President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Asian-Americans in the role, will be meeting with Asian-American leaders in Atlanta on Friday afternoon, with eight people killed this week during a shooting in Asian massage parlors.
While investigators continue to assess whether the shooting was racially motivated, discussions are expected from Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris Nationwide escalation of attacks on Asian-Americans and Pacific Islands During the coronavirus epidemic. Six Asian-origin women were among those killed in the Atlanta shootings.
At the hearing of the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, Asian-American lawmakers warned The country had reached a “crisis point” amid a sharp rise in discrimination and violence targeting the Asian community. This was the first congressional hearing on this issue held in three decades.
Although Asian-Americans, like other minority groups, have long endured deadly violence, the threats and discrimination they face are often despised as harmless insults.
“There is a tendency to believe violence against Asian-Americans is not real,” said 52-year-old Angela Hsu, a lawyer in suburban Atlanta. “It’s almost like you really need something, to really convince people that it’s discrimination against Asian-Americans.”
Investigators in Cherokee County, where a spa was targeted, said the gunman told them he had “sexual addiction” and had carried out the attacks as a way to eliminate the temptation.
The president and vice president canceled a political program previously scheduled for Friday night in Georgia, the White House announced.
White House officials said, “During their visit to Atlanta, they” will hold a meeting with Asian-American leaders to discuss the ongoing attacks and threats against the community. “
A program for Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris says they will meet with Asian-American leaders at Emory University after visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This week, Ms. Harris, Whose mother was born in India, Condemned the bloodshed and expressed his solidarity with the Asian-American community.
“It speaks on a big issue, which is the issue of violence in our country and we should never tolerate it and always speak out against it,” said Ms. Harris.
“We want to tell our Asian-American community that we stand with you and understand how frightened and shocked and annoyed everyone is,” he said.
As a tribute to the shooting victims, Mr. Biden on Thursday ordered the American flag to be flown at half-staff through the sunset on Monday. The victims of Young’s Asian Massage attack in Cherokee County have been identified by police as 33-year-old Delaina Ashley Yun; Paul Andre Mitchell, 54; Xiaoji Tan, 49; And Doyu Feng, 44.
Police officials said on Thursday that they would not release the names of the four people killed at Gold Spa and Aromatherapy Spa in Atlanta until they had properly informed the family members of the victims, and that they would do so The South Koreans were working with the consular officers.