After the fatal attacks on several massage parlors in the greater Atlanta area, US President Joe Biden has strongly condemned hatred and racism. “We have to change our hearts. Hatred cannot have a safe haven in America. It has to stop, ”said Biden on Friday during a visit to Atlanta, Georgia.
The democrat also called for discrimination and racism not to be left unchallenged and thus not to be tolerated. “Silence makes us accomplices,” said Biden. “We mustn’t be accomplices.” Racism is an “ugly poison” that has been persecuting the United States for too long.
The deadly series of attacks in Georgia had rekindled the US debate about increasing discrimination against Americans of Asian origin. In his speech, Biden also indirectly criticized his predecessor Donald Trump for his controversial statements on the corona virus. The Republican had repeatedly referred to the virus as the “China virus”. “Words have consequences,” said Biden. “It’s the coronavirus, period.”
“We have to raise our voices”
Many US citizens of Asian descent reported after Trump’s statements that they were exposed to increased hostility and violence. According to a report published on the day of the attack by the Stop AAPI Hate initiative, which investigates discrimination against Americans and those from the Pacific Islands, hate crimes against people of Asian descent have increased in the United States. In the past year, according to the information, almost 3800 attacks were registered, women were affected more often than the average.
“We have to raise our voices, we have to act,” said Biden.
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, whose mother immigrated to the United States from India, met with representatives of the Asian community in Atlanta. “Racism is and always has been a fact in America, as is sexism,” Harris said. All people should be perceived as Americans, and not as members of a particular group, she said. “Wronging someone is wronging us all,” Harris said.
A 21-year-old white man confessed to the deeds. According to the police, he said he did not act out of racist motives. As a drive for the brutal attacks, he named sex addiction and the goal of wanting to eradicate the “temptation” through massage parlors.
The police said on Wednesday that it was too early to make clear statements about the motive for the crime and whether it was a hate crime. The public prosecutor’s office accuses the arrested person of murder and grievous bodily harm.