All American and North Carolina flags are lowered at half-staff in honor of the eight victims killed in a series shootings that happened last Tuesday outside Atlanta.
Six of the victims were identified as Asian-American women. It was the latest act of violence against people of Asian descent in this country since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, sparking a national conversation to stop the hate crimes.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper ordered flags at state facilities be lowered at half-staff to honor those victims until March 22 at sunset. He encouraged individuals, businesses, schools, other government entities to fly their flags at half-staff as well.
“As we come together to end the spread of COVID-19, we must come together to end racial and ethnic prejudice and violence. This year we’ve seen an alarming increase in anti-Asian hate speech and violence and it must end now,” Cooper said.
In May 2020, U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said “the pandemic continues to unleash a tsunami of hate and xenophobia, scapegoating and scare-mongering” and urged governments to “act now to strengthen the immunity of our societies against the virus of hate.”
Almost a year later and the rise of anti-Asian attack continues to rage on around the world. A rise of 300% in hate crimes toward Chinese, East and South East Asians in 2020 compared to data from the previous two years.