Liberals were quick to blame anti-Asian racism for the string of fatal Tuesday night shootings at Atlanta-area massage parlors before police could determine what motivated the killer. The alleged shooter told investigators that he targeted the businesses because of sex addiction.
Based on the suspect's skin color and the ethnicity of the victims, the mainstream media is reporting the acts as hate crimes fueled by "white supremacy" and inspired by former President Donald Trump. Evidence both from the suspected shooter himself, his family, and statistics on anti-Asian crime paint a different picture.
Law enforcement has been trying to unravel what might have compelled 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long to commit the worst mass killing in the United States in almost two years. Authorities suggested Long lashed out at what he saw are sources of sexual "temptation" that must be eliminated, Cherokee County sheriff's Capt. Jay Baker told reporters during Wednesday morning's press conference.
The Post Millennial's editor-at-large Andy Ngo reported that the spas preyed upon by the suspected gunman may be fronts for prostitution involving migrants.
At the Gold Massage Spa where three women inside were found dead from gunshot wounds, several male patrons had indicated via Google Reviews over the years that the massage treatments tended to turn sexual.
One of the Local Guide contributors expressed disappointment that he did not receive services from the Korean women who work there—despite the website's "international staff" listing. He then instructed others to request Asian girls at the door. The "petite" black employee who did massage the customer proceeded to try to arouse him and failed, the reviewer alleged.
Another wrote one year ago, "If youre wondering yes it is." The user then named the expensive price range, adding to the post: "youre welcome."
Moments after the Gold Massage Spa shooting, another woman was shot dead at the Aromatherapy Spa across the street located on Piedmont Road NE.
On the Asian-Latin American parlor's website, the spa invites "more" than the typical massage service. "Shhh...It's secret!" the page reads.
All three spas are listed on RubMaps, an erotic membership-exclusive review site whose official slogan peddles, "Where Fantasy Meets Reality." The forum is one of the most popular online playground for buyers who consider themselves "hobbyists" or "mongers" in search of sex to share information within the community and find illicit massage parlors that offer "happy endings."
Users can detail the sex worker's race, age, height, breast size, and build. The masseuse's "ass" can even be "rated" and "kitty" characterized by attributes such as "clean shaven" or "trimmed." Services are explicated in graphic detail, including cunnilingus, oral sex, hand jobs, and breast play.
A user named "LimpGimp21" commented Tuesday, the day of the shootings, on the Acworth spa's listing: "Hey, guys watch out I drove by today and tons of cops out front." Another premium account commented that same day on Aromatherapy Spa's page: "Sex workers are vulnerable to violence. Decriminalize sex work now."
While there are signs that the massage parlors have strong ties to sex work, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told journalists that the spas are "legally operating businesses" that have not been on the "radar" of the Atlanta Police Department.
Bottoms exhorted the city not to engage in "victim blaming" or "victim shaming."
A Gold Spa parlor-goer noted Wednesday on RubMaps that the media is "deliberately staying away from the fact that these are 'rub-and-tug' shops so as not to disparage the victims," explaining that some of the migrant mothers have children "back home" that they're supporting with the quick bucks earned.
The Washington Post hinted at the possibility, but condemned the notion as "unfair stigmatization" of the spa industry that undermines the honest work of massage parlors. 23-year-old Randy Park, the surviving son of Hyun Jung Grant who was killed at the Gold Spa, called "bullshit" on Long's sex addiction claim.
However, in his interview with The Daily Beast, Park admitted that his mother, who worked to support two children in the household, shielded him from the true nature of her place of employment.
"I confronted her about it, because I was worried for her. It's kind of shady. When I went there and saw it—I don't want to say it was a bad looking place, but it matched the image in my head that I was worried about," Park said of Grant who had been an elementary school teacher in Korea before immigrating to America.
Immigrant women can be lured into sex work that's hidden in plain sight with the false promises of living wages, travel visas, and economic opportunity. Anti-trafficking organization Street Grace discovered 165 illicit massage businesses in Georgia, more than three quarters of which were in the Greater Atlanta region. Through surveillance and RubMaps data, the 2020 economic analysis calculated that the illicit massage market in the Peach State has over 1,000 customers per day and an estimated annual gross revenue of more than $42 million.
A former roommate of the suspected Georgia spas shooter said Long expressed an aching "deep feeling of remorse and shame" about his "porn addiction" and "needed to return to prayer and to return to God." The two men spent several months living in halfway house Maverick Recovery for addicts, where Long would describe several of his "relapses."
The duo were in the facility together in late 2019 and early 2020. Long had been treated for sex addiction and he often visited massage parlors for "sexual activity," ex-roommate Tyler Bayless, 35, told Reuters. Bayless said Long was religious and would become "distraught that he frequented these places."
Authorities reported that Long was en route to Florida to perpetrate "similar acts in the state" against "some kind of porn industry," before he was captured Tuesday night along I-75 in Crisp County, about 150 miles south of Atlanta.
His family is reported to have helped cops nab Long. A law enforcement source told CNN that Long was kicked out of the house by his parents the night prior for spending countless hours watching pornography online. An incident report from the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office cites an anonymous 911 caller who told dispatch that Long was "emotional" after the fallout.
Federal Bureau of Investigation director Christopher Wray told NPR on Thursday afternoon that "it does not appear" that the killings were "racially motivated." Wray deferred findings to state and local law enforcement while the federal bureau remains in an active support role as the investigation is underway.
It's too premature to tell before further testimony is released to the public, but Long's motive appears to be far more nuanced than outright racism. While racial motivation is still not ruled out, his violence against women seems to stem from retaliatory aggression, viewing the locations as "an outlet" where he could succumb to sexual gratification. Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds called the establishments "targets of opportunity" at Wednesday's news conference.
The press and Democrat politicians are still intent on framing Long's crimes to suit an unfounded white supremacist narrative. Pivoting from the COVID-19 public health crisis, the political left has now found another tragedy to capitalize on.
In response to the shootings, Very Smart Brothas editor-in-chief Damon Young compared "whiteness" to the pandemic in an article Wednesday for The Root. Young claimed Trump and the Republican Party "can and should be blamed" for the "relentless anti-Asian rhetoric pollinating national discourse over the past year" as well as the "sudden increase of racist violence against Asian Americans."
Young went on to assert that white supremacy "like other viruses, will not die until there are no bodies left for it to infect." He wrote that the "only way to stop [white supremacy] is to locate it, isolate it, extract it, and kill it."
Former senior advisor Kurt Bardella of the now-disgraced Lincoln Project appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and assumed that xenophobia was the cause for Long's rampage. Bardella echoed Young's sentiments, also condemning the former president and the GOP. "I'm so tired of going through life with this bullseye put on my back by one of the two major political parties in America," the Asian pundit said on-air Wednesday. "It makes me sick."
Trump dubbed COVID-19 the "China Virus" because of the contagious disease's identified origins in Wuhan. (As an Asian American from China, I was never offended by the accurate moniker nor the "Kung Flu" epithet uttered in jest.)
Following the tragic events, CNN published an article headlined, "Attacks against Asian Americans are on the rise. Here's what you can do." The story by the left-wing network implied that the "resurgence of hate" resulted from Trump's descriptions that "help [to] inflame...that cycle of discrimination."
CNN Special Projects producer Ashley Vaughan penned this extensive piece, although numerous CNN personalities referred to the coronavirus by COVID-19's place of origin at the outset of the outbreak. The Media Research Center demonstrated the liberal hypocrisy on Twitter last week, catching MSNBC, CNBC, PBS News, and CBS News anchors using similar "offensive" terminology:
While blue check marks on Twitter insist that white supremacy is an omnipresent incurable social illness that must be snuffed out and the root of anti-Asian violence in America, the uptick in widespread assaults against civilians of Asian descent points to black assailants—not these so-called white aggressors.
A report by Stop AAPI Hate is circulating the media's arsenal—including Teen Vogue and TIME magazine—that recorded almost 4,000 incidents of anti-Asian hate between March 19, 2020 and Feb. 28, 2021. It's concerning that the data can divide the offenses by site of discrimination; types of discrimination; state of occurrence; and ethnicity, age, and gender of respondents—but not characterize the crooks. Of course, white offenders are cited under anecdotal examples.
According to hate crime stats broken down by race or ethnicity, the Bureau of Justice Statistics under the US Department of Justice reported circa 2018 that 24.1 percent of offenders who victimized Asians were, in fact, Asian, while 24.1 percent were white; 7 percent were Hispanic; and 27.5 percent were black—the largest demographic pool provoking violent incidents in the country. Based on the same table, black offenders also execute the most criminal acts against black victims at 70.3 percent compared to white culprits at 10.6 percent.
These numbers dispute the lies perpetuated by both the Black Lives Matter and #StopAsianHate movements that refuse to believe that minority groups can inflict anti-Asian animosity. The left seldom overcomes its hyper-fixation on race, unless the attacker fails to fit the now-discriminatory white criminal profile.
A series of crimes against Asian American elders surfaced around the Bay Area this year: 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee was knocked to the ground and died from the broad daylight shove in San Francisco; three senior citizens were assaulted in Oakland's historic Chinatown neighborhood; an older Asian man, who was beaten while depositing money in San Leandro, was found sitting at the base of an ATM with the back of his head bloodied; and another vulnerable victim of Asian heritage was punched in the face this week.
The criminals, most caught on-camera, were primarily black. Still, social justice activists in coordination with the liberal media decried white supremacy despite video evidence of the opposite, instead omitting and burying blatant identifying information that could have led to prompt arrests and swift justice.
City Journal editor Charles Fain Lehman pinpointed the problem in February: the rise in crime may be due to the "climate of lawlessness" that has "reigned" major cities in the nation since last summer's vehement protests against police.
"It should also come as no surprise that the Bay Area, which has been at the forefront of progressive criminal-justice reforms for years, is bearing the brunt of these attacks," Lehman quipped, faulting "soft-on-crime leaders" in Northern California who have broken the criminal justice system. The Golden State is also far from what anyone would label as "Make America Great Again" country.
Oakland slashed $14.3 million from the city's police budget and charged an internal task force with slashing the remaining budget in half over two years, even as homicides have surged city-wide. San Francisco cops have fled the force "in record numbers" while Mayor London Breed pushed for an abominable $120 million cut to the police and sheriff's department, Lehman revealed.
Rather than enforce law and order, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin and Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen are working to weaken prosecution, ending cash bail while waiving gang and "three strikes" enhancements to sentencing—affording greater freedom to offend and re-offend.
The Atlanta attacks left eight dead—two of whom were white victims overlooked by the outraged woke mob while the majority murdered were Asian American—and another injured within the span of 45 minutes.
"Do the other two murdered victims not matter because they weren't Asian?" Ngo questioned Georgia state Rep. Bee Nguyen, the first Vietnamese American elected to the Georgia House of Representatives, who boiled down the atrocities to "white man kills 6 Asian women," which is reminiscent of "orange man bad."
"To our Asian neighbors, family, and friends. I know that the world seems more scary today. More cruel. Know that we love you," tweeted Missouri Congresswoman Cori Bush. "We mourn those killed last night in Atlanta with you. We will dismantle white supremacy alongside you."
As YouTube commentator Lauren Chen puts it, the political theatre is "patronizing." Progressives never miss the chance to reduce marginalized populations to political props while the loss of life is mourned by all Americans.
Victims deserve to be humanized regardless of race. Murderers deserve to be vilified regardless of skin color. Tuesday's fatalities cannot be attributed to white supremacy by default before the formal investigation is complete. Those on the left are broadening the definition of entrenched "whiteness" and holding America as an entire "racist" entity accountable for one troubled man's evil actions.
A responsible Fourth Estate would scrutinize socioeconomic developments in the aftermath of devastating COVID-19 shutdowns as well as data-driven trends to form multifaceted explanations and practical solutions to resolve the tide of crime consuming what's no longer Trump's America.