Updated: Apr 16, 2021
Earlier this week three Atlanta area spas were the target of a mass shooting leaving six Asian women dead, adding to the ongoing list of families in this country that are devastated by gun violence and racist attacks at the hands of white supremacy. Erika Washington, Executive Director of Make It Work Nevada issued the following statement:
"The entire Make It Work Nevada squad is saddened at the blatant disregard for lives lost in the Atlanta spa shootings. Racial and gender-motivated violence is something our communities are all too familiar with. These tragic incidents ripple across our communities leaving in its wake both devastation and broken spirits, the time is now to stand in solidarity to combat racism and violence against women across the AAPI community. None of us will be free unless we all get free together."
As details about this domestic terrorist attack emerge, we must pay attention to the context in which this tragedy occurred. No matter how members of the media or law enforcement try to spin the narrative, we cannot ignore who he chose to target or make excuses for his actions. Out of the many spas in the Atlanta area, the shooter chose Asian owned and operated facilities during a time when we’ve seen an exponential rise in violence against Asian Americans due to the previous administration constantly blaming China for the COVID-19 pandemic.
The centuries old fetishization of Asian women while also viewing all Asian massage parlor workers as prostitutes makes these women among the least protected in our society. This dangerous line of thinking dehumanizes and snatches away the agency they deserve. It is imperative that we amplify with the utmost urgency how both the misogyny and the racism were at play here.
We not only condemn the mass shooting at the Atlanta area spas and all other acts of violence against the AAPI community, we also call for these incidents to be prosecuted as hate crimes and acts of domestic terrorism. In order to dismantle white supremacy and create a more equitable and inclusive world we have to show up as active allies. All of our liberation is tied together and we stand in solidarity with the AAPI social justice organizations in Georgia and across the nation.