On Tuesday midnight, six Asian women among eight people killed in shootings at three Atlanta-area spas. It left Asian communities in many Western countries shaken, after a year that has seen a spike in racist attacks and threats against people of Asian descent. Robert Aaron Long, 21, the main suspect may have been motivated by a sexual obsession, according to police. But police have not ruled out a racial motivation, and racist, misogynist and sexualized violence very often.
For months, Twitter users around the world have been using the hashtag #StopAsianHate to share experiences of racism and call for an end to discrimination. Following Tuesday’s shooting, social media sites once again flooded with reaction from the United States and around the world. But it just fueled it more, instead of making it calm.
Wednesday afternoon, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed solidarity in a tweet. “Over the past year, we’ve seen an increase in acts of racism against Asian Canadians,” he wrote. “This ignorant, violent, and discriminatory behavior has no place in Canada — or anywhere in the world. We must continue to stand united against it.”
According to an analysis by the Anti-Defamation League, anti-Asian American hostility and conspiracy theories spiked 85% on Twitter in the 12 hours after Trump’s Covid diagnosis. But the reason is yet unknown.