I am deeply grieved and heartbroken by the atrocity and mass shooting that occurred in Atlanta targeting Asian and Asian American women. Of the eight homicide victims, 6 were Asian and Asian American women, four of Korean descent.
The massacre comes at a time when many Asian Americans are already tense and fearful as anti-Asian violence has surged since the start of the pandemic. According to Stop AAPI Hate, a nonprofit advocacy organization, 3,795 reports have come into their website from March 19 of 2020 to February 28th of 2021. It’s likely that thousands more incidents of hate are not reported.
What is even more troubling is that the suspected murderer, age 21, was a member in good standing at his Southern Baptist Church who was baptized in 2018 and shared his testimony publicly on video. His father was a leader in church.
One Korean daily newspaper even reported that a witness heard him shouting, “I am going to kill all Asians!”
This is a painful season for many Asian-Americans in our nation. It has been difficult to see Asian-American elders being victims of hate crimes and uninstigated violence.
I am thankful to many friends of different backgrounds who have sent notes of comfort and prayer and solidarity. At Little Lights, many of our donors, volunteers, staff, and board members are Asian-Americans. I am so proud of the incredibly diverse group of people who work and collaborate together to serve our community. We are committed as ever to the cause of racial justice and unity. Now is the time to stand together regardless of race or ethnicity to unite against racism and hate.
Lastly, I want to honor the names of the lives lost in Atlanta:
Delaina Ashley Yaun
Paul Andre Michels
Hyeon Jeong Park
+2 still-unnamed victims
May they rest in peace.
Executive Director & Founder
Photo courtesy of: Shutterstock