March 19, 2021

The Korean American Bar Association of Washington DC (KABA-DC) expresses grief and outrage at the mass shooting in the three Atlanta metro area spas in which eight people, including four women of Korean descent, were killed. 

Although facts about the shooting are still emerging, for much of the past year, Asian Americans have faced animus and discrimination as they were wrongfully blamed for the coronavirus pandemic and seen as agents of the increasingly illiberal China.  Racial violence against Asian Americans has been ongoing during that time period, to which there was no meaningful response until recently.   

In particular, KABA-DC notes that Asian Americans at the socioeconomic margins, such as the poor, the elderly, women, and first generation immigrants, are particularly exposed to racialized violence.  Because of pervasive sexual and racial stereotypes, Asian women are especially at risk.  We call upon the law enforcement and Asian American groups to engage in an honest and open discussion about the reality faced by these specific demographic groups. When a white male police official refers to a mass shooting incident as a “really bad day” for the alleged white male shooter, as happened in this case, members of the Asian American community have reason to question whether law enforcement officials empathize with the victims of the crimes.

We express our solidarity with the Asian American community in Atlanta, Georgia, which is a home to a vibrant Korean American community.  As attorneys, we stand ready to assist in our capacity the Asian Americans in the Washington DC area who are similarly exposed to racial violence – visit KABA-DC’s dedicated page (http://kaba-dc.org/stop-aapi-hate) to submit concerns or inquiries for assistance.  Other resources include Hate Crime Resources page from our affiliate group, National Asia Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) (https://www.napaba.org/page/HateCrimeResources).