On the afternoon of March 16, police say, a 21-year-old man called Robert Aaron Long walked into a massage parlor outside Atlanta and shot five people. Long then drove to two other massage parlors in the city and shot another four. Of the nine people Robert Long is accused of shooting, two were White, one was Hispanic, and the other six were Asian women. Of those six women, according to the South Korean government, at least four of them were Korean.
Police caught Robert Long within hours, as he was driving his Hyundai south on Interstate 75. At the sheriffs’ department press conference the next day, Captain Jay Baker explained what happened next.
CHEROKEE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE CAPTAIN JAY BAKER: The suspect did take responsibility for the shootings. He said that early on, once we began the interviews with him. He claims that these, and as the chief said, this is still early, but he does claim that it was not racially motivated. He apparently has an issue, what he considers sex addiction, and sees these locations as something that allows him to go to these places, and it’s a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate.
So the police took a long and detailed statement from Robert Long, and to restate, here’s what they found: Long immediately confessed to the crimes. But while he admitted to committing multiple murders — a death penalty offense in the state of Georgia — Long denied having any racial motivation. Instead, he told police he had a sex addiction and an "issue with porn," and that he shot up massage parlors in an effort to eliminate his own temptation to visit them.
Police arrested Long as he was heading to Florida, where he said he’d planned to kill more people in the sex industry. So, Robert Long was fixated on prostitution and pornography, and that’s why he said he committed the murders. The next day, information came to light that seemed to confirm his story. A man called Tyler Bayless said he shared a room with Long in a Georgia rehab facility last year. Bayless was there for drugs, but Long was there for sex addiction.
"It was something that absolutely would torture him," Bayless said. While at the facility, Long frequently relapsed and went "to massage parlors explicitly to engage in sex acts."
As a result of this torment he said he experienced, Long says he shot eight people.
A ninth victim, 30-year-old Elcias Hernandez-Ortiz, remains in the hospital in critical condition. According to police, Hernandez-Ortiz had nothing to do with prostitution whatsoever. He just happened to be walking past a massage parlor on the way to another business when Long shot him.
So, those are the facts as we understand them. An honest reporter might follow those facts in a number of obvious directions. Robert Long seems deranged, but his obsessive and violent behavior seems sadly familiar if you follow the news closely. An increasing number of Americans struggle with mental illness. It would be worth knowing much more about Robert Long’s life, if only to try to prevent the next mass shooting.
Then there’s the very real question of sex addiction, which we should not laugh off. Why is there so much prostitution in Atlanta? Google business listings show more massage parlors in the city than Starbucks outlets. Who works in these places and under what conditions? That’s not a hard question to answer. Wikipedia has an entire entry on human trafficking in the state of Georgia. According to the Department of Justice, "Atlanta is a major transportation hub for trafficking young girls" and "one of the fourteen U.S. cities with the highest levels of child sex trafficking."
A competent media might tell us more about this. Knowing more facts and rationally assessing them might improve this country. But it’s not the coverage we’re getting. It’s not even close to the coverage we are getting.
Instead, the usual liars are describing the massacre in Atlanta as the one thing it apparently wasn’t: A racial attack. "White supremacy and hate are haunting Asian Americans," CNN confidently announced in a headline.
David Leebron, the president of Rice University in Texas and a man who is supposed to be a scholar, may have been watching this. He immediately issued a statement that got key facts about the killings completely wrong, not that facts were the point of the statement. The point was making that sure everyone understood the political lesson.
"The deliberate use of such terms as ‘the China virus’ to foster bigotry has played a significant role," Leebron intoned, as if he knew that to be true. (He didn’t, because there’s no evidence.) He continued, "Sadly and predictably, this escalation of racially-based hatred has led to violence."
Leebron is telling us it was all entirely predictable, because once you describe a Chinese virus as Chinese, people are naturally going to start murdering Korean women. You could have seen that coming.
Harvard couldn’t resist getting involved. Bigotry against Asians is a sensitive subject at Harvard University, given that it is one of the very few institutions in American life that has publicly admitted committing it. Many schools do, but Harvard got caught. Over the course of many years, Harvard has denied admission to Asian students precisely because they are Asian. If there’s a clearer definition of bigotry than this, it’s hard to imagine what it might be. Harvard doesn’t want to talk about it, and a mass murder in Atlanta was the perfect way to change the subject.
"For the past year," Harvard administrators wrote, "Asians, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have been blamed for the pandemic." Once again, if you dare note that the novel coronavirus came from Wuhan, a mentally ill sex addict is certain to shoot up a brothel in Atlanta.
Seem far-fetched? The White House press secretary agreed with it.
JEN PSAKI: "You know, I think there’s no question that some of the damaging rhetoric that we saw during the prior administration, blaming — you know, calling COVID, you know, the ‘Wuhan virus’ or other things led to, you know, perceptions of the Asian-American community that are inaccurate, unfair..."
So White supremacists did it. It’s such a lie. Asian-Americans do suffer quite a few violent attacks in this country, unfortunately, but there’s zero evidence that a rise in White supremacy is driving those attacks. We don’t have to guess about this, because the Justice Department keeps the numbers. According to federal statistics, African-American perpetrators are more likely than any other group to attack Asian-Americans. It happens quite a bit.
Most racial violence in this country, most violence of all kinds, occurs within racial groups. Whites are the most likely to attack Whites, Blacks are the most likely to attack Blacks, etc. The only exception we found were Asians. Asians were more likely to be attacked by African-Americans than by members of their own ethnicity.
Why is that? We can’t say for sure, and we’re not going to speculate. Unlike the other cable channels, we will not draw grand and divisive conclusions from this or any data about race. It’s always wrong to blame an entire group for anything, ever. Treat people as individuals first — that’s the whole point of America. We can say this has been going on for quite a while, as anyone who lives in a city well knows.
Tensions between African-Americans and immigrant Korean store owners, for example, were a central factor in the 1992 Los Angeles riots. It wasn’t QAnon that made violent threats against Asian shopkeepers in New York in the 1980s. It was Al Sharpton. And so on. As noted, this kind of violence has a long history, though the media have done their best to ignore it.
But now they’re lying to us at very high volume. Why are they doing that? Because they need to. The Democratic coalition is profoundly unstable, and becoming more so. Take a look at the election results. All-Hispanic counties on the Mexican border turned red overnight. The rise of BLM, and the riots they led over the summer, is a big part of why that is happening. Decadent White liberals loved the whole thing, but no one else did. BLM came out in favor of abolishing the nuclear family, and looting and burning small businesses.
If you’re a bearded nihilist living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, with a degree in gender studies from Oberlin, that might sound pretty great. If you’re an immigrant Chinese or Salvadoran, running a restaurant or a dry cleaning business, it definitely doesn’t sound great. You care most of all about your family. You desperately need your business. So, the Democratic Party is at risk of losing voters like this. Again, look at the last election results carefully. At this point, the media’s job is to remind these voters they need to stay in the Democratic Party because the real enemy is straight White men. So that’s what they’re doing.
NICOLLE WALLACE, MSNBC: I just keep thinking of that domestic terror alert warning we got shortly after the insurrection. It warned us that until the end of April, we’d be living under the threat of domestic violence extremism from a combination of White supremacists, militias and extremists who are angry about both the election results because of Donald Trump’s big lie and the COVID restrictions. I wonder if you can speak to the intersection of that group we were warned about publicly and the targeting of Asian Americans.
White supremacists and militias who were angry about COVID restrictions. That’s who committed mass murder in Atlanta on Tuesday. It’s tempting to laugh at lies like this, and at that buffoon Nicolle Wallace especially. Who’d believe a word she says? But keep in mind, the more they say it, the more people believe it, and the more power they can grab on the basis of those lies.
We have seen that happen in the two months since Jan. 6. At first it was almost amusing to hear them call that a "White supremacist insurrection." It was so stupid. But now, two months later, it’s all but established history. They’re changing the country on the basis of those lies. They repeat them until people believe them, and then they act. Never underestimate the power of propaganda. That’s why they use it. It’s not an accident.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is wasting no time. He is already using what happened in Atlanta on Tuesday to justify siccing the NYPD on anyone who disagrees with him.
DE BLASIO: I also think even if something is not a criminal case, a perpetrator being confronted by the city - whether it’s NYPD or another agency – and being told that what they did was very hurtful to another person and could, if ever repeated, could lead to criminal charges – that’s another important piece of the puzzle.
"Even if something is not a criminal case," the police can respond. Even if it’s not a crime. What is de Blasio saying here? The mayor of New York is calling for armed thought police in America’s biggest city. Laugh if you want at that. "De Blasio’s a joke," right? Just wait. What sounds absurd today becomes established practice sooner than you think.
This article is adapted from Tucker Carlson's opening commentary on the March, 18, 2021 edition of "Tucker Carlson Tonight."