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Late Night Writer Karen Chee Reflects on the Atlanta Shootings: ‘It Is a Hate Crime’

In the wake of the horrific mass shootings at Asian-owned spas in Atlanta earlier this week, Late Night writer and comedian Karen Chee appeared on last night’s episode to reflect on the violence, the shooter who targeted working-class Asian women (Chee calls him “a racist, a misogynist, and a coward”), how his actions stem from white supremacy, and how news outlets shied away from calling the event what it is: a hate crime. “He went after people in one of the most vulnerable intersections of our community. And of course, just like every time a white man commits an act of domestic terrorism, news outlets then sprang to try and humanize him,” Chee said, pointing out how the coverage centered the shooter instead of the victims, particularly the press conference where a police offer (who — surprise, surprise — has a history of racist social-media posts) summed up the shooter’s actions as the man having a “bad day.” “I had a ‘bad day’ earlier this week, and you know what I did? I ate an entire Domino’s pizza while lying in bed and rewatching Ted Lasso,” Chee said.

Later in the segment, Chee noted that when news outlets refuse to call the shootings a hate crime, they’re “continuing to erase Asian people as they’re being killed,” and while it’s true that Donald Trump’s racist rhetoric about COVID-19 certainly plays a role in increased anti-Asian violence over the past year, this week’s shootings were “the ongoing result of centuries-old racism.” If you want to learn more, Chee shared a thread on Twitter filled with more information. And if you need a pick-me-up after such an awful week, stay tuned to the end of Chee’s segment, where she shares an uplifting little treat she calls “the Domino’s pizza of people.”

Karen Chee on the Atlanta Shootings: ‘It Is a Hate Crime’