Celebrities Speaking Out On Anti-Asian Hate Crimes

Photo: Eugene Powers & Tinseltown / Shutterstock
Daniel Dae Kim and Jeremy Lin

Earlier this week, a man on a shooting spree killed eight people, leaving more injured. Six of the victims were Asian women.

Hate crimes against Asian Americans have been steadily rising, striking fear into Asian communities across the the US.

The suspect, who is now in police custody, killed the victims in or around three Atlanta-area massage parlors known to employ Asian women. Although his motives remains unclear, there seems to be no coincidence that he targeted these locations specifically.

Following the tragic shooting, many celebrities and public figures have spoken out against hate crimes towards Asian Americans and the violence against Asian communities.

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What happened in the shootings and what has been reported?

Robert Aaron Long, 21, was charged the day after the shooting with eight counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault.

The first shooting took place in Acworth, about 30 miles northwest of Atlanta, Georgia. About an hour later, the second shooting occurred northeast of the city. After a manhunt, Long was arrested and taken into custody. Although his exact motives are yet to be determined, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said it was clear to her and many others what went down.

“Whatever the motivation was for this guy, we know that the majority of the victims were Asian,” Bottoms said. “We also know that this is an issue that is happening across the country. It is unacceptable, it is hateful and it has to stop.”

According to Jay Baker, the captain of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, Long was on his way to Florida to commit “similar violence” at a business connected to the “porn industry”.

Although police say it is too early to determine if race was a factor in Long’s motive, many celebrities and public figures took to social media to express their opinions and worry as the shooting is another hate crime against the Asian-American community.

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Who has spoken out and what have they said?

Basketball Player Jeremy Lin

Former NBA and now G-League professional basketball player Jeremy Lin has spoken out about the shooting and it isn’t the first time he’s spoken out about anti-Asian violence.

About a month ago, Lin released a statement speaking out against racism towards the Asian community and went on to say he has been called “coronavirus” on the court.

His words following the shooting are a call to action to not lose hope as people should stand and fight together to end hate crimes against all people.

“To my Asian American family, please take time to grieve but know youre loved, seen and IMPORTANT. We have to keep standing up, speaking out, rallying together and fighting for change,” he wrote on Twitter.

Actor Daniel Dae Kim

Daniel Dae Kim also took to social media to announce that he would be speaking to the Congressional House Committee on the Judiciary about the rise of discrimination and violence against Asian Americans.

“The race of the person committing the crime matters less than the simple fact that if you act with hate in your heart, you are part of the problem. And to those with the power to help and yet sit idly by, your silence is complicity,” he wrote on Twitter.

Actor Simu Lu

Simu Lu, who is set to become the first Asian actor to lead in a Marvel Studios film, also took to Twitter to share his condolences to the victims and those affected by the tragic shooting.

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“Feeling overwhelming grief at the senseless murder of 8 people in Atlanta. Still much we don't know, but it's clear to me that the shooter specifically targeted Asian women,” the Canadian actor wrote.

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The Hope for an End to Hate Crimes and Violence Against Asian Americans

As more hate crimes and violence is taken upon the Asian community, public figures have spoken out against the tragic trend and hope has been spread that it will end soon.

No one should be targeted for their race and who they are. No one should have to fear that they may be in danger for doing nothing but living.

Let’s call for an end to hate crimes and keep people safe.

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Tomás Diniz Santos is a writer living in Orlando, Florida. He covers news, entertainment, and pop-culture topics.