Earlier this week, Robert Aaron Long, 21, allegedly entered three Georgia-based massage parlors and opened fire. Of the casualties, eight individuals died, with six of these individuals being Asian-American women.
Many people have asserted that this week’s shooting in the Atlanta area were motivated by race; however, others, such as law enforcement and the White House, maintain that Long’s motives are unknown.
On Friday, President Joe Biden, along with Vice President Kamala Harris, flew to Georgia to meet with the Asian-American community. In the wake of the meeting, Biden also called upon Congress to pass legislation on coronavirus-fueled hate crimes, according to Newsmax.
The Latest Push from President Biden
In a statement, the 46th president noted the tragedy of the shootings in Georgia this week.
After admitting that the shooter’s motives are not yet known, Biden stated that Congress needs to pass the “COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act” through its chambers; according to the president, legislation of this nature would give the U.S. government an easier time cracking down on hate crimes that have surged amid coronavirus.
Today, President Biden urged Congress to swiftly pass the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. The law will expedite the government’s response to the rise of hate crimes exacerbated during the pandemic. https://t.co/VdvXRcIR04
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 19, 2021
Biden then noted his presidential signing of a memorandum to rein in bigotry, racism, and xenophobia aimed towards Asian-Americans due to COVID-19. Shortly thereafter, the president’s statement noted his orders for the Health and Human Services Department and Justice Department to end “anti-Asian” hatred, harassment, and other forms of prejudice.
In the days and weeks to come, Americans can expect to hear much more about the shootings in Georgia. Police only managed to apprehend Long after an hours-long manhunt; although, with the alleged shooter now in custody, investigations can dig up more details.
Moving ahead, time will tell whether or not Congress does pass the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. Amid reports of an uptick in anti-Asian crimes, additional reports state that more Asian Americans are exercising their Second Amendment rights and purchasing firearms.
President Biden has urged Congress to pass the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, saying the bill "would would expedite the federal government’s response to the rise of hate crimes exacerbated during the pandemic." pic.twitter.com/t9x0K2K94Y
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) March 20, 2021
Some Americans have warned against automatically assuming that race motivated this week’s shootings in Georgia. Law enforcement, likewise, maintains that they do not know whether or not race motivated Long; however, other Americans argue that Asian-Americans disproportionately suffered from this crime, as have others since the start of COVID-19.
Do you believe Congress should pass a bill regarding hate crimes motivated by COVID-19? Do you think race fueled the alleged actions of Robert Aaron Long? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.