Eight people were killed by a gunman in Atlanta on Tuesday afternoon. The victims, ranging in age from 33 to 74 years of age, were shot in three different massage parlors in the area by 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, in what he claimed was an attempt to eliminate sexual temptation. Those investigating the case have confirmed that Long had previously been a customer at two of the three parlors. He has been charged with eight counts of murder and is currently being held without bail as investigations continue.
The Right condemns the violence. It is believed that it is too early to know the motive, despite cries from the Left claiming that it was definitively a “hate crime.” Chrissy Clark, a staff writer for The Federalist, noted that some continue “to claim that what happened in Atlanta was due to the ‘normalization’ of white supremacy and white nationalism. There is no evidence to support this theory, thus far.” “Wait a minute! When the Asian mass murder shot 32 people at @virginia_tech, 21 of them were white. Was that a hate crime against whites?” asked Rep. Vernon Jones (R-GA). Anti-trafficking organization Exodus Cry issued a statement mourning the tragedy and noting:
“While we don’t have the full details on this specific situation, we want to acknowledge that many massage parlors in the U.S. are fronts for brothels, and they’re often full of trafficked and exploited women from Asian countries. Many of them suffer daily at the hands of violent sex buyers.”Exodus Cry statement
Ariel Gonzalez Bovat, a clinical Christian counselor, argued that if people are outraged over the deaths of the women killed in these shootings but “aren’t grieved over the human trafficking & DAILY exploitation of women, our grief & desire for justice is impartial.”
The Left believes it was a racially motivated Asian-hate crime. Rep. Bee Nguyen (D-GA) stated that the crime seems to be an “intersection of gender-based violence, misogyny and xenophobia.” Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted, “Xenophobic rhetoric around this pandemic has already put the [Asian American Pacific Islander] community at higher risk. Our government must use every tool possible to keep families safe.”
“While the details of the shootings are still emerging, the broader context cannot be ignored. The shootings happened under the trauma of increasing violence against Asian Americans nationwide, fueled by white supremacy and systemic racism.”Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta
Rep. Marilyn Strickland (D-WA) stated, “Racially motivated violence must be called out for exactly what it is…and we must stop making excuses or rebranding it as economic anxiety or sexual addiction.” Twitter was rife with tweets from the Left expressing outrage at the wording in headlines, the refusal of some to automatically label the crime a “hate crime,” and the media’s failure to correctly report the names of the victims.