The eight deaths in the March 19 Atlanta massage business shooting and its reason highlight a disturbing issue with the mistreatment and fetishizing of Asian women in America.
These are not the first Asian deaths that have taken place. According to an article by NBC News, the U.S. has experienced a 150% hike in hate crimes as of 2020. This is not a new phenomenon; it has been and continues to be a big issue.
But the question to ask is why exactly this incident would warrant a conversation around the fetishizing and mistreatment of Asian women.
Well, when you focus on the shooter’s explanation for his killings, you see the full picture. He stated that his motivation was that he suffered from sex addiction and the shootings were an attempt to remove temptation. These women, these human beings, were an expendable issue he was facing. They were worth fetishizing but their lives no longer mattered when it came to their basic rights.
The 1875 Page act specifically targeted Asian women who were accused of spreading sexually transmitted diseases according to History.com. This perception clearly has not changed in the millennium since the act was passed.
Consider the account of the executive director of the National Asian Pacific Women’s Forum, Sung Yeon Choimorrow for instance.
“Acquaintances feel the need to tell me how much they love Asian women or they use that as a pick-up line to indicate that I’m the type that they like,” she said.
So, what should be done? To be completely honest, there are many stereotypes tied to the Asian community that are damaging. The main issue is to acknowledge that if your victims in a case primarily consist of one race, it is a hate crime.
It does not matter if he argues that his violence was fueled by sex addiction because it just ties into the fetishizing of these women.
Why is his addiction geared towards Asian women? Why did his sexualization and objectification of them have to cost them their lives? Because he viewed that specific community as less than human to the point that he was okay killing them to absolve himself of wrongdoing.
Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Paul Andre Michels, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz and Soon Chung Park did not deserve to suffer because the shooter wanted to remove himself from sin.