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After Georgia Attacks, Asian-Americans Demand Serious Action on Bias

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An Asian-American as the state’s top law enforcement official is needed to build trust, “particularly when it comes to what have been strained relationships between law enforcement and immigrant communities and communities of color,” David Chiu, a member of the California State Assembly, said during a news conference on Wednesday.

In the Atlanta area, where the Asian community has grown in recent years and become more politically influential, the murders have reignited anxieties that may have been subsiding for some people as an end to the pandemic is in sight. When the pandemic began, Ms. Hsu, the lawyer, said she almost expected that people would hurl insults at her because she is Chinese-American. In recent weeks, she had let her guard down, she said.

“We’re coming out of the pandemic, there’s a new president, we’re not hearing ‘Kung Flu’ and ‘China Virus’ every other word,” she said, referring to some of the derogatory terms that Mr. Trump used for the coronavirus. “I was really lured into thinking it’s sort of safe to go outside again.”

Now, she is back on high alert.

Suraiya Sharker, a community organizer with the Atlanta chapter of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, said that after the shootings, she received calls from several members of her organization who were in tears.

Ms. Sharker, 22, is particularly worried about her parents, who moved to the United States from Bangladesh when she was 4, because they are of the demographic particularly vulnerable to attacks. As first generation immigrants, their English is not perfect. They work in a fast-food restaurant in suburban Atlanta, where, Ms. Sharker said, a customer once threatened her father in a disagreement over the bill and customers have refused to be served by her mother because she wears a hijab.

But as much as she and other Asian-Americans are more cautious now, they are also more energized, she said.

“This,” she said, “has been an awakening for a lot of folks to say, ‘Enough is enough.’”

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