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Central Texas community reacts to shootings at massage parlors near Atlanta

Posted at 6:49 AM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-18 07:49:16-04

Millions across the nation are raising their voices calling for an end to violence and racism against Asian Americans after shootings at 3 spas near Atlanta left 8 dead six of the women of Asian descent.

“It definitely made me sick to my stomach initially, just personally. I also became concerned as a small business owner,” said the Owner of Waco Cha, Jaja Chen.

Chen said she and her husband hear of acts of racism in Central Texas.

“Just even being called names on the side of the road. Even when they’re walking around being told to ‘go back to their own country,” said Chen.

Local experts say there’s been a spike in hate crimes, specifically towards Asian Americans over the past year, largely due to the pandemic. Most of the victims are women.

“People across the political spectrum have economic and social issues with China and they have come to act out on Chinese individuals or people who they perceive to be Chinese individuals,” said Texas A&M University-Central Texas Assistant Professor of Sociology Dr. Roslyn Schoen.

Over the last year, there were nearly 3,800 hate incidents reported against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the U.S. according to Stop AAPI Hate.

Experts say there are several factors including news about the china communist party and negative connotations toward Asians and immigrants from leaders.

“One of the biggest issues is going to be post-traumatic stress for survivors, ones that witnessed the event, survivors, loved ones that lost someone.”

Atlanta police officers are still not clear whether the shooting spree is a hate crime.

Chen said Waco Cha Will be donating a portion of their profits this week to #HateIsAVirus, a nonprofit community that works with the AAPI and other non-profits to stand for equality and justice.