Atlanta Shooting- When Those in Your Community are Grieving, How Can You Help?

March 26, 2021

Racism against Asian Americans has been steadily climbing this past year, and while some may have hoped the end of 2020 would halt the increase in hate, it has done the opposite. Since January, violence against Asian Americans has spiked even more, and last week tragedy struck. Tuesday, March 16th, 8 people lost their lives, 6 of those Asian women. Robert Aaron Long was kicked out of his home Monday, March 15th, because of his disturbing porn addiction. The next day, Tuesday, March 16th he bought a gun hours before the shooting under Georgia’s no-wait background check rule and drove to 3 different Asian-owned spas in Atlanta, Georgia. He shot 9 people, killing 8, 6 of which were Asian women. The victims were Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; Paul Andre Michels, 54; Xiaojie Tan, 49; Soon Chung Park, 74; Hyun Jung Grant, 51; 9Suncha Kim, 69; Yong Ae Yue, 63. And Daoyou Feng, 44. Long told police that he had visited the spas before and were “a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate.” Despite the media being hesitant to label it ‘racially motivated, and the sheriff’s office spokesman stating that the suspect was having “a bad day”, the tragedy struck fear and despair into Asian-Americans throughout the country and in the Green Hope community.

“Fetishization and hyper-sexualization of specifically Asian women… and seeing them as a “temptation” for his sex addiction IS racial motivation, making this absolutely a hate crime. ”

— Bridget Tran

Many Green Hope students have strong opinions on the controversy surrounding whether or not the shooting was racially motivated. Bridget Tran, a senior, feels it is irrefutably a hate crime. Tran says Robert Aaron Long’s “fetishization and hyper-sexualization of specifically Asian women (which is so SO common) and seeing them as a “temptation” for his sex addiction IS racial motivation, making this absolutely a hate crime.” Trans feelings regarding the controversy are echoed throughout the student body. Regardless of the motivation behind the attack, the effect of it on students is consistent: fear. Rachel Yao, a senior, points out that “no matter what the motivation was, the result of this attack created more fear in the Asian community.”

Many students wonder, how can they help? By educating themselves, others, and calling out racist behavior, students can create an accepting and educated community. Examples of resources to educate oneself are: 

— “Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning.” A collection of essays published in 2020 about the nuances of the Asian American experience

— “Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White” explores stereotypes, including the model minority myth, and discusses affirmative action and interracial marriage.

Self Evident: Asian American’s Stories is a podcast that questions stereotypes and assumptions about Asian Americans.

–PBS’ Asian Americans is a five-part documentary series on the history of Asians in America.

#AsianAmCovidStories is a YouTube documentary series exploring Asian Americans’ experiences and challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is crucial to learn about the victims, as well as to help their families if you are able. Hyun Jung Grant, a single mother, has two sons that have no family living in America. Sun Cha Kim, a South Korean Immigrant, a grandmother, has a grieving family. Below are links for donations to these families, and other resources will be added as time passes. 


For resources such as hate crime reporting, organizations and businesses, and mental health support, click here.