Delaina Ashley Yaun
Paul Andre Michels
Soon C. Park
Hyun J. Grant
Yong A. Yue
These are the names of the eight human beings whose lives were brutally cut short in this week’s massacre in Georgia. Seven of those killed were women. Six were of Asian descent. One was a white man. Another man, Elcias Hernandez-Ortiz, remains hospitalized in critical condition. All were shot in a coordinated series of attacks on three different spas. The suspect, a 21-year-old white male, is in custody.
We mourn with everyone impacted by this violence.
We are heartbroken.
While the investigation is in the early stages, the suspect has denied race was a motivation in his murderous rampage, and instead pointed to sex addiction as his motivation for the attack. Regardless, it is clear that misogyny and racism are two faces of the same toxic sense of entitlement that white supremacy cultivates and enables.
Violent crime against people of Asian descent has been on the rise throughout the pandemic, spurred in large part by the scapegoating of Asian communities by the previous administration. Discrimination against Asian people, however, is a part of our long history of racism and white supremacy, which goes back to the very beginning of this nation.
Asian women are disproportionately targeted in hate crimes. Recent data from Stop APPI Hate shows that 68% of hate crime reports are made by Asian women. The Georgia shooting, directed at women who work low wage jobs, underscores the vulnerability of marginalized people in our society—whether due to race, gender, socioeconomics, age, immigration status or any other factor.
This is a deeply sorrowful time in our country. We take this moment to mourn, and then we rise once again to act. It is time for the hard work of reflection, learning, accountability, and reaching out. It is a time to center and support Asian communities, and a time for action that demands meaningful, and lasting change.
We are committed to informing ourselves about these issues, and to treating everyone with respect and dignity.
We are committed to the work of dismantling white supremacy, and doing our part to make sure that racism does not continue to tear down families.
We hold the loved ones of the dead and injured in our hearts, and grieve with them.
In sorrow and solidarity,
The KIAC team