These photos are featured on the website for the Gold Spa in Atlanta, one of three spas targeted by a domestic terrorist who murdered eight people including seven women, six of whom were of Asian descent.
The mass murders have generated a lot of shock, grief and confusion.
But the experts and pundits are also grappling with this question: Was it a hate crime?
That seems like an especially odd question given that the shooter admits to having planned his murderous rampage with the goal of ridding himself and presumably the world of sexual “temptation.”
But anything to do with women and sex, and especially women who provide paid sex, seems to confound otherwise intelligent people as they struggle to reconcile their prejudices, stereotypes, and fears with their feelings of outrage and compassion.
What do you think and feel?
Were these women, sex workers or sex trafficking victims?
Were they murdered because they were women or sex workers or Asians?
What “qualifies” as a hate crime?
If you are like me, this latest mass shooting feels particularly disturbing. It’s important that we keep talking about it so we can not only unpack our collective grief, but also so we can shift attitudes and laws toward a safer world for all of us.