ATLANTA – Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) issued the following statement after introducing H.Res. 275, a bicameral resolution condemning the hate crime that occurred on March 16 when eight people were killed at three Atlanta-area Asian spas. Two of the spas targeted were in the Fifth District. In the House, the measure was led by Congresswomen Williams (GA-05), Lucy McBath (GA-06), Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07), and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27). Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) led the effort in the Senate. The resolution reaffirms Congress’ commitment to combating hate and violence directed against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.
“People are hurting in the midst of a global pandemic, especially members of our Asian American communities who have experienced intensified anti-Asian discrimination and violence,” said Congresswoman Williams. “Everyone has the right to live without fear of being shot or killed in their workplace or public spaces because of their race, ethnicity, or gender. The horrific Atlanta Spa shootings struck the heart of the Fifth District and the entire Atlanta community. I will always stand up and condemn all forms of violence and bigotry. That is why I am proud to co-sponsor this resolution to stop AAPI hate.”
“The horrific murders in Georgia this month, which claimed eight lives, six of whom were Asian women, shocked our nation,” said Congresswoman Chu. “This was a hate crime, plain and simple. The murderer sought out and targeted Asian owned businesses and specifically, Asian women who are some of our most vulnerable. This mass shooting brought attention to the plague of anti-Asian violence. But this violence has long predated the murders in Georgia. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Asian Americans have reported over 3,800 hate crimes and incidents inspired by misinformation and xenophobic slurs like ‘Chinese virus’ and ‘Kung flu.’ That is why it is so important that all leaders speak out to reject bigotry and violence. I’m grateful for the support from so many colleagues. Together, we can stop Asian hate.”
“I am proud to join my colleagues in the House and Senate to speak out against anti-AAPI hate across our country,” said Congresswoman Bourdeaux. We all have different stories, but together, we are one united nation. An attack on any one individual community is an attack on all communities. While Atlanta continues to mourn for the lives lost in the recent attacks, we know that if we stand together, our light can never be dimmed.”
“Our communities are devastated every single time another family is ripped apart. The pain felt by every person who has been targeted by this violence is excruciating,” said Congresswoman McBath. “The horrific events of recent weeks are just the latest examples of the hate our Asian American brothers and sisters have faced during this pandemic. No member of our community should ever live in fear of discrimination, hatred, or violence. We must condemn hate and protect one another.”
“We must stand against AAPI hate and violence, full stop. I join my colleagues in the Senate and the House in mourning the lives lost in the recent horrific shooting in Atlanta, and condemning the irresponsible and cruel anti-Asian sentiments related to the COVID-19 pandemic that have caused a spike in anti-Asian violence,” said Senator Warnock. “Let me be clear: hate, including hate that hurts and kills members of the Asian-American community, has no place in Georgia—or anywhere in our country.”
Read the full text of the House resolution here.