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Was the Atlanta killings racist or misogynistic? Or both?

By reporting that Robert Aaron Long wanted to eliminate “the temptation“that represented according to him the targeted massage parlors, the police offended more than one.

These statements relate to the perception of Asian women as sex objects“, notes Catherine Ceniza Choy, professor of ethnic studies at Berkeley University.”And that hurts.

Asian Americans “are victims of stereotypes“specific that refer”to the fantasies of white men“, she told AFP, citing the typical example of the prostitute with a big heart, heroine of the film”Suzie Wong’s World“.

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They are racist because they specifically target Asian women, but they are also sexist and sexual“, she notes.

For her, like many others, the bloodbath in Atlanta is therefore a mixture of racism, sexism, contempt for the poor, the gun problem in the United States and mental illness. In short, it is “intersectionnel“.

– Fantasies –

The term was theorized in 1989 by Kimberlé Crenshaw, an African-American law professor, to emphasize that discrimination can overlap. The concept gradually emerged from academia and, in the activist space, refers to what some call “the convergence of struggles“.

Since Tuesday, it has been brought back to the fore.

Deadly Atlanta attack recalls a terrible truth: women too often fall victim to men’s rage“, tweeted the anti-racism association ADL, referring to an article entitled:”When women are the enemy: at the intersection of misogyny and white supremacy“.

Without necessarily brandishing this word, which may seem obscure, many commentators have declined the concept.

The shooter “could have attacked strip clubs, porn video shops or sex shopsWashington Post columnist Monica Hesse noted.But he did not do it.“Instead, she said,”he chose businesses whose employees are women, but not only: they are also of Asian origin, poorly paid and in a profession subject to fantasies“.

Given the sexual stereotypes associated with Asian women in this country (…) it is very difficult to dismiss the racial question.NBC News reporter Kimmy Yam added.

– Clothes –

The police have not, for the time being, excluded any motive. “Everything is on the table“, according to one of his spokespersons.

But, for now, Robert Aaron Long, who has been charged with murder and assault, is not being prosecuted for “hate crime“.

This charge covers in the United States the motives linked to the origin, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, or religion of the victim and makes it possible to pronounce heavier sentences. The State of Georgia has just included it in its penal arsenal.

But to prove that the perpetrator of a crime was motivated by “a hatred“whether racist, misogynist, homophobic or anti-Semitic, is not easy and the condemnations for”hate crime“are not very common.

Bella Wang, an Asian American photographer, does not want to prejudge the reasons behind the Atlanta drama, but is disturbed by the weight given to Robert Aaron Long’s arguments.

She feels that her community, which denounces a rise in hostility against her since the start of the pandemic, is not taken seriously. It is “as if the sense of danger we feel is not valid“, she confides.

However, she is comforted by the strong reactions of other members of this minority, whether in Congress, in the street or on social networks.

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Until then, we kept everything to ourselves“, she says. “We have always been told not to wave, not to attract attention. So it’s interesting“to attend this liberation of speech.


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