What To Know Today
A community reels after a night of violence in Georgia. National and local leaders in the Asian-American community expressed outrage and grief over the shootings that left eight people dead, including six Asian women:
- “I’m trying to keep it together,” said L. Sookyung Oh, Washington, D.C-area director of the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium, an advocacy group. “I feel hurt. Asian-American people feel hurt.”
- “The reality is this tragedy is impacting the Asian-American community in ways it’s not in the other communities in Atlanta right now,” said Sung Yeon Choimorrow, executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum.
- “That the Asian women murdered yesterday were working highly vulnerable and low-wage jobs during an ongoing pandemic speaks directly to the compounding impacts of misogyny, structural violence, and white supremacy,” said Phi Nguyen of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta, a civil rights organization and legal nonprofit.
Resource: ➡️ After the shootings, the Asian American Journalists Association released guidelines for covering the events while taking into account the broader context of Asian-American history. They include reckoning with the historic hypersexualization of Asian women — including by avoiding terminology that can fuel it — and diversifying sources to include more Asian-American and Pacific Islander voices.
NEW from THE TRACE: Violence Against Women Act reauthorization targets major gun loopholes. The House voted to renew the legislation that created sweeping protections for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. It now heads to the Senate, where Democrats will need to enlist support from across the aisle to avoid a Republican filibuster. Jennifer Mascia parses the gun prohibitions in the bill that Republicans have objected to, including measures to close the “boyfriend loophole” and deny guns for people convicted of misdemeanor stalking, as well as those served with temporary restraining orders. Related: Earlier this year, The Trace published a story about Rosemarie Reilly, whose ex-boyfriend shot and killed her in 2016. Three weeks before she died, Reilly had gotten a protective order, but a judge denied the gun restriction.
Black- and Brown-led gun violence prevention groups call for $5.3 billion in federal funds. The Fund Peace campaign, a coalition of dozens of groups, is asking President Joe Biden and Congress for new appropriations to support local community-led gun violence prevention efforts and to use existing funding streams from federal programs like Medicaid and the Victims of Crime Act to support such efforts. “For decades, community leaders have implemented people-focused, evidence-based strategies like violence intervention outreach, hospital-based intervention programs, and therapeutic programs supporting those most traumatized,” they say in a new letter. “What we need now is for these proven methods to be properly funded and scaled up throughout the country.”
More research suggests that innovative violence reduction programs could save lives. Earlier this week, New York City announced it would soon launch a chapter of Advance Peace, a program that provides resources to young people most at risk of being a perpetrator or victim of gun violence and gives participants a stipend when they achieve specific goals. A recent study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, looked at the effectiveness of the program in Stockton, California, from 2018 to 2020. After implementation there, Advance Peace was associated with a 21-percent reduction in the city’s gun assaults and homicides, relative to the average rates going back to 2015.
Man accused of selling weapon conversion devices to “boogaloo” members reaches plea deal. The 30-year-old West Virginia man pleaded guilty to one charge of having an unregistered firearm silencer. Federal agents arrested the man in September for allegedly running a site that sold devices that prosecutors say could turn semiautomatic AR-15 rifles into fully automatic weapons. Prosecutors allege his customers included several boogaloo adherents who were later implicated in violence, including a California man arrested for the fatal shooting of a federal security officer last summer.
150 percent — the rise in anti-Asian-American hate crimes in 16 of the largest cities in the U.S. last year, with the biggest jump and highest absolute number seen in New York City. [California State University’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism via VOA]