Local Asian American reacts to deadly Atlanta spa shootings

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Members of the Asian American community are reacting to Tuesday’s deadly mass shooting in Atlanta that left eight people dead. Six of the victims were Asian women.

The deadly shooting spree is sparking conversation and fear throughout the nation. The suspect said the shootings weren’t racially motivated, according to police.

Here in Savannah Asian Indian American Dr. Nalanda Roy said these shootings weren’t a pleasing thing for her to hear.

“It’s hard to digest when some sort of injustice happens against humanity in general,” Roy said.

Roy is an Associate Professor for Political Science and International Studies at Georgia Southern University. She’s also a part of the Asian-American community and said over this last year during the pandemic we’ve seen an uptick in violence toward the Asian American community, but the hate doesn’t begin there.

Her work at Georgia Southern doesn’t stop at teaching students. She’s also an Inclusive Excellence Faculty Fellow and is involved in Savannah’s Asian community. She speaks on the topic of anti-Asian hate because this conversation has impacted her life after immigrating to the United States.

“Somebody asked me the question are you the Asian with the dot or the Asian with the feather,” Roy said.

Roy said this hate has been going on for years and is just now starting to get attention.

“I think the most important job for us at this moment, especially for the future generations, is to teach them no matter who you are or where you come from or what your color is, at the end of the day we are all humans,” Roy said.

A recent report from Stop Asian American Pacific Islander Hate says there have been nearly 3,800 hate incidents reported from March of last year to this February.

The claims range from verbal harassment, physical assault, and civil rights violations. Roy believes this is a moment to become more aware of what’s actually going on.

“It’s not only applicable for any certain community. It is applicable for every single human being who has been a victim in some way or the other,” Roy said.

She’s hopeful that each community can come together no matter their differences and hopefully Asian American leaders can help bring more awareness to this issue.

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