Seattle church vandalized with anti-Asian hate speech for fourth time in 3 months: 'F**k China, go home'
This is allegedly the fourth incident of this nature at this church -- in 2021 alone -- once in January, twice in February and on Monday
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON: A Seattle church was targeted with anti-Asian hate speech written in hay in the parking lot, which said, "F--- China" and "You will pay," said officials at the International Full Gospel Fellowship Church in Seattle on Monday, March 15. Another message said, “go home." This is allegedly the fourth incident of this nature at this church -- in 2021 alone -- once in January, twice in February and on Monday.
This comes a day after eight people were killed at three massage parlors in a shooting in Atlanta and nearby Cherokee County in Georgia on Tuesday. Six of the victims were of Asian descent and two were white. Seven were women. While the accused, Robert Aaron Long did not mention race in his taped confession, investigators said that they cannot rule it out as a potential motivation.
SPD is investigating this hateful message left in the parking lot of the International Full Gospel Fellowship church in Seattle— Jennifer Lee (@JennLeeTV) March 16, 2021
It reads “F*** China” and “U will pay”
Tonight on #Q13FOX we hear from members of the AAPI community who are rallying for a third day pic.twitter.com/n6WdCPVC7b
As per ABC News, church office manager Anastasia Antonius said the church was targeted with hate speech once in January, twice in February, and on Monday, and all incidents involved racist statements. The vandalism has reportedly left the community "terrified". Antonius said that especially the staffers at the church's daycare center, where some teachers come from China were on edge. "We worry about the daycare the most," Antonius said. "The teachers are terrified. It's not good."
According to a local news report, church officials said they were unsure why they had been singled out, claiming their congregation welcomes anyone who wants to attend their religious services, and that about five percent of their congregation was of Chinese descent. "Maybe it is more targeted to the daycare (since) we have teachers from China at the daycare," Antonius speculated. "It doesn't make sense. Our teachers are so gentle and nice."
The church will now beef up security ahead of restarting in-person services on March 28. As per Antonius, the church will install security cameras this week and is hiring night guards from a security firm to monitor the church grounds during the evenings and for church services. "We are not condemning anyone, we just don't want this to happen anymore," Antonius said. "It's very wrong."
Antonius said similar racist hay messages were left on the grounds of the Northgate Community Center in Seattle. A similar message was left in the parking lot of Grace Chinese Lutheran Church. The Seattle Police Department, as per several reports, said that it could not confirm whether a report had been filed over the incident.
A study released by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University at San Bernardino, which examined police records in 16 of the country’s largest cities, found that in 2020, reports of hate crimes were down seven percent nationally but increased 150 percent against people in the Asian community.
On Wednesday, in a press briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that there was "no question" former President Donald Trump's rhetoric about the coronavirus played a role in escalating attacks on Asian-Americans.