Get All Access for $5/mo

Asian American Business Leaders and Public Figures Denounce Atlanta Shootings, Condemn 'Deliberate' Attacks Amid a disturbing surge of biased violence against the Asian American community, everyone from small-business owners to advocacy organizations and celebrities are desperately urging the public to end the hate.

By Justin Chan

In the wake of the Atlanta shootings that left eight people, six of whom were Asian women, dead on Tuesday, Asian American business leaders came together to decry the increasing number of hate crimes against the community.

On Wednesday, Ascend, a nonprofit Pan Asian organization for business professionals, released a statement on Twitter in response to the tragedy reading, "We're deeply saddened by the news of Atlanta violence and growing number of deliberate attacks against Asians across the nation. We condemn these attacks and stand in solidarity with the Asian American community in Atlanta and across the US to #stopasianhate."

Related: How Should You Be Talking With Employees About Racism?

With more than 18 professional chapters and 40-plus student chapters in both the U.S. and Canada, Ascend is one of the largest Pan-Asian organizations that serves Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) businesspeople. Gold House, a nonprofit collective of Asian Pacific Islander (API) entrepreneurs, also urged the public to support the API community.

"We want you to grieve for these 8 people," the organization tweeted the night of the shootings. "We want you to check in on your API friends and neighbors. But we also want you to know that we're fired up and are actively planning tonight. When life gets tough, we get tougher. More to come."

Georgia officials initially declined to call the shootings a hate crime, asserting that the investigation is still pending. At a press conference, Cherokee County public information officer Capt. Jay Baker suggested that the suspect, who claimed to have been motivated by his sex addiction, had "a really bad day." Baker was widely criticized for minimizing the epidemic of violence against Asian-Americans, who have been victims of nearly 4,000 reported hate crimes since the pandemic started.

Frustrated, public figures such as fashion designer Prabal Gurung persisted in denouncing the shootings and parallel violence. "Enough is enough," Gurung tweeted on Wednesday. "Yes, we are grieving, and we want you to grieve with us for these eight lives lost and countless others. We want you to feel our pain and the pain of many innocents elders, women and our people from the AAPI community who have been attacked and harmed."

In a lengthy Instagram post, restaurateur and film director Eddie Huang echoed Gurung's sentiments, writing, "This was a coordinated attack on multiple Asian businesses with 6 Asian victims. Stand with us, speak up with us, and if there is any humanity in you, recognize that our pain is yours as well. No one should be targeted and murdered because you don't like the color of their skin, PERIOD."

And reflecting Ascend's concerns, Asian business owners across the country told CNN that they now feel particularly vulnerable. "I have 18 employees, and I have run my salon for 25 years. I am scared," one unidentified nail salon owner from Long Island shared. "My husband told me that no matter how long I will live in the United States, I will never be seen as an American because of my Asian face."

The victims who died in Tuesday's attack have been identified as Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Delaina Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Hyun J. Grant, Soon C. Park, Suncha Kim and Yong A. Yue. One man, Elcias Hernandez-Ortiz, survived.

Justin Chan

Entrepreneur Staff

News Writer

Justin Chan is a news writer at Previously, he was a trending news editor at Verizon Media, where he covered entrepreneurship, lifestyle, pop culture, and tech. He was also an assistant web editor at Architectural Record, where he wrote on architecture, travel, and design. Chan has additionally written for Forbes, Reader's Digest, Time Out New YorkHuffPost, Complex, and Mic. He is a 2013 graduate of Columbia Journalism School, where he studied magazine journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @jchan1109.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business News

How to Be a Billionaire By 25, According to a College Dropout Turned CEO Worth $1.6 Billion

Austin Russell became the world's youngest self-made billionaire in 2020 at age 25.


Taylor Swift Has a Lucky Number. And She's Not the Only High Performer Who Leans Into Superstitions to Boost Confidence.

Even megastars like Swift need a little extra something to get them in the right mindset when it is game time.


SEO Trends You Need to Be Aware of Right Now, According to a Seasoned Pro

Navigate the future of search engine optimization to elevate your online presence and drive meaningful engagement.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.