The shootings have added to the pain and anxiety that Asian Americans have experienced in the last few years, activists say.
“Really, it is, you know, stacking it on top of each other,” says Manjusha Kulkarni, a co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate, an organization dedicated to tracking anti-Asian violence and harassment. “Each incident becomes another one where the community is reeling.”
For some, the initial news of the Monterey Park shooting prompted fears of another racist attack on Asian Americans similar to violence that increased during the pandemic. In the last few years, there’s been an uptick of hate crimes against Asian Americans, blaming the group for the pandemic. And as politicians have leaned into more incendiary anti-China rhetoric, experts have worried that such statements could inflame xenophobic sentiment and actions as well.
“There is still that feeling of being targeted, and being fearful, when we hear about a shooting like this,” Connie Chung Joe, the executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California, told the Associated Press.