New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang has called the recent shooting in Atlanta a hate crime during an anti-Asian hate rally in Chinatown.
Yang and his wife, Evelyn, joined hundreds of New Yorkers at Columbus Park on March 21 in condemning the wave of anti-Asian violence across the country.
Yang addressed last week’s incident that took the lives of eight people, including six Asian women. The victims were shot and killed by Robert Aaron Long, a 21-year-old white gunman who later denied that his crimes were racially motivated, as NextShark previously reported.
According to Yang, the “staggering” racism that thousands of Asian Americans have been subjected to in the past few months culminated with the heinous crime.
“It has been staggering to see the racism against our community morph and metastasize into something dark and virulent, and increasingly dangerous,” Yang said.
“We feared that this day would come. We feared that some of our people would be shot for no other reason than their race and unfortunately that was exactly that occurred last week in Atlanta,” he continued. “It is madness to question a 21-year-old lunatic as to his motivations when we can see as clear as day that this was a hate crime. Everyone who is Asian American knows that these women were targeted on the basis of their race.
A law enforcement official was recently criticized for stating that Long was just having “really a bad day” on the day of the mass shooting.
During his speech, Yang shared that the first two items on his agenda as the next mayor of New York City are to fully fund the Asian Hate Crimes Task Force as well as the NYPD and properly label a hate crime a hate crime.
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