President Joe Biden has urged Americans to talk up against hate, warning that “our silence is complicity” within the face of racist acts.
Mr Biden made the remarks in Georgia where he met Asian-American leaders within the wake of Tuesday’s attack on three Atlanta-area massage parlours.
The shootings left eight dead, including six Asian women.
Though police haven’t called race the motive for the attack, it came amid a spike in anti-Asian violence.
Hate crimes against people of East Asian descent have risen during the Covid-19 pandemic, and racism has been an “ugly poison that has long haunted and plagued our nation,” one that Americans must work to extinguish, Mr Biden said.
What else did Biden say?
Mr Biden also urged Congress to pass the coronavirus-related hate crimes bill introduced earlier this month by two Asian-American lawmakers.
The Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act would bolster Department of Justice efforts to combat such acts.
The bill would “expedite the federal government’s response to the increase of hate crimes exacerbated during the pandemic, support state and native governments to enhance hate crimes reporting, and make sure that hate crimes information is more accessible to Asian American communities,” the White House said.
There has been a pointy rise in attacks on Asian Americans since the beginning of the pandemic, which activists have linked to rhetoric blaming Asian people for the outbreak.
However, Mr Biden added that “for all the great that laws can do, we’ve to vary our hearts”.
“Hate can haven’t any safe harbour in America. it’s to prevent ,” he said.
“It’s on all folks , all folks together, to form it stop.”
What is a hate crime within the US?
From insults to murder – anti-Asian hate on rise
What’s the latest on the case?
On Friday, local officials released the complete names of all eight victims within the attack on three Atlanta-area Asian massage parlours. They are:
Daoyou Feng, 44
Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33
Hyun Jung Grant, 51
Paul Andre Michels, 54
Soon Chung Park, 74
Suncha Kim, 69
Xiaojie Tan, 49
Yong Ae Yue, 63
A ninth person – Elcias Hernandez Ortiz, 30 – remains in hospital together with his injuries.
Mothers, sisters, newlyweds and business owners
China hails granny who fought off attacker in US
The Georgia Sheriff’s Office investigating the shootings removed its spokesman from the case on Thursday after social media posts emerged showing Captain Jay Baker promoting a T-shirt that called Covid-19 an “imported virus from CHY-NA”.
Mr Baker has faced intense criticism since his comments at the primary news conference after the shooting, during which he claimed the suspect , Robert Aaron Long, had “a really bad day”.
Also on Friday, Mr Long’s church condemned his “sinful heart and depraved mind”.
“We want to be clear that this extreme and wicked act is nothing but rebellion against our Holy God and His Word,” the Crabapple First Baptist Church said. “The shootings were a complete repudiation of our faith and practice, and such actions are completely unacceptable and contrary to the gospel.”Total Words: 507
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