Biden strongly condemned racism: “must stop”

After the fatal attacks on several Asian massage parlors in the greater Atlanta area, US President Joe Biden has strongly condemned hatred and racism. “We have to change our hearts. Hate must not have a safe haven in America. It has to stop,” Biden appealed on Friday (local time) during a visit to Atlanta, Georgia. The democrat also called for discrimination and racism not to be left unchallenged and thus not to be tolerated.

“Because our silence makes us accomplices. We mustn’t be accomplices,” emphasized Biden. Racism is an “ugly poison” that has been persecuting the United States for too long. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, whose mother immigrated to the United States from India, met with representatives of the Asian community in Atlanta.

“Racism is and always has been a fact in America,” Harris said. “Xenophobia is and always has been a fact in America, as is sexism.” All people should be perceived as Americans, and not as members of a particular group, she said. “Wronging someone means wronging us all,” Harris warned.

The deadly series of attacks in Georgia had caused a shock and rekindled the US debate about increasing discrimination against Americans of Asian origin. After ex-President Donald Trump often referred to the corona virus as the “China virus”, many US citizens of Asian descent reported that they were increasingly exposed to hostility and violence.

On Tuesday, eight people were shot dead within a short time in three massage parlors in and around Atlanta. Six of the eight fatalities were of Asian origin and seven were women. One man survived seriously injured. A 21-year-old white man confessed to the deeds. According to the police, he said he did not act out of racist motives. He named sex addiction and the goal of eradicating “temptation” through massage parlors as the driving force behind the brutal attacks.

The police stressed on Wednesday, however, that it was too early to make clear statements about the motive for the crime and whether it was a hate crime. The public prosecutor’s office accuses the arrested person of murder and grievous bodily harm.

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