Anti-Asian racism has a long history in the United States and often intertwines with misogyny, experts explain.

On March 16, a man went on a shooting rampage at three Atlanta spas, killing eight people, including six Asian women. The killings have sparked outrage and fear in the Asian American community, but the suspect has denied that the killings were racially motivated.

The suspect’s claims and the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office’s subsequent claims have set off a debate about anti-Asian racism in America.

Too often, people default to a “color-blind” lens that is quick to dismiss the centrality of racism and white supremacy when it comes to understanding horrific acts of violence, according to Ariela Schachter, assistant professor of sociology at Washington University in St. Louis.

To clarify the current state and history of anti-Asian racism and violence in the US, Schacter and Linling Gao-Miles, lecturer of global studies and coordinator of the Asian American studies program, share their perspectives:

The police have said it’s too soon to say whether the killings are racially motivated. Do you agree?

“Recognizing that the victims in this case hold multiple identities—based on their race, ethnicity, gender, occupation, etc.—and, indeed, that they were likely being targeted because of the intersection of these identities, does not minimize the role of anti-Asian racism, but rather helps us recognize its nuances. Racism and white supremacy are often intertwined with misogyny,” Schachter says.

Read the full article about anti-Asian racism by Sara Savat at Futurity.