On Thursday, CNN’s Lisa Ling questioned why Georgia police have yet to call Tuesday’s mass shooting — which left six Asian women and two others dead — a hate crime. She referenced the “pattern of attacks on Asians” that had already been garnering significant media attention prior to Tuesday’s spree, for which a 21-year-old is now charged with four counts of murder and one count of assault.
“To say that this attack in Atlanta was not a hate crime because the terrorist said it was not racially motivated and we’re going to take him for his word… He specifically targeted three Asian massage parlors. They weren’t even close together,” she said.
The “This Is Life” host appeared on “New Day,” where she spoke about how recent attacks have traumatized her as an Asian American and said, “Every time I open my social media or my media, there is video of or reports of more Asian people getting attacked.”
The shooting took place at three separate spas — Young’s Asian Massage Parlor, Aromatherapy Spa and Gold Spa — in the Atlanta area Tuesday night. The suspect was charged with four counts of murder and one count of assault in Cherokee County, where one of the spas is located. Officials have not yet announced any charges for the killings that took place at the two other spas in the city of Atlanta, but they did say Wednesday that the suspect cited a sex addiction, not a racial motive, for the killings, which they also said he admitted to.
In addition to the victims’ ethnicity, the “New Day” hosts pointed out the majority of them were women. Ling was asked to comment about the “disturbing” way Asian women are stereotyped in America.
“Asian women have been fetishized and exoticized for generations,” she explained. “The perception of Asian people even in our media; Asian men are emasculated, Asians are constantly the butt of jokes and teasing. That all matters and it’s time we start changing the narrative about Asians.”
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, nearly 3,800 incidents of violence, discrimination or other forms of harassment were reported to Stop AAPI Hate, a reporting center that tracks hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. There were a total of 1,691 incidents reported in California, representing nearly 45% of all reported incidents. Of those who reported incidents, 68% identified as women.
Watch Ling’s entire segment below.
“How many people have to die for this to really be taken seriously?” @lisaling says as hate crimes against Asian Americans are on the rise. “There is real fear among Asian people about going outside of their own homes … This scapegoating of entire populations has to stop” pic.twitter.com/L8DAZvcAzQ
— New Day (@NewDay) March 18, 2021