I feel great sadness and rage about these hate crimes that happened last night in Atlanta:
-8 women murdered
-6 were Korean
-all were Sex Workers working in a massage parlors
-1 white domestic terrorist safely caught by police after a high-speed chase
Violence against Asian American's is on the rise over this past year with the blame of Covid as a "China Virus." Sex Workers are ALWAYS targeted because of the way this country criminalizes and silences Sex Work. Ultimately this violence is intersectional, and we need to address it as that.
Will mainstream Asian American groups support bias against Sex Work as part of this violence? What solidarity exists between Asian American organizers and Sex Workers? Are local Atlanta Sex Workers able to have a voice in this moment? I hope honoring whole of these women's lives as Asian Sex Workers is possible.
I'm feeling allot of fear in Asian community about the possibility of further violence. I want to be clear about privilege and the layers of protection it offers. Despite living at the intersections of being a multi-racial Asian, queer, immigrant, southerner, I am not afraid. As intersectional as my life is, last night I was safe at home with my kid. There are many other identities that further protect me like being (mostly) middle class, living in a "safe" area & being unable to get out much as a solo parent. Ultimately, I hope that if you are feeling targeted, anxious or alone that you make space to feel your feelings and begin to heal today. Personally, I'm not afraid because that gives white domestic terrorists my personal power.
As a non-black person of color living in the South my life would not be possible without authentic connection to black people and black community. There are so many ways the Black and Asian communities support each other in Atlanta that are powerful and beautiful. Also, there is tons of anti-black bias in the Asian American community that must continue to be addressed.
When it comes to the addressing the hate crimes last night, I hope you will take action. As a community organizer I know the power of supporting each other and taking this sad moment as catalyst towards changing the world.
1. Make sure every post you make has the words Asian and Sex Worker in it.
2. Support Asian Americans Advancing Justice Atlanta and Stop AAPI Hate by giving money, signing up for their mailing lists, following on facebook and keeping watch for local ATL response.
3. Talk to your kids and family about the intersections of why these women were target for being Asian AND Sex Workers.
4. Look out for a local ATL response and show up.
5. Support Sex Worker organizing and decriminalization by supporting Red Umbrella Fund and Sex Worker giving circle at the Third Wave Fund
Asha Leong is an activist, sexual liberator, healer and mama who lives in Atlanta, GA. She can be reached at www.dreamingdesires.com