President Joe Biden honored the victims of recent shootings in Atlanta on Friday, saying the attacks were hate crimes aimed at Asian Americans.
Biden gave the speech honoring the victims in place of a rally touting the passage of his American Rescue Plan. Eight people were killed in shootings across Atlanta earlier this week, with six of the victims being women of Asian descent. Biden argued that the shooting was another example of how racism has “plagued and haunted” American history. (RELATED: ‘I’m Numb’: Mother Of Woman Killed In Massage Parlor Shooting Speaks Out)
“Whatever the motivation we know this: Too many Asian Americans have been walking up and down the streets and worrying, waking up each morning the past year feeling their safety and the safety of their loved ones are at stake,” Biden said. “They’ve been attacked, blamed, scapegoated and harassed. They’ve been verbally assaulted and physically assaulted and killed.”
“It’s been a year of living in fear for their lives,” Biden added.
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Atlanta to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is headquartered there. The pair praised CDC officials for their work in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. (RELATED: Alaska Meeting Reveals Just How High Tensions Are Between US And China)
“We owe you a gigantic debt of gratitude,” Biden said during the event. “And we will for a long, long, long time because I hope this is the beginning of the end of not paying attention to what’s going to come again and again and again and again.”