Interior Secretary Deb Haaland recently released a statement regarding the Georgia massacre that left 8 people dead, 6 of whom were Asian American women.

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“My heart goes out to the members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community as they cope with unspeakable pain from ongoing acts of violence that target their community, including this week’s tragic killings in Atlanta, Georgia," Haaland stated.

She continued, saying that, "While anti-Asian hate is unfortunately not new, we must acknowledge how xenophobic rhetoric throughout the pandemic has further inflamed anti-Asian racism, misogyny, and violence. The scale and frequency of targeted violence against communities of color is unacceptable and serves as a grim reminder that our long march toward peace and liberation persists. On behalf of the entire Interior Department, I send my deepest condolences to those who have lost loved ones in these tragic acts of senseless, hate-filled attacks.”

Haaland's comments came just a day after a deadly attack in Atlanta that left 8 people dead in 3 different massage parlors.

The gunman, a white man named Robert Aaron Long told police that it his attack was not "racially motivated," and claimed it was the result of a "sex addiction."

"He apparently has an issue, what he considers a sex addiction, and sees these locations as a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate," said Captain Jay Baker, adding that Long was caught with a 9mm handgun and did not resist arrest.

Officers added that Long told them his attack was the result of "a really bad day," in which he was "fed up."

But the Associated Press wrote that "Those statements spurred outrage and widespread skepticism given the locations and that six of the eight victims were women of Asian descent. The Asian American community saw the shootings as an attack on them, given a recent wave of assaults that coincided with the spread of the coronavirus across the United States."

Authorities were asked by the press if the massage parlors were offering illegal services, but Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms stated that they were "legally-operated businesses that have not been on our radar," and also added that the city would not engage in "victim shaming, victim blaming."

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