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Tuesday 30th of November 2021

Nairobi, Kenya

Rihanna Went Incognito at a Protest Against AAPI Hate in New York City

Posted On : April 5, 2021

Oscar Alochi

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The singer recently posted on Instagram in solidarity with the AAPI community

Using her platform to stand up for social justice, Rihanna joined a “Stop Asian Hate” protest in New York City on Monday.

Known for her chart-topping music and successful business ventures, Rihanna is no stranger to activism. From utilizing her giant social media following to literally “putting her money where her mouth is” with generous donations, Rihanna never ceases to stand out and speak up.

In line with her track record, Rihanna was seen at the racial justice protest alongside her assistant, Tina Truong, who took to her Instagram Stories to share videos and photos of the singer.

Starting early Monday morning, Truong’s Instagram shows her and the singer making signs for the protest. The creative signs feature sayings such as, “#StopAsianHate”, “Hate = Racism Against God” and “Everybody vs. Racism.” The later videos show Rihanna dancing through the streets during the protest, holding her protest sign up high in the busy crowd of protesters.

In a fun video, a protester is seen “swapping Instagrams” with Rihanna. The video shows the “Rude Boy” singer typing in her Instagram handle into the protester’s phone. As her profile loads and the protester realizes it’s Rihanna’s account, he turns to her and asks, “Is that you?” before Rihanna bursts into laughter.

As theGrio has reported, there has been a significant rise in Anti-Asian hate crimes, specifically since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020. “Stop Asian Hate” protests have taken place across the country over the past month following the tragic spa shootings in Atlanta.

Rihanna posted on her Instagram in solidarity with the AAPI community at the time of the shootings. She wrote in her caption, “What happened yesterday in Atlanta was brutal, tragic & is certainly not an isolated incident by any means. AAPI hate has been rampantly perpetuated & it’s disgusting! I’m heartbroken for the Asian community & my heart is with the loved ones of those we lost. The hate must stop.”

Rihanna also shared a video of actor Daniel Dae Kim‘s testimony to the House Judiciary Committee in support of the No Hate Bill and Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act. You can check out his impassioned speech shared on Rihanna’s Instagram below:

Truong also posted a slideshow of videos and photos (captured by photographer Alvery Guiler), showing that Rihanna was able to remain undetected during the march due to her nondescript attire: a gray sweater, a leather bomber jacket, leather pants, a black face mask, black sunglasses, and a baseball cap.

Though none of the demonstrators or passersby seemed to identify who they were marching with, Truong later posted a video to her Story that captured an interaction between Rihanna and a protester. In the clip, the Grammy-winning singer entered her Instagram username into a protester’s phone.

“That’s you?” the protester asked after Rihanna pulled up her account, which has nearly 94 million followers.

Truong wrote over the video, “When Rih gives you her IG handle but you think she trolling.”

Violent attacks and incidents of discrimination targeting the AAPI community have been on the rise over the past year. Just last month, a gunman shot and killed eight people at massage parlors in Atlanta, Georgia. Of those eight victims, six were Asian women.

“The reported shootings of multiple Asian American women today in Atlanta is an unspeakable tragedy—for the families of the victims first and foremost, but also for the Asian American community, which has been reeling from high levels of racist attacks over the course of the past year,” Stop AAPI Hate, a coalition documenting anti-Asian discrimination, shared in a statement, adding, “This latest attack will only exacerbate the fear and pain that the Asian American community continues to endure.”

Content courtesy of Harpers Bazaar, Yahoo News & Nairobi fashion hub  

Oscar Alochi

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