It is sickening, and saddens me, the senseless slaughter of the eight people this past week, predominantly Asian women.

The murderer was a young Caucasian man, said to be very religious and a sex addict. How does this all jive? Murder, sex and religion? But where does this start?

When the one term, twice impeached former president inaccurately called COVID-19 the "China virus" or "kung flu," I was appalled with his reprehensible rhetoric. It is not only ignorant, but callous and insensitive. Words have power.

Whether it is Asian Americans, Native Americans, Black or brown, men, women, gay or straight — we are all Americans; America has been known as the melting pot, and that diversity is our strength.

I was encouraged to see President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris immediately speak out against this senseless violence against Asians and women. What is the common thread with the uptick in violence the past four years?

Violence in our nation's Capitol when the electoral votes were being counted? What words encouraged that?

Misogyny? Bigotry? Xenophobia? Homophobia? If these words are unfamiliar, or you think you may have this affliction, please use the dictionary.

"Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds." — Thomas Jefferson

Words have power.

LaREE JOHNSON

Astoria