Elected Officials React to Atlanta Shootings Targeting Asian-Americans

On Tuesday eight people were murdered at Atlanta massage parlors. According to the New York Times, six of them were of Asian descent, and the man whom the police have charged with the killings, Robert Aaron Long, had been a customer of at least two of the businesses.

Also, the NYT reported that Mr. Long, who is white, told the police he had a sex addiction and targeted the massage parlors to remove a “temptation,” denying racist motives. A former roommate of his at a halfway house said Mr. Long had tried to stop acting on his sexual desires as recently as 2020, but had continued going to massage parlors for sex.

Long has been charged with eight counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault.

Governor Ned Lamont announced on Thursday that – in accordance with a proclamation from President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. directing flags to be lowered throughout the country as a mark of solemn respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on March 16 in the Atlanta metropolitan area – he is directing US and state flags in Connecticut to fly at half-staff beginning immediately until sunset on Monday, March 22, 2021.

Accordingly, since no flag should fly higher than the US flag, all other flags, including state, municipal, corporate, or otherwise, should also be lowered during this same duration of time.

On Wednesday State Rep Kimberly Fiorello issued a statement, saying a targeted attack on Asian-Americans is an attack on every American.

“Hatred is both universal and particular. The particularity today strikes me and my family,” she continued. “It resonates with me as an Asian-American woman who grew up the daughter of an Asian-American shop owner. My heart breaks for the families of the victims today, as it has been broken in the past for families of other victims. These tragedies effect the fabric of our community across Connecticut and across the country. We need to see each other as individuals, not as groups. And we need to love each other as fellow Americans whatever other individual identities we may hold.”

“Words matter,” said attorney General William Tong in a statement. “Vile and racist hate speech puts Americans and families like mine at risk and it has to stop. The politicians and leaders perpetuating the scapegoating of Asian-Americans must be held accountable. Blood is on their hands today.”