The Atlanta shooting: reckoning with anti-Asian, anti-sex worker misogyny - Jane Shi (60 mins)

  
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On March 16, 2021, a gunman opened fired at three different massage parlors in the metropolitan area of Atlanta, Georgia. In less than three hours, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long shot and killed eight people, six of whom were Asian women. Their names are:

Soon Chung Park 박순정 (74 years old)
Hyun Jung Grant [김]현정 (51)
Sun Cha Kim 김순자 (69)
Yong Ae Yue 유용애 (63)
Delaina Ashley Yaun (33)
Paul Andre Michels (54)
Xiaojie Tan 谭小洁 (49)
Daoyou Feng 冯道友 (44)

Jane Shi and I had scheduled our March 17 interview weeks ago. We deliberated over whether we should go ahead, in light of the previous day’s event, and ultimately decided to talk about it.

Jane and I discuss the March 16 Atlanta shooting (02:20); how class, citizenship, and the justice system interact in anti-Asian and sex worker violence (10:15); how people can meaningfully engage in the migrant sex worker issue (28:15); Canada’s Bill C-7 (30:27); Jane’s personal and political formation (38:00); and some of her other work and advocacy.

Please note that Jane works as an outreach worker for SWAN Vancouver, an organization that supports and advocates for migrant women engaged in indoor sex work. However, for this interview, she is solely speaking on behalf of herself, and not her organization.

Bio

Jane Shi is a writer, poet, editor, community organizer, filmmaker, and dumpling-maker. These disciplinary hats converge in a lifelong interest in cultural reclamation, survivorship, and healing intergenerational trauma. She is a graduate of The Writer's Studio program at Simon Fraser University, and an alumni of English Honours and Asian Canadian and Asian Migration studies at the University of British Columbia. She is currently a submissions editor at Room. Her latest endeavour is infodumpling, a recipe zine that raises funds for #LandBack initiatives and Black reparation funds.

Support her on Patreon

janeshi.org

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Episode notes

  • How Jane is feeling right now. [02:20]

  • Reciting the names of the victims that were released at that point. [04:52]

  • How people in Jane’s network are responding to the attack; prevailing sentiments, flattening of incident into anti Asian racism. [05:36]

  • How class, citizenship, and the justice system interact in violence against sex workers; Yang Song’s death; who gets humanized after a mass murder. [10:15]

  • Is there a connection between the Atlanta shooting and the constant vilification and/or criticism of China? [15:25]

  • Differences in migrant sex work situation and anti-Asian racism between Canada and the U.S. [18:20]

  • How the attacks have shifted Jane’s approach and work going forward. [24:00]

  • How people can meaningfully engage in the migrant sex worker issue: FOSTA-SESTA, decriminalize sex work, donate to Swan Vancouver, Red Canary Song, Butterfly Toronto. [28:15]

  • Bill C-7 (MAID). [30:27]

  • Jane’s early life, so far; decline of Shanghainese, different dialects. [38:00]

  • How Jane’s political worldviews formed: UBC, WAVAW; TMX Pipeline protest, land defender Stacy Gallagher sentencing. [43:00]

  • Questions from Jane to GRP: how Tibetan and Chinese diasporas can work together, how this podcast started. [49:00]

  • Closing: Twitter voices, online accessibility. [55:30]