Biden meets with Asian-American executives in Atlanta
President Biden called his meeting with local Asian-American leaders in Atlanta on Friday “heartbreaking” and said racism is “the ugly poison that has long haunted and plagued our nation.”
Biden and Veep Kamala Harris – the country’s first Asian-American vice president – had met with leaders to offer assistance at three massage parlors in the Atlanta area after this week’s carnage.
Six of the eight people killed were Asian women, and although authorities say they do not believe the murders were a hate crime at the time, the investigation is still ongoing.
“Racism is real in America and it always has been,” Harris said at a press conference after the meeting.
“Damage to one of us is damage to us all. The President and I will not be silent.
“We won’t watch. We will always speak out against violence, hate crime and discrimination where and whenever it happens. “
Biden, who was brought to the podium by Harris, said the meeting was “heartbreaking to hear.
“I said from the start of my presidential campaign that we must come together, that we must unite one nation, one America as one people,” said Biden.
“I believe with every fiber in my being that there are simply some core values and beliefs that should bring us together as Americans,” he said. “One of them stands together against hatred,” he said.
Harris and Biden had planned their trip to the Georgia capital – home of the Centers for Disease Control – to see the $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package passed and the milestone delivery of 100 million COVID-19 shots to Americans in recent years 60 days to celebrate. She said.
“And then we learned Tuesday night that eight of our neighbors were killed in a heinous act of violence – violence that has no place in Georgia or the United States,” Harris said.
“Whatever the killer’s motives, these facts are clear. Six of the eight people killed on Tuesday evening were of Asian descent,” she said.
“Seven were women. The shootings took place in companies owned by Asian Americans. The shootings came as violence, hate crime and discrimination against AA increased dramatically in the past year and beyond, “she said.
“It’s all harmful and unfortunately not new,” she said of the 3,800 incidents of hate crimes recorded against Americans from Asia last year, two-thirds of which were committed against women.
“Everything from physical assaults to verbal allegations,” she said of the attacks.
Harris condemned the country’s xenophobia history, including laws banning newly immigrated Asian Americans from owning property as they helped build the country’s transcontinental railroad in the 1860s, forcing more than 120,000 Japanese-Americans to living in funeral camps during World War II.
“Today @POTUS and I met with Asian American leaders in Atlanta, Georgia to discuss the rise in attacks against the community.” Harris tweeted after the meeting.
“We want Asian Americans in Georgia and throughout our country to know: We will not be silent. We will not watch. We will always speak out against violence.”
Suspect Aaron Robert Long has admitted to investigators that he targeted massage parlors because he wanted to “remove” the “temptation” that sparked his alleged sex addiction.
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