“Heartbroken For Asian Community”: Rihanna Condemns Atlanta Spa Killings

International pop star Rihanna today expressed her support for the Asian community in the wake of the shooting in the US that killed eight people — most of whom were Asian women. The attack in the US city of Atlanta was not an isolated incident by any means, the pop star said, adding the “hate must stop”.

“What happened yesterday in Atlanta was brutal, tragic and is certainly not an isolated incident by any means. AAPI hate has been rampantly perpetuated and it’s disgusting! I’m heartbroken for the Asian community and my heart is with the loved ones of those we lost. The hate must stop,” she tweeted.

A 21-year-old man has been arrested and charged for murder for the Tuesday’s rampage that have deeply shaken the Asian-American community.

The accused, Robert Aaron Long, has denied a racist motive to the triple attacks — in which six of the victims were women of Asian origin — but police say that they are yet to determine the shooter’s reason for opening fire.

Long, who is white, “does claim it was not racially motivated,” Captain Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office told a news conference, but stressed that “this is still early” in the investigation.

More than 3,000 incidents of abuse against Asian Americans were reported between March and December 2020, according to Asian American advocacy groups. There were only 216 reported cases in 2019, according to FBI statistics.

Last week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and several US lawmakers condemned the ongoing acts of hate against Asian Americans.

“I am appalled by the ongoing acts of hate against Asian Americans and the Asian community globally. Racism, hate and violence have no place in our society. I am united with the Asian and Asian American community in standing against this injustice,” Mr Nadella said in a tweet, a day after US President Joe Biden said that the ”vicious” hate crimes against Asian Americans in the country amidst the pandemic was ”un-American” and it must stop.

Denouncing “violent” attacks on the Asian Americans, Biden in his first prime-time address to the nation since assuming office in January, said that members of the community were harassed, blamed and scapegoated.

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