This past week we witnessed unspeakable tragedy. Three separate shootings took place at three spas in Atlanta, Georgia on March 16, 2021, occurring within an hour of each other. Eight people were killed and six of the victims were Asian women. All of this against the backdrop of rising anti-Asian sentiment and attacks, particularly on our elderly community. The mass shooting crosses the intersection of gender-based violence, mysogyny, and xenophobia. According to
Cherokee County Sheriff's spokesperson on the case, the killer claimed to have a "sex addiction," "a temptation ... he wanted to eliminate," and that he was having "a bad day." Rather than humanize the killer, the acts should have been denounced as domestic white terrorism. PERIOD.
As a company founded by two Asian American women, this hits home. Asian women have long been dehumanized and fetishized as submissive. It has fed American media portrayal and validated the harassment of Asian American women. We have already been dealt the horrific hand of a drastic increase on assaults against the Asian American community in the last year. This has all stemmed from the deep history of white supremacy in this country that still persists today.
We cannot even begin to fathom what losing a loved one to something so senseless feels like but we want to pay tribute to the victims whose lives were lost to the spa shootings. Click on the links in the names to take you to their Go Fund Me pages if you would like to help the victims directly.
In a moment of what feels like hopelessness, we have been so inspired by the amount of support pouring into our community from both Asians and non-Asians. As Daniel Dae Kim said in his powerful message at a recent congressional hearing on the rise of anti-Asian violence, "We are 23 million strong. We are united, and we are waking up." It took a long time to get here but no matter our lived experiences, the traumas that aimed to silence us - we will NOT be silent.
The ultimate goal is to dismantle racism not just against Asians but against every marginalized and POC community. This has always been one of our inspirations for starting CHIMMI in the first place and we are even more fired up. It begins with showing up for each other as allies. None of us can fight racism alone. No one should be killed, harassed, or discriminated against because of what they look like.
While we will continue to post about anti-racism events and resources on our Instagram page, here are a few great resources on how to support the AAPI community: