Lambda Legal Stands in Solidarity with AAPI Community After Tragic Violence in Georgia

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March 17, 2021

Last night, in a series of attacks, targeted primarily against Asian American women working in spas, a 21-year old white man shot and killed eight people at three different spas near Atlanta, Georgia. Of the eight victims, six were Asian, and seven were women. Although the occupations of the victims have not been confirmed, it appears the shooter intended to target sex workers, a particularly vulnerable group of people that experience consistently high levels of violence. Still, the shootings are the latest in a harrowing rise of racist violence against Asian Americans, which has risen by nearly 150% in the last year consistent with racist COVID-related hate rhetoric, with women being more than twice as likely to report having experienced racism.

Sharon McGowan, Chief Strategy Officer and Legal Director of Lambda Legal issued the following statement:

"Our thoughts are with the families, friends, and communities of the eight people killed last night near Atlanta. While we are waiting for more information to come to light, one thing is clear: Asian Americans who were already reeling because of the recent spate of targeted racist attacks against their community are devastated and feeling a heightened sense of fear. We stand in grief and solidarity with Asian Americans in Atlanta and throughout the country to denounce racism, violence, and xenophobia. As we learn who the victims were, we will say their names and hold them in our hearts. They were human, they had value, and they should still be here.

"Senseless violence motivated by hate has no place in a just society, and we are all required to stand together to root out white supremacy, sexism, sexual violence, and hate from our society. We will keep fighting for equality and justice to prevail."