'Overwhelming Grief': San Diegans Respond To Mass Shooting Involving Women Of Asian Descent
The repercussions of a shooting rampage in Atlanta Tuesday are being felt in Asian American and Pacific Islander-American communities across the U.S. Eight people died in attacks on three spas in the area, six of the victims were women of Asian descent.
A suspect is in custody. Authorities said the 21-year-old white male being charged with murder and assault for the shootings claimed they were not motivated by race. But after a year of increasing harassment and violence directed toward Asian-Americans, many in that community say they’ve had enough.
Kirin Macapugay is a member of California's Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs and is on the board of the San Diego API Coalition. She said the shooting brought on feelings of immense grief.
“Like so many of us, we have so much to grieve in this time of pandemic. We have much to grieve in terms of the rise in attacks against Asian Pacific Islander people, but the killings yesterday just brought more overwhelming grief,” Macapugay said.
Racism against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is not new. But in the last year it has been less hidden because of hate crimes and incidents connected to the pandemic. In 2020, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office filed charges in three cases of hate crimes against Asian Americans and has documented several other racist incidents. The California-based advocacy organization Stop AAPI Hate collected 42 reports of racist incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in San Diego County since last January.
Macapugay said one attack happened in San Marcos against three women in the same family. She said a woman, her mother and teenage daughter were walking in San Marcos when someone driving by got out of their car and started screaming at them, blaming them for the coronavirus and the pandemic.
Macapugay joined Midday Edition Wednesday to talk about violence against Asian Americans and Pacific-Islander Americans.