Thousands gathered at the Georgia State Capitol Saturday afternoon to stand with Asian Americans in response to the murder of six Asian women who were killed on March 16 at three massage parlors in Atlanta by a 21 year-old white man, Robert Aaron Long. Although police have not yet labeled the shootings a hate crime, groups across the United States continue to hold vigils, marches, and rallies to honor the victims who were murdered and to #StopAsianHate.

Recently, Black Lives Matter, plus Black and brown people have been charged with the challenge of standing in solidarity with Asian Americans. The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum alongside several other social justice organizations organized a #StopAsianHate march and rally, bringing the Atlanta community together. In solidarity, Rev. Dr. William J Barber with the Poor People’s Campaign, spoke to White Supremacy.

“White Supremacy is not just against Black people, but humanity itself,” said Barber. “When White Supremacy is promulgated it will try to justify taking Black life, taking brown life, taking Indigenous life, taking Indian life, taking Jewish life, taking Muslim life, taking Palestinian life, and taking gay life; and we come here to say, ‘White Supremacy’ is a lie teller and a life taker.”

Over the past year, Asian American women reported 2.3 times as many hate incidents as Asian American men, according to a report released Tuesday by Stop AAPI Hate, a nonprofit organization formed during the pandemic to respond to the increase in attacks against people in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.

“We have lived in the shadows—invisible— overlooked and stereotyped as second class citizens and now in the wake of a violent and brutal shooting, white America is still trying to deny our humanity and existence,” said Bee Nguyen.

NAPAWF and other organizers of the rally invited state Senators, Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock, to speak.

“We’ve got to stop pretending like hate laws and laws regarding terrorism only apply to black people and brown people and people of color and muslims,” said Warnock.

“This is Georgia. All of us gathered here in love. This is Georgia. Hatred and murder do not define us we stand resiliently in defiance of hatred and murder. This is Georgia. This is love. This is compassion. This is the best of us and this is what defines the people of our state and our nation,” said Ossoff. “Let us build a state and a nation where you can register to vote the same day as an election, but you cannot buy a weapon the same day you intend to kill.”

Photo: Jessika Ward/The Atlanta Voice

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