Sexual Racism & Asian Hate in the Recent Georgia Attacks

Reneaux Ruffin
4 min readMar 24, 2021

Before we even get two sentences deep into this article, I’m just going to go ahead and call Robert Aaron Long’s attack what it is: a hate crime. Period. For me, and the law according to Georgia’s statutes, it is, in fact, a hate crime. A crime that is first a crime and secondly committed out of bias is absolutely what this was. While Long may claim that his attacks were not racially motivated, he was still targeting women. That’s a hate crime. That said, I also believe he was targeting Asian women specifically, thus marking these atrocities as racially motivated crimes. I don’t think it was an accident that he chose these specific massage parlors to help with his self-diagnosed and religiously reinforced “sex addiction.” The dude used a whole website that allegedly identifies massage parlors that partake in under-the-table sex work. With all the parlors I’m sure exist on that website, we’re supposed to believe that the closest ones were 30 minutes away and Asian owned? That don’t make dollars, and it damn sure don’t make sense. So, let’s talk about sexual racism, and how I believe that it had a role to play here.

Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash

When people hear racism, it’s been my experience that they instinctively think of two specific types of racism: discrimination against Black and brown bodies and White supremacy. Racism seems to be connotatively attached to hatred, but what happens when that racism takes on a new face? What happens when racism manifests as infatuation or “love?” That’s sexual racism. Those odd stereotypes that label people of color as hardline sex objects with specific personalities or physical traits that elevate them above others are sexual racism. All Black men are big-dicked bulls, all Black women are big booty freaks, all Asian women are submissive and sweet, all Asian men are passive and small, etc., etc. These are qualities that one may present as and even believe are amicable, but it is, in fact, racism all the same. I believe that in Long’s mind, he doesn’t hate Asian women. I believe that his shame, reinforced by evangelical ideals of sexual purity helped to exacerbate this sexual racism to the point that it exploded. However, much like rape is never about affection or love, the sexual fetishization of a person’s race is also never about reverence or appreciation. It also is never an excuse. It’s always problematic, and it…

Reneaux Ruffin

Writer. Witch. If Garnet was obsessed with Evanescence's The Open Door tbh.