Man Kills 6 Asian Women on Anniversary of Latasha Harlins Death
South Central, Los Angeles–As Asian Americans demands accountability for the intensified attacks against their community during the Coronavirus pandemic, Robert Aaron Long, 21 was arrested last week after he killed eight people at three different spas in Atlanta. At least six of the women killed were of Asian descendent. As America grapples with the reality of police and state sanctioned violence in this country, white domestic terrorists continue to shoot up schools, churches and other public spaces endangering the public.
This is the real hate against the Asian community and Long deserves to have the book thrown at him–just like the gang-members who shoot each other as well as innocent bystanders during gang wars.
There have been stop Asian hate demonstrations across the country. It is important to stand in solidarity with the Asian community during these times. Black people, however, are not the sole aggressors to the Asian community. This is not to dismiss the crimes against the Asian community, it is to point out the fact that is even more important to be critical of media that might frame situations without all the necessary context.
The media has been heavily focused on the violence inflicted by the Black community against the Asian community, while failing to ignore the overall increase in crime beyond race during the pandemic. Right after this same liberal, “woke” media covered nothing but the protest related to the murder and systemic injustices against Black bodies in this country, they turned around and attempted to paint Black people as the sole aggressor against the Asian community.
In Los Angeles alone, brazen car-jackings have intensified, as well attacks and robberies of people walking in Downtown L.A with their families. Earlier this month in Beverly Hills, a woman was shot during a robbery at 2:00 in the afternoon. She was not the intended target but the robbers were after a watch on a man worth $500,000.
If you look on the Citizen App which shows you crime that is being reported around you, you will see dots all over the area of South Central/South L.A. Although the inner city, crime has intensified since the pandemic began and majority of the world shut down or went online.
When news of the Atlanta shooting broke, I was covering the recent anniversary of the death of Latasha Harlins. She was a 15-year-old girl shot in the back of the head over a $2 bottle of orange juice by Korean store owner Soon Ja Du, 51. Du was convicted for manslaughter after footage from the store showed Harlins tried to pay for the juice before being shot but would serve no jail time.
On the 30th anniversary of Harlins death, family and community members gathered to remember her at Algin Sutton playground on 88th and Hoover, which is also being renamed in her honor.
There are conversations online about why the Black community should show solidarity with the Asian community during these times. They point to their business practices and perceived lack of respect, while doing business in our communities. To that I reply, violence against anyone is unacceptable and should not be tolerated. It is important to show compassion to lives lost and grieving families regardless of race.
This can be a time to show solidarity between two groups who have long been seen as oppositional to each other. It is important to not allow the media to be the only voices during these perceived conflicts, if we really want to get to the root of the issues.