President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus commemorated the first anniversary of the mass shooting in Georgia that killed eight people, six of whom were Asian women.
On March 16, 2021, Robert Aaron Long, 22, went to Young’s Asian Massage in Cherokee County and killed Xiaojie Tan, 49; Daoyou Feng, 44; Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; and Paul Andre Michels, 54. He then drove to Atlanta and fatally shot Soon Chung Park, 74; Hyun Jung Grant, 51; Suncha Kim, 69; and Yong Ae Yue, 63. Long pleaded guilty to murder and other charges related to the incident in Cherokee County and was sentenced to life in prison without parole in July 2021. In a statement, Biden commemorated the first anniversary of the Georgia mass shooting, saying that the victims’ murders “underscored how far we have to go in this country to fight racism, misogyny, and all forms of hate — and the epidemic of gun violence that enables these extremists.”
“In the aftermath of these senseless deaths, the vice president and I traveled to Atlanta to meet with leaders of the Asian American community,” he added.
According to Biden, Asian American women are being targeted based on “their race as well as their gender.”
In a separate statement, Vice President Kamala Harris called the shootings “a horrific attack.”
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“We must do everything we can to ensure all Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities are safe from violence, discrimination, and fear,” Harris tweeted.
Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, including legislators Judy Chu, Ted Lieu and Grace Meng, took to the Capitol on Wednesday to condemn the rise in anti-Asian violence while honoring the mass shooting victims.
“We cried together then, but since then our tears have only continued to flow,” said Meng, who recalled other recent acts of violence against Asian American women.
“As these stories show, these crimes are continuing, and we will not be safe until we end the xenophobic rhetoric that puts lives in danger,” Chu noted in her speech. “And that’s why we rely on all Americans, all of you of all ethnicities, to stand up and to stand together to stop Asian hate.”
“This law broke the dam of congressional resistance and cultural resistance and it brought this hidden epidemic out of the shadows,” he noted.