Atlanta Shooting and Increasing Asian Hate Crimes During Covid-19

By Seoyoung Park

Published Date: 2021 / 04 / 18


(Photo Credit: Los Angeles Times)
A series of gunshots echoed through a street of Atlanta, Georgia. On March 16, eight people were murdered at three different spas. Among the victims, six were Asian women, including four Korean women. About three hours after the crime, the suspect Robert Aaron Long, a 21-year-old white man, was caught by the county sheriffs. His cause of the murder turned out to be a sexual addiction that he had sought a treatment for before, and he was charged with eight counts of murder and one count of aggravated assult, being held without bond. However, the fact that Long was not charged with hate crime, a crime motivated by prejudice or hostility towards a certain group, is deriving massive repulsions among people, becoming a major trigger to anti-Asian hate protests that are actively ongoing in the United States.

Since the Covid-19 outbreak, Asian hate crimes have been rapidly increasing, based on the belief that coronavirus first occurred in China and that Asians are the causes of the virus’ spread. This belief has been leading to severe discriminations against Asians as well as hate crimes, ranging from verbal harassments to serious crimes and even murders. Along with the Atlanta shooting incident, the Stop AAPI Hate, a social organization which tracks incidents of discrimination against Asian Americans in the United Staes, announced that it received more than 3,800 reports of hate incidents against Asian Americans in the U.S. over the past year. Such a sharp increase of Asian hate crimes after the Covid-19 outbreak gave rise to the “Stop Asian Hate” movements that are spreading nationwide on a massive scale. In the United States, the protests took place in more than 42 states, and a number of celebrities, such as BTS, Rihanna, Cardi B, Ariana Grande, and more, also spoke out against Asian hates by participating in this campaign.

Increased racial discriminations against Asians are resulting in terrible consequences just as shown through the Atlanta shooting incident. Asian communities and residents in the United States are dreadfully being threatened and terrified by such hate crimes. People should be aware of this ongoing discrimination and “Stop Asian Hate” movements to prevent further Asian discriminations and hate crimes.

Works Cited

Cabral, Sam. “Covid ‘Hate Crimes’ Against Asian Americans on Rise.” BBC news. 2 April 2021, Accessed 10 March 2021.

Cho, Diane J.. “‘Do Better’: Celebs Speak Out Against Racist Attacks Toward Asians During Coronavirus Pandemic.” 30 March 2021, Accessed 10 March 2021.

Lin, Shannon, and Howard Blume. “Rallies Against Anti-Asian Attacks and Racism across California.” Los Angeles Times. 20 March 2021, Accessed 6 April 2021.

Taylor, Derrick B., and Christine Hauser. “What to Know About the Atlanta Spa Shootings.” The New York Times. 17 March 2021, Accessed 6 March 2021.

Yam, Kimmy. “There Were 3,800 anti-Asian Racist Incidents, Mostly Against Women, in Past Year.” NBC news. 17 March 2021, Accessed 10 March 2021.

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