As the pandemic has set in over the last year, the wave of hate crimes against Asian people has been steadily climbing. Tuesday’s Atlanta shooting, arriving amid a recent spike in such violence, saw a 21-year-old white gunman brutally kill a total of eight people, six of whom were Asian women. Per the New York Times, almost 3,800 hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have been reported in the past year.
The hashtag #StopAsianHate soon began trending on social media, with a number of artists and public figures condemning the uptick in anti-Asian violence, including Rihanna, Pharrell, Jhené Aiko, John Legend, and Barack Obama, among others.
“What happened yesterday in Atlanta was brutal, tragic & is certainly not an isolated incident by any means,” Rihanna wrote. “AAPI hate has been rampantly perpetuated & it’s disgusting! I’m heartbroken for the Asian community & my heart is with the loved ones of those we lost. The hate must stop.”
Pharrell posted a note on Twitter that said, “Enough is enough. Last night was another instance of innocent lives lost to domestic terrorism. We must protect our Asian brothers and sisters.”
The New York Times reports that shooting suspect Robert Aaron Long is facing eight counts of murder for the spree that saw him attack three spas in the Atlanta area. Four of the victims’ names were released on Wednesday: Ashley Yaun, 33; Paul Andre Michels, 54; Xiaojie Tan, 49; and Daoyou Feng, 44.
See some notable #StopAsianHate posts below.