Much of the mainstream media has rushed to conclude that the shootings that killed eight people at the Atlanta-area massage parlors were hate crimes after officials confirmed that six of the eight victims were Asian-Americans.
Investigators said Wednesday that the suspected gunman, 21-year-old Robert Long, told them he was motivated by a “sexual addiction” and added that racism “did not appear to be the motive”. Long has since been charged with multiple counts of murder and assault.
However, CNN doubled down on the hate crime push, with anchor Poppy Harlow suggesting America’s deep-seated animosity towards the Asian community was behind the shootings. Her guest, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, himself a son of Chinese immigrants, blamed the attack on President Trump’s rhetoric toward China at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
“You’ve been a victim of hate speech like this, repeatedly, and you made a really important point recently and that’s that this country has a long history and legacy of hate and racism against Asians, just going back to the internment camps,” Harlow said. “And you also point to this as just being the latest round of scapegoating. It makes me wonder if you think we’ve learned much as a country.”
“Yeah, you have to wonder,” Tong responded. “And this is a history that people don’t really know well. And that’s what it means to be an Asian-American in this country today. You’re largely invisible in the discussion about racism. People are surprised to hear about anti-Asian hate. They don’t know the legacy of the Chinese Exclusion Act, the beating death of Vincent Chin, and the internment of 125,000 Japanese American citizens in camps on American soil when we blamed them for Pearl Harbor.”
Tong continued, “Yeah, it happens to me. It happens all the time. I’ve been called ‘The Manchurian AG.’ My name has been mocked. And just yesterday someone accused me of being an agent of the Chinese Communist Party. I was born in Hartford, Connecticut. But I’m the attorney general, I can take it.
“If it happens to me, it must happen a lot to everyday people who aren’t attorneys general who don’t have the same protection and public profile that I do, and I worry about families across Connecticut and across this country.”
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