Peterson and his brother, Elliott Peterson, recently sat down for an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution to talk about their mother. Yue, 63, always seemed to have a smile on her face, was exceedingly generous and loved cooking Korean meals for family and friends, her sons said.
The Petersons also discussed what it was like to grow up both Black and Asian-American. Yue met her former husband, Mac Peterson, who is Black, in 1976 when he was stationed at a U.S. Army base south of Seoul. She had been living in Norcross at the time of the shootings.
During the Facebook Live with Chu, Robert Peterson, 38, a sociology professor, said his mother was very conscious about race relations, particularly when it had to do with her two sons.
“When she heard people speak negatively about African-Americans, she would remind them, ‘Hey, don’t do that. I have two Black children.’” Peterson said. “I would do that as well. If I would hear people that I would be around say negative things about Asian-Americans, I would say, ‘Hey, look, you can’t talk like that. My mother’s Asian.’”
For this reason, he added, “We’re going to need more people to not just be bystanders but to intervene during racial discrimination. When we hear these things that’s what allows this perpetuation to happen.”
Yue was one of eight people shot and killed March 16 at three spas, one in Cherokee County and two in Atlanta. She also was one of six victims of Asian heritage.
Robert Aaron Long, 21, stands charged with all eight murders. After his arrest, he said he killed women at the spas because he was addicted to sex and wanted to eliminate the temptation, law enforcement said.