#StopAsianHate: A global issue that needs to be addressed in wake of the Atlanta terrorist attacks

Cherokee County (Atlanta) Sheriff’s Office spokesman states that the 21-year-old who shot and killed eight people in a racist attack on the Asian community was having a “bad day.”

On Tuesday (AEST), a 21-year-old man entered three Asian massage parlours in the city of Atlanta and opened fire, killing eight people – six of whom were of Asian descent.

For the past year, the Asian community has seen an extreme rise in racist attacks and xenophobia directed towards them, and this latest horrifying attack has not only shaken the community even further but ignited a huge call for the hate to end.

Jay Baker Atlanta
Photo: Nicole Craine

The 21-year-old has been charged with eight counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault. This, however, didn’t stop the City of Atlanta Sheriff’s spokesperson Jay Baker from jumping to his defence when asked about the shooter’s actions.

“He was pretty much fed up and had been kind of at the end of his rope,” Baker said. “Yesterday was a really bad day for him, and this is what he did.”

The man was having a bad day, therefore, he shot and killed eight innocent people in a racist attack directed at the Asian community. I’d be quite intrigued to know how he would justify these actions if the shooter wasn’t white.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Atlanta police told reporters that it was still too early to establish the motivation behind the shooters’ horrifying actions, however, they do not believe it was racially motivated.

“He apparently has an issue, what he considers a sex addiction, and sees these locations as something that allows him to go to these places. It’s a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate,” Baker said, unsurprisingly sparking huge backlash from the Asian community.

This is the same Jay Baker that posted a photo of his ‘new shirt’ last year that read: “COVID-19, imported virus from Chy-Na,” and captioned it “love my shirt.”

Baker and the police department may or may not label the shootings a racially charged assault on the Asian community, but they cannot deny there has been a steep rise in hate and aggression towards Asian people in the last year: a major issue that many around the world are addressing and trying to bring to a stop.

The hashtag #StopAsianHate has been trending since the horrifying massacre, with many bringing to light the abuse and aggression which the Asian community face on a daily basis.

For resources and support, you can reach out to Stop Asian American and Pacific Islander Hate.