Solidarity Statement After the Killing of Eight People in Atlanta, Georgia

Vote Run Lead stands in solidarity with the residents of Cherokee County and Atlanta, Georgia (GA) and in particular, with the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community across the United States. We are outraged and heartbroken by the senseless killing of Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Delaina Ashley Yaun Gonzalez, Paul Andre Michels, and four other women of Korean descent that occurred on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. Elcias R. Hernadez-Ortiz was also shot and is in intensive care. To these victims, the survivors and bystanders, their families and friends and all who have been harmed: we see you and we are holding you with love and hope.

Tuesday night’s killings leave us grieving and deeply examining a number of questions:

  • Why did the police advance the killer’s version of what happened, that it was lust and not misogyny, which resulted in the killing of seven women?  
  • Why did the media hesitate to call the killings anti-Asian even after six of the eight victims were identified as Asian Americans and Asian-owned businesses were targeted?
  • Why are the reputations and occupations of the dead Asian American women called into question but not the character of the white, religiously devout killer? 
  • Why is the killer quickly humanized and allowed to “have a bad day,” but four of the Asian American victims still faceless and nameless? 
  • Why has it taken 30 years for there to be a congressional hearing on anti-Asian discrimination, even after the past year has witnessed thousands of Asian Americans harassed, stalked, or killed due to the political rhetoric of this country’s highest leaders? 
  • And why, just two days after the killings in Georgia, why did Representative Chip Roy (TX-21) lambast China and reference lynching at a congressional hearing about discrimination against Asian Americans in the United States? 

The answers to these questions privilege the experiences and opinions of white men over everyone else, and that in of itself, is the very epitome of white supremacy and its incestuous entanglement with misogyny, racism and violence.

Vote Run Lead is committed to building a world where each human being is valued. We train women, especially women from marginalized and disenfranchised backgrounds, to run for public office and to win, because we believe a better democracy is possible. We will not allow Asian American women’s voices and stories to be eviscerated or silenced. We will not be gaslighted to doubt what we see, hear, and know to be true. We will not accept the status quo. In fact, we reaffirm our commitment to orient our work towards dismantling white supremacy and the patriarchy and replacing them with shared humanity and the strength of a connected, caring national community. We reaffirm our commitment to using the full weight of our organizational resources to embolden and empower intersectional, anti-racist, reform-minded women, to amplify their leadership, and to put more women like them in positions of power to lead us all into a better future.

And lastly, we stand alongside and united with the National Asian Pacific American Women’s ForumAAPI Women LeadAPIA Vote,  APAICS and our friends in Georgia including Asian American Advancing Justice Atlanta and 9to5.
In solidarity-- Vote Run Lead