It has to stop! Attacks on Asian-Americans. Often Women.​

-'It has to stop.' The 21-year-old man who killed eight people—six of whom were women of Asian descent—in a massage parlor shooting spree on Tuesday was arrested and charged with murder yesterday. The question of whether the violence was "racially motivated" has loomed large over the tragedy, with police saying they haven't ruled it out, and the shooter himself insisting that his actions weren't inspired by racism.

I understand why this question is being asked, but it's frustrating. Of course race played a central role in this crime—as did its intersection with gender.

Consider this data from Stop AAPI Hate, released on Tuesday hours before the shootings: a new analysis of reports of public attacks (physical, verbal, vandalism) against Asian people between March 2020 and February ofthis year found that nearly 70% of the reports came from women.

The spike in racism against people of Asian descent during the pandemic is real. From the rise of ugly terms like "the China virus" or "Kung flu," to the horrific videos of assaults on Asian seniors to the recent Pew survey that found that 31% of Asian Americans report being the subject of racist slurs or jokes in the past year, the evidence is undeniable. And for women, the impact seems to be magnified. Russell Jeung, professor of Asian American studies at San Francisco State University and founder of Stop AAPI Hate, told NBC that racist and sexist stereotypes about Asian women, including the infuriating misconception that they are "meek and subservient," may cause some people to see them as an easy target.

The shooter's claims that he has a "sexual addition" and needed to "eliminate temptation" point to another stereotype about Asian women, the fetishized and sexually-aggressive "dragon lady." As other hideous acts of violence have proven, misogyny alone can drive a man to punish women for his own sexual confusion. But this shooting shows us how adding a layer of racism to that stew can have its own deadly consequences.

So, was the shooting racially motivated? I'll leave you with the words of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms:

"Whatever the motivation was for this guy, we know that the majority of the victims were Asian. We also know that this is an issue that is happening across the country. It is unacceptable, it is hateful and it has to stop."

Kristen Bellstrom, Fortune, The Broadsheet, March 18, 2021


March 18, 2021

Voices4America Post Script. You may recall that last week in his Covid address Joe condemned "vicious" hate crimes against Asian Americans who he said were "attacked, harassed, blamed and scapegoated" for the pandemic.

This was the President’s reaction yesterday following the Atlanta murders: Biden decries 'brutality' against Asian Americans following Atlanta-area spa shootings

Remember too, as NBC reported, there were 3800 anti-Asian racist incidents, mostly against women, in the past year.

That said, while welcoming the outrage from our President (as opposed to the incitement to violence against Asian Americans by the former occupant of the White House and his supporters), I chose to post this condemnation from The Broadsheet, expressing horror at the #AtlantaMurders, to make clear how often racism and misogyny join hands. I hope you will share it as an act of solidarity against racism and misogyny.


While Americans of Chinese descent are not the only Asian-Americans affected by Trump’s calls to violence, I also thought it was an appropriate time to recall some of America’s history toward tw of the largest Asian- American groups who arrived on these shores.

Here is a Timeline from UCal Berkeley of Chinese immigration in America, and the racist laws affecting the Chinese.

Remember too the treatment of the Japanese Americans, placed in internment camps during WWII.

And lest you think only the USA is a racist country, to broaden our knowledge, here is a Brief Overview of Chinese Immigration in Canada from Debby Waldman , The Bittman Project. March 18, 2021.

Chinese immigrants were largely responsible for building the Canadian Pacific Railroad in the 19th century, but they weren't welcome to remain in the country despite their work. In an effort to keep the Chinese from coming to Canada, in 1885, the federal government imposed a $50-per-person entry tax — only on the Chinese. The "head tax" was doubled in 1900. Three years later, it ballooned to $500 per person.

The tax was repealed in 1923, when the Canadian government passed the Chinese Immigration Act, barring all Chinese immigrants except for merchants, diplomats, and international students.

Until the Act was repealed in 1947, Chinese people couldn't obtain citizenship, thus preventing them from jobs in well-paid fields, including law, pharmacy, and medicine.

In the early twentieth century, pretty much every small prairie town had a Chinese restaurant. Many still do. "We see it as this benevolent, charming thing," Phillips said, but the real reason the restaurants existed was that hospitality was one of the few available employment options.

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