This is Randy Park, one of the sons of Hyun Jung Grant, a victim of the horrendous massacre that took place this past week in Atlanta. He said she was a mother “who dedicated her whole life to providing for my brother and I.” And that “she was one of my best friends and the strongest influence on who we are today. Losing her has put a new lens on my eyes on the amount of hate that exists in our world.”
But the Cherokee County Police were more sympathetic to her killer and his “really bad day.” They wasted no time explaining that he was “fed up” and “at the end of his rope” and dealing with the “temptation” of “sexual addiction.” They immediately, without even a hint of hesitation, ruled out a racist motive for the crime. But it didn’t take long for people to find racist themes throughout his social media. So regardless of the “day” he was having, his “feelings” do not deserve to be centered. His racism and misogyny do.
Anti-Asian rhetoric gained momentum over the past year with the pandemic. Attacks, ridicule and casual hate speech. I saw the anti-China crusade being ramped up under Trump, but it is continuing even now under the new Biden administration. To think that this does not have an impact is ridiculous.
And, as in the case of George Floyd, the women who were murdered are now being slandered in some parts of the press because they may have been sex workers. We don’t really know if this is true, but would it matter? It is time to make it clear that sex work IS work. And no one who does it deserves violence.
May Hyun Jung Grant and the seven other victims rest in peace. And may their families gain the strength to rebuild their lives from the wreckage of this devastating attack.
Kenn Orphan March 2021
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I appreciate your support for Asian Americans, esp. during these hard times. Many Americans have bought the “Model Minority” myth, which undermines the racism, violence and repression that many of us have experienced. The recent killings in Atlanta, while tragic, will hopefully remind us all that white supremacy/racism attacks all peoples of color, and that our best defense is to make our voices heard and to act in solidarity.
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I just want to say or add to what others think that your writings poems thoughts come through with such huge heart such tender thinking and a presence that speaks of great consciousness.