Cops: The Atlanta massage-parlor shooter might have been motivated by sex addiction, not racism against Asian-Americans

I sense we’re about to have a National Conversation over whether a lunatic who resents women of Asian ancestry because he feels “addicted” to them sexually is properly described as “racist” or not.

Eight people were murdered last night at three different massage parlors in and around Atlanta. Six of the victims were Asian and two were white, according to the NYT. Seven of the eight were women. The bizarre pattern of the targets raised an ominous possibility: Were the businesses targeted because of the race of the people who worked there? A study released just yesterday found thousands of incidents of verbal and physical abuse aimed at people of Asian descent in the U.S. since the emergence of the coronavirus, a.k.a. “the China virus” to some, last March:

The report by Stop AAPI Hate documents 3,795 racially motivated attacks against Asian Americans from March to February, noting that the number is likely a fraction of the attacks that occurred, because many were not reported to the group…

About 68% of the anti-Asian attacks documented in the study were verbal harassment, 21% were shunning and 11% were physical assaults.

About 4 in 10 Asian Americans said people have acted uncomfortable around them because of their race since the pandemic started, and 31% said they have been subjected to racial slurs or jokes, according to a Pew Research Center study.

An analysis of police statistics published last week found a 150 percent rise in anti-Asian hate crimes nationally since 2020, mostly concentrated in New York and L.A. It’s concerning enough that Biden made a point of highlighting and condemning the rash of abuse in his COVID speech last week. Had the Atlanta killer targeted the massage parlors because he blamed Asian people as a group for COVID, making this instantly the most notorious hate crime of the pandemic?

The early evidence is that … he did not, say Atlanta cops:

Another officer was more explicit:

A police statement added this:

There’s no reason to take a killer’s initial statements to police at face value so we’ll see what else the shooter has to say, assuming he’s willing to keep talking. But some are eager enough to fold the episode into the category of “COVID-related hate crimes” that hoaxes feeding that perception are already circulating online:

Georgia’s hate-crime statute allows for enhanced penalties in cases where the victim was targeted due to race — or sex. The latter should be relatively easy to prove based on the killer’s statements already, one would think, although the fact that two of his victims were men might complicate it. As for showing a racial motive, I wonder if it’ll depend on whether he confesses to resenting Asian women specifically or if he resented being drawn to sex at massage parlors generally, whether or not they happened to be staffed by Asian women. He’s going away for a long time regardless.

I’ll leave you with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms citing evidence that the suspect was en route to Florida to keep killing. Details of that are sparse right now but Atlanta PD believes he was planning to target “some type of porn industry.”