On Tuesday evening at least eight people were killed and one wounded in a series of mass shootings that took place at three spas in Atlanta, Ga. While the shootings, which occurred within hours of one another, have not as of the time of this statement been affirmatively linked, it appears likely that there is a correlation between these acts of violence.
With one suspect having been apprehended, the motives behind the shootings remain unclear. What is clear is that authorities have reported that many of the victims appear to be women of Asian descent and that the businesses targeted appear to be Asian owned and operated.
Whether these murders were intended to target the victims because of their work, gender, or their Asian ethnicity, they come at a time when our community is already feeling exposed and vulnerable. The impacts of the discrimination and outright racism that have been brought to the forefront by the COVID-19 pandemic have continued to wear us down, and while the motives behind this most recent attack still remain unknown, the implications are harrowing.
We call upon all Americans to do what they can to stop these acts of violence; this must end now. Hate crimes and incidents of bias need to be deplored in all walks of life, through discussions in our families, schools, places of employment, houses of worship, and beyond. We cannot continue to tear one another down for our race, gender, profession, etc. When will enough be enough?
The JACL mourns the loss of lives and condemns these acts of violence. Regardless of whether these actions were racially motivated, we recognize that these events have shaken the Asian American community. We must continue to stand together in solidarity and support one another as we navigate these difficult times. It is our hope that some light is shed on these events and that justice is sought for those who were harmed.