RECENTLY the AAPI community has been subjected to unacceptable hate and attacks.
In the wake of the the Georgia spa shootings on Tuesday March 16, the AAPI community has seen a significant rise in hate-incidents since the beginning of the pandemic.
What is the AAPI community?
AAPI stands for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. It is a group of people who have faced significant discrimination and racism throughout American History.
AAPI discrimination was especially prevalent during the Pacific War, when AAPIwere held in internment camps.
During his presidency,Donald Trump was condemned by Pro-AAPI groups that accuse him of being xenophobic.
Trump regularly referred to Covid-19 as the "China Virus" or "Kung Flu."
The reporting center Stop AAPI Hate was founded on March 19, 2020 in response to the "alarming escalation in xeonphobia and bigotry resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic."
The group is made up of members from the Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council (A3PCON), Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA), and the Asian American Studies Department of San Francisco State University.
"Our approach recognizes that in order to effectively address anti-Asian racism we must work to end all forms of structural racism leveled at Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color," Stop AAPI Hate's website says.
What happened in Atlanta, Georgia?
At approximately 5pm on March 16, the first shooting started at Young's Asian Massage northwest of Atlanta. Four people were killed in the shooting.
At 5:47pm Atlanta police responded to a robbery at Gold Spa where they found the bodies of three women gunned down.
In total, eight people were killed, six of which were women of Asian descent.
In the immediate aftermath, the shooting were thought to be racially motivated. After the suspected killer's capture, Robert Long, 21, it was reported by the police that the killing were not racially based, but rather motivated by a sex addiction.
The tragedy in Georgia sparked a national dialogue about discrimination and hate against AAPI.
In the wake of the shooting major outlets such as the New york Times, Fox News and CBS devoted hours of coverage to the incident, shining light onthe increase of incidents following the pandemic.
COVID-19's first outbreak happened in Wuhan, China. This led to many people ignorantly blaming AAPI.
Even the president of The United States referred to the virus as "The China Virus".
Groups such as Stop AAPI Hate and AAPI Progressive Action can be reached out to for further resources and information, as well as take donations.
What are people on social media saying?
The heartless attack caused folks on social media to stand in solidarity for the Asian community.
Andy Kim, the congressman of New Jersey's 3rd congressional district, tweeted, "There was a mass shooting in America last night. Sadly that is not uncommon. Many of the victims were AAPI.
"Tragedy sits at the intersection of multiple broken parts of out society. To honor victims and save lives, we must make progress across all. #StopAsianHate."
The Georgia Working Families Party tweeted, "Our hearts are with the victims of the shootings in Georgia, their loved ones and the AAPI community.
"We need to reckon with and do all we can to end violent racism targeting Asian Americans, violence against women, and the white supremacy & misogyny that fuels it. #StopAsianHate."
Another supporter tweeted, "Good morning to everyone who is sick and tired of hatred and violence directed at people of color, like our Asian sisters and brothers who were murdered in Atlanta. #StopAsianHate."
NBA superstar LeBron James wrote, "My condolences goes out to the families of all the victims and the entire Asian community tonight on what transpired in Atlanta at the Aromatherapy Spa.
"Coward a** young man!! Just senseless and tragic!!," he added.
Rihanna added her voice to those who condemned hate directed towards Asians.
She tweeted “what happened yesterday in Atlanta was brutal, tragic & is certainly not an isolated incident by any means.
“AAPI hate has been rampantly perpetuated & it’s disgusting! I’m heartbroken for the Asian community & my heart is with the loved ones of those we lost. The hate must stop.”
Hillary Clinton tweeted: ’m sending prayers today to the families of the people killed and those injured in Atlanta’s horrific attacks.
"The surge in violence against Asian Americans over the last year is a growing crisis. We need action from our leaders and within our communities to stop the hate.
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