Following the news of shootings in Atlanta on Tuesday night that left eight people dead and one wounded — the majority being Asian women — many celebrities are speaking out in support of the Asian American community.
Olivia Munn tweeted: “The violent attacks and murders against Asians are still happening. Please help us. We need help to be safe in our country.#StopAsianHate. Please.”
Exactly one month ago, Munn tweeted about her friend’s mom, who “is a 5’3” 50+ Chinese woman and she was attacked by this guy in Flushing, NY yesterday.” NBC news reported that Munn said “We’re not safe in this country… as minorities, we’re not safe, our Asian community is not safe because we don’t really feel like this is our country. We don’t feel like the police are there to support us, that the government is there to support us, that our fellow Americans are seeing us as fellow Americans.”
My friend’s mom is a 5’3” 50+ Chinese woman and she was attacked by this guy in Flushing, NY yesterday on Main St and Roosevelt between 2-4pm. She left the hospital with 10 stitches in her head.— o l i v i a (@oliviamunn) February 17, 2021
We’re gonna find this guy. Queens, Internet, please... do your shit. 🙏🏼@NYPD109Pct pic.twitter.com/hrB3kchxGH
More celebs rallied to show support with the #StopAsianHate on Twitter:
The targeting of our Asian brothers and sisters is sickening, but not surprising given the normalizing of anti-Asian hate speech in the past year. We have to #StopAsianHate, enough is enough!— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) March 17, 2021
I know these women. The ones working themselves to the bone to send their kids to school, to send money back home. In too much pain to know what else to say so I’ll just leave this here. https://t.co/Dz7wKkbADy— Lulu Wang (@thumbelulu) March 17, 2021
What happened last night was a hate crime and we should all be treating it as such.— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) March 17, 2021
The race of the person committing the crime matters less than the simple fact that if you act with hate in your heart, you are part of the problem. And to those with the power to help and yet sit idly by, your silence is complicity. #StopAsianHate https://t.co/0QaLoXhtP0— Daniel Dae Kim (@danieldaekim) March 17, 2021
Feeling overwhelming grief at the senseless murder of 8 people in Atlanta. Still much we don't know, but it's clear to me that the shooter specifically targeted Asian women.— Simu Liu (@SimuLiu) March 17, 2021
Praying for the victims' families, and for my Asian sisters. Action to follow.https://t.co/DjMcG0sBbv
My condolences goes out to the families of all the victims and the entire Asian community tonight on what transpired in Atlanta at the Aromatherapy Spa. Coward a** young man!! Just senseless and tragic!! 🙏🏾❤️👑— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 17, 2021
Hate speech leads to violence.— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) March 17, 2021
I stand with the AAPI community. 💔#StopAsianHate
I stand in deep solidarity with my Asian American friends. Love WILL be louder, I believe, but it can’t immediately erase the pain and the silencing that has been for so long. I’m sorry for the pain. I love you. I love you. I love you. #StopAsianHate— Sara Bareilles (@SaraBareilles) March 17, 2021
Vice President Kamala Harris, a person of South Asian descent, spoke out in solidarity of the tragedy today stating, “It is tragic. Our country, the President and I and all of us, we grieve for the loss. Our prayers are extended to the families of those who have been killed, and it speaks to a larger issue, which is the issue of violence in our country and what we must do to never tolerate it and to always speak out against it. I do want to say to our Asian American community that we stand with you and understand how this has frightened and shocked and outraged all people. Knowing the increasing level of hate crimes against our Asian American brothers and sisters, we also want to speak out in solidarity with them and acknowledge that none of us should ever be silent in the face of any form of hate.”
President Joe Biden said that he will be addressing the Atlanta tragedy later today.
CNN reports deputies were called to Young’s Asian Massage near Acworth, Georgia, for reports of a shooting, finding five people with gunshot wounds and two people pronounced dead on arrival. Three of the wounded were transported to a hospital, where two died.
About an hour later, Atlanta police said they responded to a robbery call at the Gold Massage Spa and found three people dead. While there, police received another call of shots fired directly across the street at the Aroma Therapy Spa, where they found one person dead. All four victims appeared to be women of Asian descent.
Video evidence suggests “it is extremely likely” that the same person was responsible for the three deadly shootings at massage parlors in the Atlanta area, per CNN.
The lone suspect responsible for the massage parlor shootings has been identified as 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long of Woodstock, Georgia.
Police haven’t released the names of the victims nor indicated a motive of the suspect but at least four were of Korean descent, South Korea’s Foreign Ministry confirmed today, USA Today reports. Authorities also confirmed that six of the eight victims appeared to be Asian women.
The killings came amid a recent wave of attacks targeting Asian Americans who have been blamed for the spread of the coronavirus across the United States.
Stop AAPI Hate, a group that tracks incidents of discrimination and xenophobia against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, said in a statement, “This latest attack will only exacerbate the fear and pain that the Asian American community continues to endure,”
Per USA Today, Stop AAPI Hate tracked nearly 3,800 incidents of hate, discrimination or attacks on Asian Americans from March 2020 through February 2021. The group has said Asian Americans have been blamed for the pandemic and connected the attacks to racist rhetoric from politicians, including former President Donald Trump.