Asian-American Stars Are Demanding Action Following The Deadly Atlanta Spa Shootings Allegedly Perpetrated By A Rampaging White Gunman

A series of deadly shootings at three Atlanta-area spas (which left eight people dead, including six Asian women) has left authorities investigating whether the (white) suspect, Robert Aaron Long (21), committed a targeted hate crime. Those fears are naturally rising to the forefront during what the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is recognizing as a wave of renewed attacks against Asian Americans amid the continuing U.S. outbreak of COVID-19. The New York Times adds that at least 3,800 Asian Americans have been targeted in hate-inspired incidents over the past year — after ex-President Trump recklessly referred to the disease as the “China VIrus,” a racial slur that he repeated on Fox News on Tuesday night, the same night these spa shootings took place.

NBC News reports that the FBI joined the investigation to assist local authorities, and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has condemned the violence while stating, “[A] crime against any community is a crime against us all.” The New York Times is reporting word from authorities about the investigation into the motive, and there will be backlash, given that Capt. Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said of Long, “He does claim that it was not racially motivated… He apparently has an issue, what he considers a sex addiction.”

However, South Korea’s Foreign Ministry spoke with the AJC and confirmed word from police that four of the late victims were of Korean descent. On social media, Asian-American stars are calling for action with many of the community’s prominent voices, including Santa Cruz Warriors point guard Jeremy Lin, who recently revealed that another player had flat-out referred to him as “‘coronavirus’ on the court.” Lin is calling for change, and he added, “To my Asian American family, please take time to grieve but know youre loved, seen and IMPORTANT.”

Lin was joined by Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star, Simu Liu, who wrote, “Still much we don’t know, but it’s clear to me that the shooter specifically targeted Asian women.”

Padma Lakshmi is standing firm as well: “What happened last night was a hate crime and we should all be treating it as such.”

These voices were joined by Daniel Dae Kim, Mindy Kaling (who specifically calls out “the normalizing of anti-Asian hate speech in the past year”), George Takei, and Olivia Munn, and Lana Condor.

(Via NBC News, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, New York Times & BBC)