On March 16th, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long massacred eight people within three massage parlors, six of whom were of East-Asian descent. He and his investigator denied that it was motivated by anti-Asian sentiment and white supremacy. When questioned by the police, Long told them he was trying to purge the sources of temptations while battling sex addiction and blamed the massage parlors for providing an outlet for his addiction to sex. According to a Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, Long viewed the spas as “a temptation that he wanted to eliminate.”
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said the spas were not on police’s radar: “As far as we know in Atlanta, these are legally operating businesses.” However, all three targeted massage parlors have dozens of reviews on RubMaps, an erotic review site that allows users to search for and review illicit massage parlors.
The shooter appears to have been tempted by those particular massage parlors as they were found to offer more than mere massages, as first released by Polaris, a non-profit that works to combat human trafficking. East Asians run many spas and parlors in the U.S.; they dominate the field, it gives them a chance of survival in the West, and they often make higher incomes than the average American. This is no surprise, but it begs why this trade, combined with sex-work or human trafficking, is so commonplace among East-Asian women. Still, I cannot comprehend why the shooter’s race remains the most crucial part of the headlines. Instead, his inability to control his carnal desires had eventually manifested into a tragic massacre of eight people who will, sadly, go down in the public eye only as martyrs of their race instead of for their convictions, memories, or physical influence.
The mainstream media has been using the term “racism” to overshadow problems wholly detached from it, i.e., porn and sex addictions. CNN recently ran a headline stating that white supremacy was “haunting Asian Americans.” Publications like the LA Times are calling the recent Atlanta shooting “racially” motivated. Dialogue has even emerged suggesting Donald Trump’s comments about COVID-19 have stirred anti-Asian sentiment across the U.S., including those of “Kung-Flu” and the “China Virus.” If these high-profile incidents had just stayed out of the iron-triangle networks, then the mischaracterization of violent shootings would occur far less often, and Americans might finally be able to sleep better at night.
Despite the fearmongering that has caused these anxieties to surface, it’s misleading, as Black Americans are responsible for more attacks on Asians than Whites, Hispanics, and other Asians. Asian Americans are, at this point, the only exception when it comes to racial groups primarily targeting their own. Whites are more likely to target other Whites, Hispanics to other Hispanics, and Blacks to other Blacks; Asians are now being targeted by Blacks significantly more than other Asians themselves. A statistical analysis from Ken Dow suggests that blacks are 280x more likely to commit violent crimes against Asians than Asians are to commit crimes against Blacks. Violence against Asians is, indeed, increasing. However, violence across the U.S. is rising among several groups, and it can’t be fully attributed to racism.
While writing this piece, another tragic shooting has erupted in Boulder, CO. This time, however, countless mainstream publications and public figures have retracted their initial comments and judgments of the shooter’s motive, politics, and race. I will not give mind to the fact that he came from Syria, nor the fact that most of his victims were white, because it doesn’t matter. However, there have been no headlines projecting him as an Arab Supremacist or even as a racist. Unlike the Atlanta shooter, this was a man who likely sought to gain recognition on religious grounds but was also plagued by sin completely separate from that of racial bigotry.
There is currently an attempt to turn Asians, among every other minority group, against white Americans. Whites still make up the majority of the population in the U.S. This is causing unprecedented racial tensions across the nation, and it’s all manufactured. I don’t mean to discredit the experiences that Asians have suffered during these formidable past few months. But my message to Asian-Americans (and everyone) is simple- if you feel that your life is being threatened, then learn to defend yourself. We are capable, we love this country, and we all want peace. But we will not be timid nor bullied into victimhood, and I refuse to believe that the world has it out for minorities because of Trump, the virus, or otherwise. The real hate to be addressed should fall on the convictions of the violent perpetrators themselves. We’re over the racism card.
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About the Author:
Bean Dashnea is currently a student of foreign language and political science. She has lived between the U.S. and Europe for nearly 14 years but considers Texas home. After Bean changed her party registration from Democrat to Republican circa 2018, she immediately recognized the public discourse shift. She knew she was caught in the war on culture and information. Bean currently works with local Republican chapters and primarily advocates for smaller government and geopolitical awareness.