If investigators can't prove Atlanta shooting was anti-Asian hate crime it was still an attack on women: Ex-FBI agent
Asha Rangappa/Screenshot

CNN intelligence expert Asha Rangappa explained that even if the Atlanta shooting can't be called a hate crime for the fact that he targeted Asian-Americans, it's clear he was out for blood against women, which is also a hate crime.

Speaking to CNN host Don Lemon Wednesday, Rangappa explained that it's an important point being lost by those claiming that the man was a "lone wolf" and just a mentally ill man.

"Race is definitely a basis for a hate crime, but in 2009, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability were all added to the federal hate crime statute," she explained. "So, if there is a motivation for any of those factors, those could still constitute a hate crime and be a basis for federal jurisdiction. But this also brings to the floor the idea of intersectionality. This is the idea that someone can belong to two different groups that perhaps the law treats as distinct categories. But there is a specific harm when a person actually embodies both of them that you might miss if you're focusing on these separate categories."

She explained that in this case, Asian women were clearly the victims, but looking only at race may remove some specific things that he did that could fall in other categories.

The excuse from the shooter was that as a sex addict he was wanted to "save" others like him by killing the women in the businesses.

"This person didn't target strip clubs, for example," she said. "He really came to a particular time of business. Was that intentional? We don't know. But it does overlap with a specific ethnic community and it does overlap with women who work there. So, I think that we need to think about the ways that particular communities who embody different bases of gender and racially motivated violence can be uniquely targeted in these situations."

Lemon noted that some groups are warning against a kind of "male supremacy terrorism driven by driven by aggrieved male entitlement and desire to preserve traditional gender roles."

Rangappa explained that there are anti-women ideologies like INCELs, involuntarily celebrate men, who hate women because they can't get women to have sex with them. This man could be in an online group like that.

"I think it is true that most of these are lone-wolf actors," she said. "But this isn't an organization has some kind of leadership or structure. But it is based on this idea of an attack on masculinity and there is, in the dark web, in parts of the internet, groups that come together around a sense of loss about particular aspects of their masculinity. And it has driven other types of violence. We've seen it in shooting in the past as this being a motivation. So, it is hard to actually track this because it is not organized, and it can be something that someone gets radicalized into on their own on the internet. But I think, it gets to this idea of gender-based violence."

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