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'We saw it coming': Late-night TV hosts decry Atlanta shootings

"You cannot disconnect this violence from the racial stereotypes that people attach to Asian women," Trevor Noah said on "The Daily Show."
"You cannot disconnect this violence from the racial stereotypes that people attach to Asian women," Trever Noah said on "The Daily Show."
"You cannot disconnect this violence from the racial stereotypes that people attach to Asian women," Trever Noah said on "The Daily Show."@TheDailyShow / Twitter

Some late-night TV show hosts used their stages Wednesday night to decry the Atlanta-area spa shootings that left eight people, including six Asian women, dead.

The shooting spree took place amid a nationwide rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, bias incidents and racism since the start of the pandemic.


Research released Tuesday by the reporting forum Stop AAPI Hate revealed that nearly 3,800 incidents were reported over about a year during the pandemic and that a disproportionate number of the reports said the attacks were directed at women.

While authorities have said race does not appear to be a factor in the deadly incident, hosts such as Trevor Noah said they aren't buying it.

"You cannot disconnect this violence from the racial stereotypes that people attach to Asian women," he said on "The Daily Show."

Here is a roundup of what Noah and other hosts had to say about the shootings:

'We saw it coming'

"This is truly horrifying," Noah said.

"You know, one of the first things that has been most frustrating for me is seeing the shooter say, 'Oh, it wasn't racism. It was sex addiction.' But first of all, f--- you, man. You killed six Asian people specifically. Your murders speak louder than your words."

"In a way what makes it even more painful is that we saw it coming. People in the Asian community have been tweeting. They've been saying, 'Please help us! We're getting punched in the street. We're getting slurs written on our doors.'"

"This guy didn't just go and kill these women by mistake. It wasn't a mistake, he knew what he was doing and it's so frustrating to see this keep happening in America over and over again. America sees things coming. It knows something is going to happen, but it does nothing to stop it."

(There is profanity in the clip below.)

"Racism, misogyny, gun violence, mental illness ... honestly, this incident may have been all of those things combined because it doesn’t have to be one thing. American is a rich tapestry of mass shooting motivations."

"When politicians are out there say kung flu and all of this, what are we doing then? Do something, and more importantly let’s try to f------ pay attention so that it doesn’t happen again because the truth is we could see this coming."

"And as if the violence, as if the trauma isn’t enough, the part that breaks my brain — and I think so many people get affected by this as well because you feel like you’re crazy when you’re watching it — is where you see the police officer come out and almost trying to humanize the shooter more than the people who got shot."

"He was at the end of his rope. It was a bad day for him," Noah said, quoting a Cherokee County Sheriff's Office official who appeared at a Wednesday morning press conference.

"For him? Yesterday was a bad day for him? No. Yesterday was a bad day for the people who lost their lives."

'The link between language and action'

James Corden on “The Late Late Show" echoed that the attack did not happen in a vacuum.

“When you think about the casual racism that’s been pervasive over the past 12 months, then we can start to see the link between language and action," he said. "There are real consequences to repeatedly hearing hateful speech. People get hurt and people die."

"This mass murder is the product of a system that repeatedly leaves women of color and sex workers in a place where they are invisible. They are vulnerable and targeted. Identifying these actions as a hate crime isn’t just about semantics. And because this is a hate crime, it falls on all of us to address the hate."

'We’re a nation of immigrants'

On "The Late Show," Stephen Colbert related the violence with ongoing immigration debates.

“The only answer that comes to mind is a simple but strangely difficult one these days, and that’s not to hate each other," he said. "To recognize our common humanity. To acknowledge that we’re a nation of immigrants."

"We might believe different things. We might not look the same, but we’re all Americans. We share a common belief that all men are created equal, and it is that belief itself that makes people want to come here."

Meanwhile, Samantha Bee said on "Full Frontal" that the killings were "a terrifying reminder of the dangers women, and especially women of color, face just for living their lives."

And "Late Night" host Jimmy Fallon took to Twitter to condemn the violence.

"#StopAsianHate There is no place for racism, violence, prejudice, or misogyny of any kind, towards any one. My heart is with the victims and their families," he wrote.


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