Eight people were shot and killed Tuesday night at Atlanta-area massage parlors, six of whom were of Asian descent. While the suspected gunman has denied targeting the victims because of their race, officials say it’s too early in the investigation to be sure the shootings were not racially motivated.
Christine Bacareza Balance, director of the Asian American Studies Program and professor of performing & media arts at Cornell University, says such violent acts are a part of the white supremacist systemic violence against Black, indigenous, and all other communities of color.
“While I am stunned by the news of last night’s shooting, I am sadly not surprised. The recent rise in anti-Asian hate crimes is part of a longer history of anti-Asian violence, particularly against Asian/Asian American women, exacted in America and through U.S. wars waged on Asian/Pacific soil. These violent acts are a part of, not apart from, the white supremacist systemic violence against Black, indigenous, and all other communities of color.
“In this moment of national reckoning, we must turn to and support the community-based organizations who have been doing the work, on the ground — Red Canary Song, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Atlanta, National APA Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), to name a few. In turn, it is my real hope that the mainstream media look beyond celebrity and instead amplify the voices of Asian American historians, organizers, and media makers — Erika Lee, Mae Ngai, Ai-Jen Poo, and Renee Tajima Pena, to name a few. Now, more than ever, we must listen to Asian American women. America: do not perpetuate further violence by silencing or turning away from our anger, grief, and rage anymore.”
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