Story at a glance

  • A 21-year-old gunman shot and killed eight people, including six Asian women, at three massage spa parlors before he was apprehended by police.
  • Speculation the killings were racially motivated has swirled as hate incidents against Asian Americans have spiked in recent months.
  • Biden said he’s waiting for the completion of a Department of Justice and FBI investigation before attributing a motive to the killer.

President Biden on Wednesday addressed Tuesday night’s deadly shootings at a series of spas in the Atlanta area and expressed concerns about the recent increase of violence against Asian Americans in the U.S. 

A 21-year-old gunman shot and killed eight people, including six Asian women, at three massage spa parlors before he was apprehended by police. Speculation the killings were racially motivated has swirled as hate incidents against Asian Americans have spiked in recent months amid the coronavirus pandemic, although police say they have yet to make that determination. 


America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.


“The investigation is ongoing and the question of motivation is still to be determined,” Biden told reporters Wednesday. 

“But whatever the motivation here I know that Asian Americans are very concerned, because as you know, I have been speaking about the brutality against Asian Americans for the last couple months and I think it is very, very troublesome,” he said. 

Biden said he’s waiting for the completion of a Department of Justice and FBI investigation before attributing a motive to the killer. 

Stop AAPI Hate, a nonprofit that tracks reports of racism and discrimination against Asian American Pacific Islander communities, says it recorded at least 3,795 hate incidents against Asian Americans between March 2020 and February 2021. 

The majority of incidents, nearly 70 percent, were cases of verbal harassment, while shunning or avoidance made up about 20.5 percent. About 11 percent of incidents involved physical assaults. The group notes the data likely reflect only a portion of the number of incidents in the U.S., as it uses a self-reporting tool to track incidents. Women also reported such incidents 2.3 times more than men. 

Biden during his primetime address to the nation on the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus, condemned the hate and discrimination Asian Americans have faced. 

“Too often, we have turned against one another,” he said last week. "[Like these] vicious hate crimes against Asian Americans, who have been attacked, harassed, blamed and scapegoated.” 

Vice President Harris, the first person of South Asian descent to hold the office, called the shootings tragic and expressed solidarity with Asian Americans.


READ MORE LIKE THIS FROM CHANGING AMERICA

THE SUPREME COURT COULD DEAL A MAJOR BLOW TO MINORITY VOTERS

BIDEN ADVISER REPORTEDLY SAYS WHITE HOUSE WILL START REPARATIONS TO BLACK COMMUNITY ‘NOW’

TAYLOR SWIFT BASHES NETFLIX AFTER ‘DEEPLY SEXIST JOKE’

WOMEN OF COLOR ARE TIPPING THE BALANCE OF POWER IN U.S. CITIES

NEW POLL FINDS RECORD NUMBER OF AMERICANS IDENTIFY AS LGBT


 

Published on Mar 17, 2021