After seeing the tragedy of the Atlanta shooting on March 17th, as an Asian American, I was overwhelmed with sadness and anger. I quickly started to see differing opinions all over social on whether this was motivated by racism or not. I decided to criticize an opinion piece from Fox news that I thought best emulated the opinions that argue that racism played no role in this shooting, which I have linked below.
In this article Carlson references that the shooter denied any claims of it being a racially motivated attack and instead blamed his sex addiction. One of my criticisms is that Carlson accepted this answer in the article, saying “Instead, the usual liars are describing the massacre in Atlanta as the one thing it apparently wasn’t: A racial attack.” . Although this is what the shooter said, it is hard to ignore that six of the victims were Asian women and that there is a very real possibility that the shooter may have fetishized Asian women. It’s also hard to ignore that this happened after anti-Asian hate crimes in major cities surged 149% in 2020.
In the article, Carlson says “Robert Long seems deranged, but his obsessive and violent behavior seems sadly familiar if you follow the news closely.” I would argue that we shouldn’t pity this man, he placed the blame on this spas for his sex addiction. This article also has a tone of victim blaming, which I have seen all over the media as well. They explain, “Then there’s the very real question of sex addiction, which we should not laugh off. Why is there so much prostitution in Atlanta?”. I don’t think there is any reason to be questioning prostitution in this situation, we should instead be wondering how to stop these crimes.
Lastly, Carlson references the election results, saying how all Hispanic counties on the Mexican border turned “red” overnight. He attributes this to the riots that occurred after George Floyd’s death last year saying, “The rise of BLM, and the riots they led over the summer, is a big part of why that is happening. Decadent White liberals loved the whole thing, but no one else did.” I also disagree with this, I believe that most people were genuinely angry and distraught because of his death and how long it took to charge Derek Chauvin. People in the Black community and even other communities wanted change and this is how they sought it out. However, I am also well aware that people chose to take advantage of the riots and that many white people engage in performative activism, which is defined as “activism done to increase one’s social capital rather than because of one’s devotion to a cause”.
Although I disagree with many of the points in this article, I’m glad that I was able to understand more of the differing viewpoints on this topic. I believe that knowing these viewpoints can open up more meaningful conversation and debate between people.