Today we remember the eight victims of the Atlanta spa shootings who were killed two years ago- six of them were Asian women. They were friends and neighbors, mothers and wives, and sisters and aunties. Two years later, our AAPI communities are still living in fear. Anti-Asian rhetoric pervades our country and communities.
Between March 19, 2020 and March 31, 2022, AAPI women were disproportionately targeted. In fact, 60% of the incidents reported were by women according to Stop AAPI Hate’s two-year report. These violent acts do not happen in isolation- it is a result of systemic racism, White supremacy, and gender-based violence. Sadly the Atlanta shooting was an example of this.
Robert Peterson, the son of Yong Ae Yue, said of his mother: “She would be happy knowing that I’m grieving with a larger community of people, that are not only weeping with me but are standing in solidarity as we fight back against bigotry and hatred.”
This month marks three years since we co-founded Stop AAPI Hate with Chinese for Affirmative Action and the San Francisco State University Asian American Studies Department, and we continue to see incidents of hate against Asians in our country. Until we can all feel safe in our homes, communities and in everyday life, we will fight for stronger protections and additional resources for our communities, including hate crimes reporting, mental health support and continued vigilance.
We all deserve to live fully and freely and without fear in the country we call home, just as the victims of the Atlanta spa shootings deserved.