K-pop artists, including former 2NE1 member CL, Epik High‘s Tablo, and Korean-American singer Eric Nam, have taken to Twitter to voice their support of the ongoing #StopAsianHate movement.
The posts come after the deadly shootings of eight people in Atlanta on March 16. The attacks took place at three Asian-run businesses in the city. Six of the eight victims were Asian women and four were of Korean descent.
Officials have arrested a 21-year-old man, Robert Aaron Long, in connection to all three shootings. No motive has been established but it’s believed that the shooter deliberately targeted people of Asian descent.
According to the New York Times, the suspect told police that he had a “sexual addiction” and had carried out the killings to eliminate his “temptation”. He also said that he had frequented massage parlours in the past and went ahead with the shootings as a form of vengeance.
“Whatever the motivation was for this guy, we know that the majority of the victims were Asian. 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,” said mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, hate crimes against Asian-Americans have increased dramatically. According to the advocacy group Stop AAPI Hate, there have been up to 3,800 incidents reported since last March. In New York City alone, there was an 867 per cent increase in Asian hate crime victims in 2020.
“The reported shootings of Asian American women on Tuesday in Atlanta is an unspeakable tragedy – for the families of the victims first and foremost, but also for the AAPI community – which has been reeling from high levels of racial discrimination,” the organisation wrote on Twitter.