Eight people were killed in Atlanta last Tuesday.
Eros, rebranded and vilified as sex addiction, inspired a homicidal atrocity. Is that just a beard for anti-Asian violence? Did the suspect visit Asian spas because he had some kind of hang-up about Asians, or is America more Asian than we realize?
Surely our presence in every aspect of American life increases the likelihood that people from all backgrounds now interact with Asian America on a regular basis. His visits to Asian-run spas might be unremarkable had he been less violent or less white. In the U. One accusation making the rounds is that the suspect, 21 years old and white, is in denial about race. I think this misses the point. His goal was primarily sexual, not racial purity.
According to law enforcement and a former roommate, he spoke of porn and the end of temptation.
His language, apocalyptic yet banal, sets a familiar tone. Steph Cha: The Atlanta shooting is another reminder the cops are not our friends.
Novelist Steph Cha writes that the face of anti-Asian violence has always been white. Despite my Asian background, I find his disavowal of racism strangely credible. The most memorable outbursts have been odd letters of denunciation from Asian American readers exposing the underbelly of identity politics.
Original sin has traditionally reeked of sexual knowledge and desire. Asian identity is not well defined in a country where race has been understood as Black or white, but after a wave of attacks against Asians provoked by the pandemic and the former presidentit has become a unifying force both within and outside the community.
Flags have been lowered to half-staff. There are conventions and common manners for dealing with racial violence, and sometimes they transcend party lines.
The impact of sexual distress is harder to discuss — and not only because of puritanism. Sexuality is surprising, unpredictable; part of being an adult is pretending to have sex figured out. There is sometimes more shame in sex than in race.
Race is public and sex private, but the Atlanta shootings have upended this arrangement. Racialized feelings are beginning to look like more of a taboo than sexual obsessions. The killing of an Asian American is described as a hate crime, while killing a sex worker is seen as a mental health issue. Racism is stigmatized, while sex is pathologized.
This new chapter in American life requires a closer reading. Sanjena Sathian: After the Atlanta shooting, all I see is the fragility of our belonging. To me, the doctrine of sex addiction is the erotic equivalent of race science.
He may have been confused by appetites that are normal in year-old males. We should take the disavowal of racial motives more seriously and reconsider our own assumptions.
Speculation about the spas where the massacre occurred is fed by prejudice. Amplified by so-called antitrafficking voices, this prejudice is dangerously toxic. Fueled by religious fanaticism and illiberal forms of feminism, by punitive laws and tabloid headlines, this bias breeds self-loathing in young men who should be learning how to nurture, not extinguish, the varieties of human connection.
Will the U. I hope so. Atlanta spa shootings stir fear amid historic rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans.
For many Asian Americans, the killings further fueled fears about anti-Asian hatred that has mounted over the last year as police and advocacy groups have reported record s of hate crimes and harassment. Before a nude Zoom incident, arts leader Joshua Wolf Shenk was subject to multiple complaints. Lawrence hated women writers. Now they get to speak. Column: Why Billie Jean King finally took control of her own story.
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