What the ‘Atlanta Spa Worker Killings’ Tell Us About America Today by Dr. Haemin Cho

Mar 21, 2021 | PDA News

In solidarity with a more peaceful and just world for all,
Alan Minsky for the PDA National Team 

Reflections on Racist Atlanta Spa Worker Killings


Dr. Haemin Cho, the Co-Chair of the Progressive Democrats of America San Francisco Chapter, wrote a powerful statement on racist mass shootings in Atlanta this past week.  

“Here I sit in my room, devastated and contemplating all that went wrong for this young white man to have gunned down eight people, six of whom were Asian women, four of whom were Korean American women. This man who proclaimed, ‘I love God and guns.’

“Sadly, this violence is not new. The level of anti-Asian violence may be increased however it is not different in kind from all the other violence our communities have faced….

“The hatred and violence toward Asian, South Asian and Pacific Islander people is not new.   

“There is a nexus of anti-Asian hatred, hatred of women, conflation of massage therapy and sex work, violence against perceived sex workers, disgusting racism  and minimizing by the local white police and sheriffs. There are so many things wrong….

“Every single time a public official condones and encourages anti-Semitism, racism, sexual violence against women, anti-immigrant sentiment, and hatred of Chinese and Asian people, they are contributing to the bullying, abuse, and killings.”

Alas, these excerpts cannot capture the breadth and power of Dr. Cho’s full statement, which can be read here, or in a slightly expanded version on Common Dreams here.

Dr. Cho closes out the longer version looking to the immediate, long-term, and necessary future:

“We must all love one another. We must stand up and speak out as allies not just today but every day, for sex workers, for immigrants, disabled people, for transgendered folks, for Black, Brown, Native and Indigenous, Muslim, Asian, Pacific Islander, and Jewish people. I still believe in the goodness of the American people and the people of the world. I believe we can unite across borders. I believe that we can see beyond our differences and notice when someone is being bullied on the street or online. Reach out to your neighbors and let them know they are safe.

“These hate crime murders did not happen in isolation. They happened because good people did not rise up to take back our country from right-wing extremists and demagogues. We did not take back our country from the neoliberals who will continue to side with the multinational corporations and slow-walk us into an ecological dystopia and planetary grave. Now is the time to right these wrongs and chart a courageous and compassionate path together.”