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CCASA Response to Atlanta Spa Shootings

By Cari Simon and Brandi Dye

CCASA condemns violence and white supremacy in all of its forms. As a field founded on acknowledging and naming that sexual violence exists, we must do the same with all forms of oppression as they are undeniably connected.

A key element of sexual violence, and a culture that allows for it, is the idea that one is entitled to something from someone else. On March 16th, we saw entitlement on display when a white man decided to kill Asian-American women with little fear of accountability or retribution. The shooter targeted Asian-American workers at local spas because he didn’t see Delaina Yaun, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Yong A. Yue, Soon C. Park, Hyun J. Grant as human beings. He saw them as “temptations” and, instead of seeing his self-diagnosed sex addiction as an internal issue to be worked on, the shooter blamed Asian-American women and concluded they must pay with their lives.

Unquestionably, these murders were rooted in racism, misogyny, and hatred.

Our society has to change. Because these murders were a direct result of the fetishization of Asian women that our society accepts and tolerates.  This particular fetishization is based on stereotypes of  submissiveness on one hand and hypersexualization on the other.  Let’s be clear, fetishization reduces people to sexualized images while denying their inherent humanity. Such dehumanization is a step on the way to the level of utterly horrific violence we saw in Atlanta on March 16th.

Looking ahead, we must see accountability for the violence in a way that doesn’t further threaten vulnerable Asian-American communities.  We urge you to look to the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum for resources and ways to take action.

We must hold ourselves, and others, accountable when we fail to act against racism and any form of oppression. We invite you to join us on this journey.

To request an anti-oppression training visit https://www.ccasa.org/training-request-form/

To connect to white people working to unlearn racism and striving to be actively anti-racist, email jenna@ccasa.org regarding Colorado Advocates for Racial Equity

To connect to people of color within the field, email agueda@ccasa.org regarding the Communities of Color Alliance