Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, CL, Pharrell, Ariana Grande and many other artists have joined the rising chorus of voices condemning anti-Asian violence in the U.S. following a shooting rampage on Tuesday in Atlanta in which a 21-year-old white man killed eight people, six of whom were women of Asian descent.
“What happened yesterday in Atlanta was brutal, tragic & is certainly not an isolated incident by any means,” wrote Rihanna. “AAPI hate has been rampantly perpetuated & it’s disgusting! I’m heartbroken for the Asian community & my heart is with the loved ones of those we lost. The hate must stop.”
The suspect in the case was charged with eight counts of murder on Wednesday in the spree that found him attacking three spas in the Atlanta area. According to the New York Times, investigators have not ruled out a racial motive in the case, in what appears to be the latest example of anti-Asian violence in a year when such incidents have spiked across the country. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday that “there’s no question” that former president Donald Trump’s repeated use of phrases such as “China/Chinese Virus” and “kung flu” in reference to the coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China, helped fuel an increase in crimes against Asian Americans.
Though the suspect allegedly told police that he was compelled by a “sexual addiction” — all but one of the victims were women — politicians and community leaders across the country said it was impossible to ignore that most of the victims in the incident were of Asian descent. Former 2NE1 member CL tweeted, “We stand together. #StopAsianHate,” along with a link to a GoFundMe for the nonprofit Stop AAPI Hate, which works to combat hate and xenophobic actions against Asian American and Pacific Islanders in the U.S.
Pharrell posted an urgent plea as well, writing, “Enough is enough. Last night was another instance of innocent lives lost to domestic terrorism. We must protect our Asian brothers and sisters… Stop Asian Hate now.” A recent analysis from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State University San Bernardino found that hate crimes against Asians in the U.S. rose 150% in 2020. Stop AAPI Hate has logged almost 3,800 reports of hate incidents targeting Asian-Americans across the country since March 2020.
The alleged shooter’s parents contacted the Cherokee Country sheriff’s department several hours after the rampage began to identify the attacker as their son, who was apprehended 150 miles south of Atlanta; authorities found him with a 9-mm handgun on his way to Florida, where he told police he was planning to commit more violence against “some type of porn industry.”
Among the other artists speaking out were Janet Jackson, who tweeted, “My heart breaks for the Asian community,” Melanie Fiona, “Stop Asian Hate. Stop White Terrorism. Black Lives (Still) Matter,” Rina Sawayama, “A CRIME AGAINST ANY COMMUNITY IS A CRIME AGAINST US ALL. RIP TO THE ASIAN WOMEN KILLED,” as well as Kim Kardashian West, who offered a link to resources to combat anti-Asian violence.
Timberlake retweeted a statement from the NAACP condemning the killings, which they called “A disgusting and disturbing example of how the spread of domestic terrorism has been allowed to torment communities.”
See the posts below.
what happened yesterday in Atlanta was brutal, tragic & is certainly not an isolated incident by any means. AAPI hate has been rampantly perpetuated & it’s disgusting! I’m heartbroken for the Asian community & my heart is with the loved ones of those we lost. The hate must stop. pic.twitter.com/rkxZDnxG9E
— Rihanna (@rihanna) March 18, 2021
A disgusting and disturbing example of how the spread of domestic terrorism has been allowed to torment communities.
These acts are the visible manifestation of hateful words birthing hateful acts!
— NAACP (@NAACP) March 17, 2021
— CL (@chaelinCL) March 17, 2021
— tablo (@blobyblo) March 17, 2021
— Janet Jackson (@JanetJackson) March 17, 2021
Racism of any kind is never okay. #StopAsianHate
— KELENDRIA ROWLAND (@KELLYROWLAND) March 17, 2021
If you have something that supports the Asian community that you would like to amplify, please send a twote here. #StopAsianHate
— Dionne Warwick (@dionnewarwick) March 17, 2021
A CRIME AGAINST ANY COMMUNITY IS A CRIME AGAINST US ALL
— RINA SAWAYAMA (@rinasawayama) March 17, 2021
ANTI-ASIAN VIOLENCE RESOURCE https://t.co/ESRU91OKD0
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) March 17, 2021
— Hamilton (@HamiltonMusical) March 17, 2021
Stop Asian Hate.
Stop White Terrorism.
Black Lives (Still) Matter. 💜
— Melanie Fiona (@MelanieFiona) March 18, 2021
Sending love to the Asian community majority right now.
— PRELUDE (@LaurenJauregui) March 17, 2021
I stand in solidarity with the Asian community. Yesterday, eight people, including six Asian women, were shot dead in a shooting spree in my home-state of Georgia. Enough is enough. We need to start holding people accountable NOW to end racism and violence. #StopAsianHate
— Kat Graham (@KatGraham) March 17, 2021
If you or someone you know has been the victim of anti-Asian bias or violence, the resources below are available to help or provide information: Stand Against Hatred, Asian Americans Advancing Justice — Atlanta chapter, #StopAsianHate, Support the AAPI Community Fund, CommUNITY Action Fund and Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.