Will there ever be an Asian president

Fear of hate crimes against US citizens of Asian origin is increasing

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A day after a 21-year-old was alleged to have shot and killed eight people in massage parlors in Georgia, USA, he was charged with murder. Investigators said the suspect confessed to killing in three Asian spas - seven women among his victims, six of whom were Asian.

Even before information about the questioning of the man reached the media, there was speculation in public about a renewed hate crime against US citizens of Asian origin. The verbal and physical attacks against people from this population group have increased during the pandemic in the United States, authorities report. The rhetoric of the former US President Donald Trump, who continually spoke of the "China virus" in connection with the coronavirus, certainly contributed to this. The organization "Stop AAPI Hate" only published a report on Tuesday in which it speaks of almost 3,800 attacks since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 500 of them this year.

Denied racism

But although the investigators still do not rule out a racist motive in the attacks on women in Georgia, the 21-year-old white man from a suburb of Atlanta denies such a thing. The devout Christian told police officers about his "sex addiction" and that he saw the massage parlors as an outlet for something "he shouldn't do," said Jay Baker of the Cherokee County's investigating sheriff's office. "He wanted to eliminate temptation "he said, and also spoke of the fact that Sagittarius had" had a bad day ".

Baker himself now came under public criticism after screenshots of his social media account surfaced. It shows photos of sweaters that the policeman is said to have shared. The garments are labeled: "Covid 19. Imported Virus from Chy-Na."

Politicians and officials in the US do not want to ignore the fact that most of those killed were of Asian origin. "Racially motivated violence should also be called that, and we have to stop finding excuses for it and relabelling it as existential fear or sex addiction," said Democratic MP Marilyn Strickland in Congress on Wednesday. "As a black woman of Korean descent, I know exactly what it feels like to be exposed or ignored."

Reaction from Washington

US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris also spoke up about the crime. According to Biden, one has to wait and see what motive the perpetrator actually had, but he was "very, very concerned" about the brutality against US citizens of Asian origin in recent months.

Harris spoke of the bigger issue, "namely the violence in our country and that we must never tolerate it and must always speak out against it". She expressed her solidarity with the Asian community. For several months, people across the US have been protesting against racist attacks on US citizens of Asian origin.

The suspected shooter is in custody without bail and will be brought before the judge for the first time on Thursday via Zoom. (bbl, March 18, 2021)