As the coronavirus spread across the nation, there was an alarming uptick in both verbal and physical attacks against Asian Americans. Many people attributed the rise in violence to xenophobic and racist rhetoric from leaders like Donald Trump, who attempted to blame China for the global health crisis.
Among the most devastating attacks took place in the Atlanta area on March 16, when a gunman entered multiple spas and killed a total of eight people. Six of those victims were Asian American, four of whom were Korean American. The suspect, Robert Long, reportedly told authorities he struggled with sex addiction, and specifically targeted these establishments to “eliminate” the temptation.
More than a month after the shootings took place, Complex World host Jaeki Cho traveled to Atlanta to learn how the city’s Korean American community has been coping with the tragedy and the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes across the nation. He spoke to residents, local business owners, and community activists about their initial reactions to the attacks, how stereotypes and stigmas played a factor, and how others can be an ally in the fight against racially motivated crimes.
You can watch the newest epsiode of Complex World above.