We are shocked and terrified by the horrific shootings that happened in Atlanta, Georgia on Tuesday. The fact that this happened in multiple locations indicates that this may have been a deliberate attempt to target a particular group of Asians. No words can describe its gravity and negative impact on our communities, regardless of one’s gender, race, ethnicity, or different backgrounds.
Our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who lost their lives. We express our deepest condolences. The sorrow and agony that this tragedy brings, to those who are directly affected, is unfathomable.
Although the shooter’s motives for killing innocent people have not been fully determined, six Asian women were among the eight victims. We know such a crime highlights a sense of vulnerability that our Asian American Communities have endured for so long. To make the matter worse, we fear that a continuous spike in hate crimes against Asians, that has escalated since the beginning of the pandemic in this country, will continuously create anxiety and helplessness among many who care deeply about building safe environments for our children.
The most concerning issue of our time is that racism is pervasive and violence against Asians, particularly a vulnerable group of women and seniors, has increased rapidly since the COVID-19 pandemic began. However, racism against Asians has been trivialized. Asian Americans are invisible because our sufferings tend to be localized/internalized as individual problems. We are often stereotyped as one of the successful minorities (i.e., a model minority). The hardship and discrimination we experience as Asian Americans everyday gets ignored and easily forgotten. Generation after generation, Asian Americans have been considered as perpetual foreigners in our own country due to our race.
Furthermore, the Atlanta shootings are a stark reminder that race, class, and gender are intersectional. Public debate is centered around whether this was a crime of racial motivations or a crime of sexualized motivations. Regardless, this is a crime of hate inflicted on every sister, mother, and daughter of our Asian-American community. We condemn the exoticization and misogyny toward Asian women, particularly those who work in service occupations.
We, the Korean American Communication Association, on behalf of 700 Korean American current and future communication scholars and professionals, strongly condemn any shape of violence and injustice perpetuated against Asians and other minorities. We cannot and will not accept the fact that we are living in a society where people are harassed or killed because of their skin color, gender, sexual orientation, or the undue prejudice of others.
We are in strong solidarity with all the people in this country who are against racism and bigotry toward any people of color and other communities.
We strongly demand that the government/institutions be accountable to bring real change and progress on the path to eradicate racism and other injustices.
Korean American Communication Association