Women of color are calling out a law enforcement official who stated that the suspect of the recent mass shootings in Atlanta was just having “really a bad day.”
Robert Aaron Long, 21, is facing murder charges for killing eight people — including six Asian women — from three massage parlors in Georgia on Tuesday.
In a press conference on Wednesday morning, Capt. Jay Baker, a spokesperson for the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office, claimed that Long understood the gravity of his crime. However, the 21-year-old reportedly denied that his rampage was racially motivated. Instead, he blamed an alleged “sex addiction.”
“[Long] was pretty much fed up and had been kind of at the end of his rope,” Baker declared. “Yesterday was a really bad day for him, and this is what he did.”
“Yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did” — a law enforcement official explains Robert Aaron Long’s decision to kill 8 people in a strange manner pic.twitter.com/u0zFcqjbNK
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 17, 2021
Baker’s words, however, quickly sparked outrage on social media, with some Twitter users describing them as “strange,” “disgusting” and “rage-inducing.”
Many of Baker’s critics are women of color.
“I can’t get over how angry the ‘bad day’ comment has made me,” tweeted Fatima Farha, an editor at USA Today. “Does this mean we are all just another man’s bad day away from getting murdered? And will that always be a sympathy point for him? Please stop trying to create empathy for a killer. He killed people.”
“‘A really bad day for him’ has been boiling my blood since the moment I heard it,” writer and comedian Quinta Brunson wrote. “Every time I see it/hear it I shake my head.”
“‘Yesterday was a bad day for him.’ There is no end to the capacity of law enforcement to empathize with murderous white terrorists,” author and professor Brittney Cooper tweeted. “WTF!”
Other social media users shared similar thoughts:
“It was a really bad day for him” is astonishing.
— Akilah Green (@akilahgreen) March 17, 2021
“Yesterday was a really bad day for him” man stfu I am so SICK of the media trying to make WHITE SUPREMACISTS the victims. This is WHY there’s so much DIVIDE. Call it what it IS https://t.co/7Q09u8wHdp
— Seema Wilkhu (@seemawilkhu27) March 17, 2021
Taking a murderer’s self-interested justification for why he acted at face value is premature. Assessing motive will require interviewing people who knew him, reviewing his communications/social media posts, and analyzing his patterns of behavior before he committed the crime.
— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) March 17, 2021
“it was a really bad day for him”
You know whose day was way worse? The families of his victims.
— Jenny Yokobori (@JennyYokobori) March 17, 2021
A really bad day…for him?!?!?
Yea, what were not going to do is sympathize with a murderous psychopath.
— Mari Copeny (@LittleMissFlint) March 17, 2021
My hands are shaking in anger as I try to type this out. Yesterday was a really bad day for HIM? For HIM?? Yesterday was a really bad day for his victims. THEY LOST THEIR LIVES. Fuck white supremacy and as this cop is so kindly reminding us: ACAB. https://t.co/tEMAE33NvN
— Kira ✨ Okamoto (@kirameks) March 17, 2021
‘A really bad day for him…’ 😳
I can think of 8 people, plus their families and friends who had it a lot worse. https://t.co/7zSx4iCAND
— Malorie Blackman (@malorieblackman) March 17, 2021
“A really bad day FOR HIM”
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?
He is racist and terrorist that committed a HATE CRIME. PERIOD.
The world we live in is so cruel that “a really bad day” is considered to be a justification for killing innocent people, like GTFO. https://t.co/6iw6IF2Lz1
— Prikikikikiki (@Prikiki13) March 17, 2021
“He was pretty much fed up + kind of at the end of his rope + yesterday was a really bad day for him” – white male sheriff explaining execution of 8 murders.
Race, gender + class were absolutely intertwined w/murder of working-class asian immigrant women https://t.co/HDbhfamPIe
— Jane Kim 金貞妍 (@JaneKim) March 18, 2021
“Yesterday was a really bad day for him.”
— Liz Hsiao Lan Alper (@LizAlps) March 17, 2021
Tuesday’s shooting spree is yet another incident in the United States that involves attacks on members of the Asian community. Whether or not Long’s actions will be prosecuted as hate crimes is yet to be seen.
Feature Images via Cherokee Sheriff’s Office (left) and 8 News NOW Las Vegas (right; screenshot)