Georgia state Senator Michelle Au simply asked for recognition, protection, and support. On March 15, Dr. Au, who is the first Asian American woman to serve as a state senator in Georgia, addressed her fellow senators about the rise in anti-Asian violence and attacks on the AAPI community. Her comments came just one day before a man killed eight people, six of them Asian women, in a horrific series of shootings in Atlanta massage parlors. Dr. Au’s words were a warning and a chilling reality of the hate AAPI individuals have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
After sharing reported stories and stats, Dr. Au explained that in the last year, the Stop AAPI Hate organization “has received more than 3,000 firsthand accounts of anti-Asian American harassment or attacks, compared to roughly 100 incidents annually in previous years.” “Georgia should not consider itself immune from this epidemic,” Dr. Au said. “And to be clear, the epidemic I’m referring to is not COVID-19, but racism towards Asian Americans. . . . The thing is, racism against AAPI Americans is not new. Otherization or exoticization of AAPI Americans is not new. Violence against AAPI Americans is not new.”
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