Olivia Munn had an emotional response to President Joe Biden's order on Thursday to have American flags lowered to half-staff in memory of the eight people killed in Tuesday's spree shooting at three Atlanta-area spas.
"That for us, was just so powerful," Munn, 40, said of Biden's order during an appearance on SiriusXM's Gayle King in the House Thursday.
Six of the victims were Asian women. The massacre – which occurred at three different massage parlors – comes at a time when violence against Asian Americans has been rising.
According to a recent Harris poll, 75 percent of Asian Americans are fearful of increased hate and discrimination toward them. Connie Chung Joe, CEO of the nonprofit Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles, says that there have been at least 2,800 hate incidents targeting Asians nationwide in the past year but that those numbers may be deceptively low.
Munn also shared that she has a group chat, which includes the "brilliant" and "eloquent" journalist Lisa Ling, where they discussed the half-staff order.
"Lisa's like, 'It just means so much to us to have someone at that level say that these eight women, these [six] Asian women, that they matter and that all of the flags across our country will go at half-staff for them,' " Munn, whose mother is a refugee from Vietnam, recalled.
RELATED: Olivia Munn, LeBron James, Mindy Kaling and More React to Georgia Shootings: 'Senseless and Tragic'
The actress added, "It was an emotional moment for all of us, and we all took a moment and just cried together."
Biden, 78, ordered the White House, military grounds and other federal government buildings to lower the American flag through Monday "as a mark of respect."
Local investigators have said that the suspect in the Atlanta massacre, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, seemed to have a sex addiction and the spas were "a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate."
He "may have frequented some of these places in the past," Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynold said Wednesday.
The investigation is ongoing.
Victims include Soon Chung Park, 74, Hyun Jung Grant, 51, Suncha Kim, 69, Yong Ae Yue, 63, Delaina Ashley Yuan, 33, Paul Andre Michels, 54, Xiaojie Yan, 49, and Daoyou Feng, 44, the New York Times reported.
"Whatever the motivation here, I know Asian Americans are — they are very concerned, because as you know I have been speaking about the brutality against Asian Americans for the last couple of months and I think it is very, very troubling," Biden said Wednesday, speaking to reporters in the Oval Office.
RELATED: Olivia Munn Speaks Out on Anti-Asian Violence After 'Devastating' Attack on Friend's Mom
Munn, 40, sat down with Jeremy Parsons on PEOPLE (The TV Show!) in February to speak out about anti-Asian violence.
She appeared alongside her friend Sam Cheng whose mother was attacked outside a New York City bakery on Feb. 16.
Authorities allege that Patrick Mateo, 47, became belligerent toward her and shoved Cheng's mother onto a metal newspaper box, according to a criminal complaint obtained by PEOPLE.
Mateo was charged with third-degree assault and second-degree harassment, according to ABC 11, and has since pleaded not guilty. A lawyer for Mateo could not immediately identified by PEOPLE.
Munn told Parsons, "You know, there've been so many attacks against the Asian community, especially the elders in our community. Over the past year, it's been an astronomical rise. I mean, just in New York alone, it's a 1,900 percent increase in just a year."
Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.
The actress added that many older victims of these hate crimes are often reluctant to speak out about attacks.
"Our parents have been conditioned to keep their head down, to take it on the chin, to keep going to be treated like second-class citizens," she said, adding that Cheng's mother likely wouldn't have reported the assault.
To learn more and to report crimes, go to: Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Stop the AAPI Hate, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-LA, and Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council.
Source: Read Full Article