Since the COVID-19 Pandemic, Asian-American people have experienced increased levels of violence and hate across the country. As a result of the increased violence, many /Asian-American people are in search of community support in the face of their struggles.
One of the most recent and extreme forms of hatred occurred on March 16, 2021 Robert Aaron Long was taken into custody as a suspect for a series of shootings in the Metropolitan Area in Atlanta. Long was charged with eight counts of murder, and out of the eight were six Asian women.
Since the pandemic began, there have been crimes or hate towards people of Asian descent have increased. People have either mocked, harassed, or used racial slurs/comments against them. It caused fear in the Asian community and when the spa shootings happened, people came to think it was an act of a hate crime. Police investigators haven’t ruled it out as a motive and Long himself has said there wasn’t any racial motive. Rather, Long’s motive involved temptation due to his ‘adult’ addiction and how it came across with his religious beliefs.
The first shooting took place at Young’s Asian Massage in Cherokee County where four were reported dead and only one injured. Elcias R. Hernandez Ortiz was the survivor of the Young’s shooting and has been recently released from the hospital. Herendez-Ortiz was shot through the forehead which damaged his lungs and stomach. There is a Go Fund Me page set to help Herendez-Ortiz and his family cover medical bills. Any amount can help the family.
Xiaojie Tan, 49, was the owner of Young’s Asian Massage and a mother to her daughter, Jami, who was later adopted by her husband Michael Web.
Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33, was a mother of two children, a teenage son and an 8- month old daughter. Delaina Yaun was at Young’s Asian Massage with her husband for a couples massage. Her husband was in another room while the gunman fired.
Paul Andre Michels, 54, was a veteran, working in the military from 1985 to 1989. Out of nine of his siblings, John Michels said that his brother wanted to start a business of his own.
Daoyo Feng, 44, only started to work at Young’s a few months ago, but a friend described Feng to be a kind woman.
The second shooting took place at Gold Massage Spa that left four women dead. Hyung Jung Grant, 51, worked at the Gold Spa and her son, Randy Park, knew about her death from a witness of the shooting. She was a single mother who worked hard to care for her two children.
Soon Chung Park, 74, was one of the oldest out of the eight victims. She cooked for the employees at the Gold Spa and was very healthy.
Suncha Kim, 69, was an employee at the spa and had worked two to three jobs to provide for her family. Her granddaughter described Ms. Kim to be a “fighter” towards her grandchildren and her two children.
Yong Ae Yeu, 63, had two sons with her ex-husband, Mac Peterson, and had met each other while he was in the army.
The United States is considered to be a melting pot. A mix of different families and different cultures where people can be united. A place where families migrated to for their children to have better lives. Expect, there is a lot of hate in the world and people go as far as to cause harm. Throwing racial slurs, harassing them, or in cases where a person can have enough hate to take someone’s life. The Atlanta shooting hasn’t been ruled out as a hate crime yet, but it causes suspicion and fear that it was. Stop Asian Hate and with time, together there could be a difference.