'We are Americans too' -rally after spa shooting

The killings followed a year of mounting anti-Asian violence in the United States, which community leaders say is due to Asian Americans being blamed for the coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China in late 2019.

Crowds of people wearing masks, waving American flags and carrying posters that read "We are not the virus" and "Stop Asian Hate" stood in front of the golden-domed Georgia State Capitol building on Saturday.

Many Asian Americans at the rally said they feel like "second class" citizens in the U.S. and as though crimes against them are not taken seriously.

"Even if I am Asian, I am also American.... these hate incidents [are] not acceptable," Sunghee Han, a resident of Georgia said.

Georgia Senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, both Democrats elected in January, attended the rally in support of the demonstrators and led them in a moment of silence for the victims.

"When you diminish a people's humanity and you center other people as if they are something greater than anybody else, then you start focusing on their humanity even when they are the perpetrator...I'm not interested in whether or not he had a bad day," Warnock said.

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