Washington [US], March 20 (ANI): US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday (local time) met Asian American leaders in Atlanta after the deadly shootings that claimed the lives of eight people, including six Asian women.
"Their families are left with broken hearts and unanswered questions and the investigation is ongoing. Whatever the motivation we know this, too many Asian Americans have been walking up and down the streets and worrying, waking up each morning the past year feeling their safety and the safety of their loved ones are at stake. They've been attacked, blamed, scapegoated, harassed. They've been verbally assaulted, physically assaulted, killed," said Biden after the meet, reported CNN.
The President said that documented incidents of hate against Asian Americans have seen a 'skyrocketing spike' over the last year.
"With all the good that laws can do, we have to change our hearts. Hate can have no safe harbor in America. It must stop. It's on all of us, all of us together to make it stop," he said.
Meanwhile, Harris acknowledged the racist past of the US in the aftermath of the shootings in Atlanta.
"The shootings took place as violent hate crimes and discrimination against Asian Americans has risen dramatically over the last year and more. Racism is real in America and it has always been; xenophobia is real in America and always has been; sexism, too," she said.
Harris further remarked that people in 'positions of incredible power' had scapegoated Asian Americans, and urged people to treat others with dignity and respect.
This comes after eight people were shot dead late Tuesday at massage parlours around the Atlanta metropolitan area in the US state of Georgia. Police have taken the suspected gunman, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, into custody.
According to the New York Times, the incident caused outrage and fear in the Asian-American community as the shootings claimed the lives of six women of Asian descent, although the suspect denied racial bias once in custody. (ANI)