HOUSTON – Fort Bend County Judge KP George along with community leaders spoke Friday on the deadly Atlanta spa shootings, as well as anti-hatred initiatives, anti-immigrant bias and discriminatory acts against Asians and Asian Americans.
View the briefing in its entirety below.
The briefing was held just days after a white gunman killed eight people, most of them Asian American women, in Atlanta-area massage parlors.
“People simply went to work,” said Fort Bend County Judge K.P. George. “They went home in body bags. That is not okay. That is not the America we envisioned and that is not the America we love and cherish in our hearts.”
The killings come after an increase in anti-Asian violence nationally in the year since the coronavirus pandemic upended American life.
“We live in a free society,” said George. “Nobody should be afraid for their well being or scared to go out or scared to go for a walk or go to the store. Nobody should be. This is America. This is not a third-world country. There is no room for hate in our county,” said George.
Fort Bend County is the most diverse county in Texas and among the most diverse in the country.
“I just want to make this very clear,” said George. “We are not going to tolerate any kind of hatred and this kind of action in our community.”
State Rep. Gene Wu criticized rhetoric about China that stokes racism toward Asian communities.
“For over a year now, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have told elected officials, we have asked elected officials, we have begged elected officials, be careful how you talk because words matter,” said Wu. “Ideas matter. We asked elected officials not to degenerate Asian Americans in their efforts to combat COVID-19. We asked them not to use terms like the ‘kung-flu,’ the China virus’ and many other derogatory terms because it sets a tone that Asian Americans are the enemy and not a virus and we have been largely ignored. And we knew one day this tragedy would be that consequence. We could see that happening. We could see around the nation a steady rise in anti-Asian hate crimes.”
Fort Bend County Sheriff Eric Fagan outlined the initiatives the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office is taking to ensure the safety of the county’s Asian-American community.
Fagan said has instructed patrol deputies to “step up patrolling” in the county’s Asian American communities following the events in Atlanta.
“The Asian community is our community, is our families, is our loved ones,” said Fagan.