Asian and Hispanic community outside Young’s Asian Massage Wednesday, March 17, 2021, in Acworth, Ga. Asian Americans, already worn down by a year of racist attacks fueled by the pandemic, are reeling but trying to find a path forward in the wake of the horrific shootings at three Atlanta-area massage businesses that left eight people dead, most of them Asian women. (Curtis Compton /Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

(2 of 6) Capt. Tarik Sheppard, left, Commander of the New York Police Department Community Affairs Rapid Response Unit speaks to a resident while on a community outreach patrol in the Chinatown neighborhood of New York. Asian Americans, already worn down by a year of racist attacks fueled by the pandemic, are reeling but trying to find a path forward in the wake of the horrific shootings at three Atlanta-area massage businesses that left eight people dead, most of them Asian women.

(3 of 6) Roula AbiSamra, center, and Chelsey, right, prepare to lay flower bouquets at a makeshift memorial outside of the Gold Spa in Atlanta. Asian Americans were already worn down by a year of pandemic-fueled racist attacks when a white gunman was charged with attacking three Atlanta-area massage parlors and killing eight people, most of them Asian women. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, File)

(4 of 6) Chinese-Japanese American student Kara Chu, 18, holds a pair of heart balloons decorated by herself for the rally “Love Our Communities: Build Collective Power” to raise awareness of anti-Asian violence outside the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. Asian Americans, already worn down by a year of racist attacks fueled by the pandemic, are reeling but trying to find a path forward in the wake of the horrific shootings at three Atlanta-area massage businesses that left eight people dead, most of them Asian women.

(5 of 6) Detective Suk H Too, second from right, with the New York Police Department Community Affairs Rapid Response Unit hands out fliers with information on how to report hate crimes to residents while on a community outreach patrol in the Chinatown neighborhood of New York. Asian Americans, already worn down by a year of racist attacks fueled by the pandemic, are reeling but trying to find a path forward in the wake of the horrific shootings at three Atlanta-area massage businesses that left eight people dead, most of them Asian women.

(6 of 6) A man participates in the rally “Love Our Communities: Build Collective Power” to raise awareness of anti-Asian violence outside the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. Asian Americans were already worn down by a year of pandemic-fueled racist attacks when a white gunman was charged with attacking three Atlanta-area massage parlors and killing eight people, most of them Asian women.

March 18, 2021

Hundreds of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders turned to social media to air their anger, sadness, fear and hopelessness. The hashtag #StopAsianHate was a top trending topic on Twitter hours after the shootings that happened Tuesday evening.

“I think the reason why people are feeling so hopeless is because Asian Americans have been ringing the bell on this issue for so long. … We’ve been raising the red flag,” said Aisha Yaqoob Mahmood, executive director of the Atlanta-based Asian American Advocacy Fund, which does political and advocacy work across Georgia.

Many were also outraged that the suspect, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, was not immediately charged with hate crimes. Authorities said Long told police the attack was not racially motivated, and he claimed that he targeted the spas because of a “sex addiction.” Six of the seven slain women were identified as Asian.

Law enforcement needs “some training understanding what a hate crime is,” said Margaret Huang, president and CEO of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups. “This man identified targets owned by Asians.”

The gunman “was very clearly going after a targeted group of people,” Huang said. Being Asian American herself, Huang said the shootings felt personal. She is worried that not classifying the attack as a hate crime will “absolutely discourage others from coming forward and seeking help.”

She also cringed at the comments of a sheriff’s captain who said of the gunman, “It was a really bad day for him.” The remark “appeared to be trying to explain and justify” the suspect’s actions. “Hopefully it was a misstatement,” Huang said.

Since then, it has come out that a Facebook account tied to Cherokee County sheriff’s Capt. Jay Baker promoted a T-shirt with racist language about China and the coronavirus last year. The account was deleted Wednesday night. Asian American activists say it undermines public trust in the investigation. Baker did not respond to voicemails and an email requesting comment on the Facebook post. The sheriff’s office also did not respond to a message seeking comment.

Mahmood said Asian American business owners in the Atlanta area were already fearful because of incidents like graffiti and break-ins. The shootings will raise that worry to new heights. “A lot of Asian American business owners in the beauty parlor industry and food service — these are often the most visible front-line faces in the community,” Mahmood said.

Her organization is partnering with other groups such as the Atlanta chapter of Asian Americans Advancing Justice to offer resources in multiple languages, including mental health assistance, self-defense training and bystander training.

Meanwhile, from Phoenix to Philadelphia, Asian American organizations nationwide organized events aimed at showing unity. Asian Americans United, the Asian Pacific Islander Political Alliance and several other partner groups held a vigil Wednesday afternoon in Philadelphia’s Chinatown neighborhood.

“After the month and year we had, we knew our folks needed the time to come together safely just to grieve and heal and mourn and speak to what’s happening,” said Mohan Seshadri, Asian Pacific Islander Political Alliance co-executive director.

As much despair as Asian Americans feel, Seshadri said, the shootings also mark a flashpoint. “Our folks are pissed off and ready to fight,” Seshadri said. “The way we get through this is together by organizing our people and feeling solidarity.”

Arizona Asian Chamber of Commerce CEO Vicente Reid is planning a vigil next week in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa, which has a high concentration of Asian American-owned shops and restaurants. He thinks the slayings have galvanized the local community to go beyond vigils.

“I think there is this whole outlet of this younger generation who’s passionate and has the energy. They just need someone to step up and lead them,” Reid said. For the past several weeks, Asian Americans have questioned how to deal with a recent wave of assaults — many on the elderly — that have coincided with the pandemic. The virus was first identified in China, and former President Donald Trump and others have used racial terms to describe it.

Numerous Asian American organizations say Trump’s rhetoric has emboldened people to express anti-Asian or anti-immigrant views. Nearly 3,800 incidents have been reported to Stop AAPI Hate, a California-based reporting center for Asian American Pacific Islanders, and its partner groups, since March 2020. Nationally, women reported hate crimes 2.3 times more than men.

Following the release Wednesday of a report showing a surge in white supremacist propaganda in 2020, the Anti-Defamation League told The Associated Press that a significant amount of the propaganda included anti-immigrant rhetoric.

The anti-hate group said 10% of propaganda descriptions in its inventory contained negative references to immigration, multiculturalism or diversity. The 522 physical flyers, stickers or banners included the use of words such as “invasion, deport, disease, illegal, infection and virus,” the ADL said.

There were also seven propaganda incidents with direct anti-China references to COVID-19. Meanwhile, Asian Americans are thankfully getting support from many non-Asian allies, Mahmood said. “The path forward for us is really just standing together and making sure we don’t let these types of tragedies divide our communities.”

Associated Press Writer Aaron Morrison in New York City contributed to this report.

Tang reported from Phoenix and is a member of The Associated Press’ Race and Ethnicity team. Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ttangAP.

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The US President Donald Trump politically associating with the US hatred Groups and Republican white Extremist Right Groups in using political fallacies,without real relevance to the fact that Chinese have had trade surplus with the US for over 20yrs:with the US Riches mostly Republicans who have shipped US jobs to Asia for cheap labor with its poor environmental regulations for corporate greed, arguments based on non feasible economic jobs creation options, racial politics based on hatred & racial divide, using White House insiders to propagate false Swiss code account & framing up case against President Obama and general racial heat up/divide as political tool to woo gullible US people as to win the next US presidential election, will definitely backfire, counterproductive and will not work, as most moderate & reasonable Americans cannot pay such ideas and politics.

They will challenge any such foul attempt and reinstall US greatness through oneness and ideas that prepared the US to be able to face Nostradamus prediction that Persia/modern Iran will acquire nuclear arms with help of Russia and shall use it against Rome, Jew/Israel, southern France and Moscow.

The Republican White Extremist Rights branding President Obama & Democrats,as socialists,is unfortunate and uncalled for,as the Obamacare comprehensive Health scheme, was put in place as to provide US with healthy people, which people the US Military with right stock of quality people who will be able to mine various US Military/Security challenges and to protect US investment/interest globally.The taxing US Riches who owes large businesses/investments as to generate resources For the State, which will enable the Military to have sufficient funds for its global operations and care for US citizens at home.

A US comprehensive immigration Policy is very important as the leader of Free World and allows immigrants to know their right of stay and what is obtainable by Law, as well as enable the US with its Immigrants live and co-exist harmoniously with Its neighbors/Foreigners. Further details on US Immigration and US Health Care are contained on my website as stated:

It is advisable that apart from the New EU Economic policies formulation and implementation, there should be some serious efforts of restructuring various European little-industrialized Countries like, Greece, Italy, Spain Ireland and Portugal whose little industries with its low technological products, were overtaken by the China-led Asia cheap industrialized goods under its poor non-regulated environment.

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Mazi Patrick O.,
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Thinker, Writer, Political Strategist, Historian & Psychoanalyst.A

Mazi Patrick,Thinker,Writer,Historian & Psychoanalyst. email:akwaba2000@gmail.com,Maziliteralwork,an literal Organization on writing and international Research