In recent news, multiple people are dead from spa shootings located in metro Atlanta.
In Texas, a restaurant had been painted with “Kung flu,” a vandalism with a racist motive. In California, a travel agency employee was nearly blinded. An 84-year-old-man from Thailand had been shoved to the ground and died when going on his morning walk.
There have been many cases of Asian Americans in the United States being harassed. The rise in crimes coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic; These crimes are a “disgusting pattern of hate,” leading to the spa shootings headlining several news platforms.
According to Cynthia Choi, one of the co-founders of Stop AAPI Hate, “We don’t know if this incident is racially motivated, but you have to understand the deep-seated fear that our community is experiencing.”
She adds, “At this time, if there’s no proof, we can’t rule it out either because of the fact that COVID  was racialized, the fact that a majority of the victims were Asian women.”
Eight people were tragically murdered in Atlanta, six of Asian descent, pushing a community further over the edge.
Even with the deaths, law enforcement has not been able to solidify a motive from the shooter.“Regardless of whether it was motivated by race, it was an attack against Asian American women… of course we want to do everything that we can to protect everyone,” State Representative of Georgia, Sam Park, expresses.
There is tension in the AAPI community, these individuals are displaced and in mourning, being exposed to the escalation of violence that has been normalized these past few months.
Hanna Kim, a teacher from Michigan, comments “I feel like that just took it to a whole other extreme.”
Being a part of the Asian American community, Kim, a 24-year-old Korean American, regards how she feels like she has a target on her back. Last year, a parent wanted to remove one of her students from Kim’s class because she was Asian.
Kim ponders, “Are people going to say things to me? Are people going to avoid me because they think that for some reason I’m going to be one that’s spreading the virus?”
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have spoken about the increasing racism on Asian American individuals. Kamala Harris herself has provided her own experience, talking about how the shootings “frightened” all people, especially because she is also a part of the community.
During a bilateral meeting with Irish officials, Harris comments, “(K)nowing the increasing level of hate crimes against our Asian American brothers and sisters, we also want to speak out in solidarity with them and acknowledge that none of us should ever be silent in the face of any form of hate.”
President Joe Biden addresses the nation during the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 shut down, condemning the hate and discrimination the community has faced so far.