18 March 2021 - Fear of rising anti-Asian hate after Atlanta shootings
Asian Americans were already living in fear. The Atlanta-area spa killings feel like a terrifying escalation for them
Nicole Chavez (CNN, 17/03/2021)
A restaurant was spray-painted with the message "Kung flu" in Texas. A travel agency employee in California was nearly blinded. An 84-year-old man from Thailand died after being shoved to the ground during his morning walk.
Many Asian Americans across the United States have been verbally harassed, spat on and injured for months in a "disgusting pattern of hate" that coincides with the Covid-19 pandemic. The killings of eight people, most of them Asian, at three spas in the Atlanta area Tuesday jolted a community already on edge, even as law enforcement has not yet determined a motive.
Georgia officer condemned for saying Atlanta shooter was 'having a bad day'
Guardian staff (The Guardian, 17/03/2021)
A Georgia sheriff’s captain has faced widespread criticism for appearing to characterise the actions of Robert Aaron Long, the 21-year-old charged with killing eight people in Atlanta, six of them women of Asian descent, as “having a really bad day”.
Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, Capt Jay Baker of the Cherokee county sheriff’s office said investigators had interviewed Long that morning.
“They got that impression that yes, he understood the gravity of it. He was pretty much fed up, and kind of at [the] end of his rope, and yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did,” Baker said.
The Muddled History of Anti-Asian Violence
Hua Hsu (The New Yorker, 28/02/2021)
On the evening of April 28, 1997, Kuan Chung Kao, a thirty-three-year-old Taiwan-born engineer, went to the Cotati Yacht Club near Rohnert Park, a quiet suburb in Sonoma County, California, where he lived with his wife and three children. Kao went to the bar a couple of times a week for an after-work glass of red wine; on this evening, he was celebrating a new job. According to a bartender working that night, Kao got in an argument with a customer, who mistook him for Japanese. “You all look alike to me,” the man said. Tensions simmered, and, later in the evening, the man returned to needle Kao some more. “I’m sick and tired of being put down because I’m Chinese,” Kao shouted back. “If you want to challenge me, now’s the time to do it.”
An altercation followed, and someone called the police. When they arrived, the bartender, who later described Kao as a “caring and friendly” patron, helped defuse the situation and assured them that causing a ruckus was out of Kao’s character. He was sent home in a cab. Still livid, Kao shouted outside his house late into the night, alarming his neighbors, who placed about a dozen calls to 911. When two officers arrived, Kao was standing in his driveway, holding a stick. One of the officers ordered him to put it down. When he responded with profanities, the officer shot him. His wife, a nurse, tried to save him, but was restrained. A police spokesman later said that he had been waving the stick “in a threatening martial-arts fashion.” The other described the pudgy, five-foot-seven-inch Kao as a “ninja fighter.” Kao was not a ninja, and he had no martial-arts training. A warrant to search Kao’s house for evidence of martial-arts expertise turned up nothing.
Domestic extremists 'will almost certainly' try to strike again this year, feds warn
Kevin Johnson (USA Today, 17/03/2021)
Emboldened by the deadly breach of the U.S. Capitol and fueled by conspiracy theories promoting violence, domestic extremists “will almost certainly’’ attempt to strike again this year, U.S. officials said in a newly declassified threat assessment.
The report — assembled by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, National Counterterrorism Center, FBI and Department of Homeland Security — concluded that the threat posed by racially and ethnically motivated extremists, along with those associated with violent militias loomed as the "most lethal."