Thousands of people have joined protests across the US and Canada to show their rage following the shooting of eight people in Atlanta, Georgia, six of whom were Asian women.
Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Soon C Park, Hyun J Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong Yue, Delaina Ashley Yaun and Paul Andre Michels were gunned down by Robert Aaron Long last Tuesday.
Elcias R Hernandez-Ortiz was also gravely injured in the shooting but survived.
Long targeted three massage parlours in the city, beginning at Tan’s Cherokee County spa then Young’s Asian Massage and finally Gold Massage Spa. He has been charged with eight counts of murder.
But the authorities have been slow to agree, with FBI Director Chris Wray initially saying that the shooting wasn’t racially motivated.
At a protest in New York, demonstrator Yaine Dong said, “What happened in the past few days, it’s really, really, really hits home for me as an Asian American woman.
“I’m here to fight against racism and sexism, and the intersection of those things that really plagues our daily lives.”
In San Diego, California high school students organised a march that attracted hundreds.
One of the students who attended, Joan Chong, said that “racism is hurting real people in our community”.
And at a protest in Pittsburgh one protester told the crowd, “Anti-Asian racism in the US may have spiked more since the start of Covid, but make no mistake—it’s not new by any means.
“Joe Biden likes to claim that anti-Asian racism is un-American, and I’m here to say that anti-Asian racism is in fact wholeheartedly American.”
Protesters have drawn links between the shootings and the sharp rise in anti-Asian hate crimes since the pandemic started.
There have been 3,800 hate‑related incidents against Asian people recorded.
And many more incidents are likely to have not been recorded.
This rise in hate has everything to do with those at the top of society, such as Donald Trump who continually referred to Covid-19 as the “China virus”.
These protests against racism and sexism come in the same week it was revealed that over
400 children held at the US and Mexico border have no drinkable water.
US officials have said that over 13,000 migrant children are now being held custody.
This is more than three times more than during Trump’s administration.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has refused to call the situation a crisis and insisted that president Joe Biden had it “under control”.
Biden himself warned potential migrants to “not leave their town or city or community”.
“I can say quite clearly, don’t come,” Biden said in an ABC interview.
President Biden has shattered any assumptions that he will be progressive on immigration.
He will break many more of the promises he made during his election campaign.
Protesters should stay on the streets to oppose all aspects of racism that are still rife during Biden’s administration.