‘Why must we welcome this New Year with weeping?’: Asian community rattled by Monterey Park shooting

‘Why must we welcome this New Year with weeping?’: Asian community rattled by Monterey Park shooting
Law enforcement officials inspect the scene of a shooting on January 22, 2023, in Monterey Park, California (Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

MONTEREY PARK, CALIFORNIA: The Monterey Park massacre that left 10 people dead and 10 others injured at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio following a Lunar New Year celebration around 10.20 pm on Saturday, January 21, 2023, sent shock waves through Asian American communities around the nation. Talking about the violence of recent years, pastor and writer Raymond Chang, who is the president of the Asian American Christian Collaborative, said, "We have not had enough time and space to heal from all the collective trauma and loss our communities have gone through. Incidents like these add to the unprocessed pain and trauma that has piled up over the years."

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While one of many pointed out, "If Rabbit is the luckiest sign why must we welcome this new year with weeping." Another spoke about the suspect, identified as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran. The user wrote, "The color of the shooter’s skin does not minimize the pain felt by our Asian American community. Mass murder is tragic under any circumstance." While one said, "The mass shooting in Monterey Park hits close to Asian Americans because it’s a place that represents a familiar home for many of us. The gunman/suspect being of Asian descent doesn’t change much: We still need gun control & we need to prioritize mental health." 

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'Our hearts are bleeding'

An individual commented, "I was just in the Monterey Park area last week picking up Taiwanese food after talking about anti-Asian racism in Hollywood and thinking how safe I felt in these majority Asian communities. The sad reality is that we are not safe in Indiana nor in Southern California."

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On the other hand, an individual questioned, "Someone just murdered 10 people at a Lunar New Year celebration in Monterey Park. This is targeted hatred against the East Asian community. Will America, our beloved country, finally care? Will our fellow Americans finally accept us as Americans, too? Our hearts are bleeding."



 

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Rep Judy Chu, D-California, said, "This was the beginning of what we thought would be a great time. This is especially shattering because of that.”

Frank Wu, president of Queens College, the City University of New York, said, "Even if we cannot be sure an attack was racial in intent, it nonetheless can be racial in effect. For a community already traumatized, this is just another terrible moment. It is easy to understand why Asian Americans are anxious," according to USA Today.

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USC professor May Lee, a Korean American who teaches a course on Asian Americans in the media, said, as quoted by The Press Enterprise, "There’s been so much hate and violence toward Asians, any act of violence … intensifies fear and anxiety that we’ve all been living under. It just creates this idea that we have to watch ourselves, we have to be careful no matter what the motivation is. Can you imagine living with this kind of fear every day? This may very well not be a hate crime against Asians but the violence and the violent nature of the crime has everyone concerned, especially during Lunar New Year."

She continued, “Now people are afraid to celebrate their identity, their culture and their freedom, to have this type of gathering.”

Kevin Chu, 52, who works at the front desk of Monterey Park’s Lincoln Hotel, where many festival vendors and contractors were staying, said, "They’re all leaving now. I never imagined in this kind of community such things could happen."

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Manjusha Kulkarni, the co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate, a San Francisco-based organization established during Covid to combat and gather data about rising anti-Asian hate, called the crime “devastating beyond words.” She said, "After a day of celebration, we are waking up to a nightmare. This tremendous act of violence, on one of the most important days of the year for many Asian Americans, at a place where Asian American families come to gather and celebrate, is sending shockwaves through our community and resurfacing all-too-familiar feelings of pain and fear.”

While Stop AAPI Hate also released a statement on Twitter that read, "This is devastating beyond words. We cannot imagine the pain that so many families are experiencing today.” They further added, “Our community has faced so much tragedy and trauma over the last several years. This tremendous act of violence, on one of the most important days of the year for many Asian Americans, at a place where Asian American families come to gather and celebrate, is sending shockwaves through our community.”

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This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.

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