Rihanna is the latest artist to join and support the Stop Asian Hate movement. The singer took the streets of New York City on April 04, 2021, to march alongside a group of almost 3000 people that included activists, residents, and local politicians. RiRi and the rest of the protesters marched across the Brooklyn Bridge and demanded an end to anti-Asian violence after a rise in hate crimes against Asians across the U.S.
The pop also rallied in support of her assistant Tina Truong, which attended the event and documented it by sharing photos and videos of herself and Rihanna.
Truong and the “Diamonds” interpreter made their signs in neon colors and held them high to make them visible to the attendees and bystanders. “Hate = Racism Against God!” wrote the Fenty mogul in her poster. ”This is what solidarity looks like!” Truong wrote on Instagram.
Rihanna also danced with fellow marchers; however, she tried to keep herself incognito. To avoid calling too much attention to herself and distract the protesters from the cause, the 33-year-old Barbadian singer, actress, and businesswoman wore a black baseball cap, a matching mask, and a pair of sunglasses with black leather pants and jacket and a top.
Last month, Rihanna shared on social media her sentiments towards the situation. She demanded respect toward the Asian American and Pacific Islander community after the mass shooting of multiple Asian-owned businesses in Atlanta and other Covid-related attacks.
“What happened yesterday in Atlanta was brutal, tragic, and is certainly not an isolated incident by any means,” she wrote. “AAPI hate has been rampantly perpetuated and it‘s disgusting! I’m heartbroken for the Asian community and my heart is with the loved ones of those we lost yesterday. The hate must stop. #ProtectAAPILives”
Besides Rihanna, other public figures such as Olivia Munn, Daniel Dae Kim, Gemma Chan, and AOC have spoken out and condemn the hate crimes. “Over the past few days I’ve found myself at a loss for words at the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes,” Munn wrote on Instagram. “The racist, verbal, and physical assaults have left my community fearful to step outside. These hate crimes have spiked since Covid and continue to increase even though we ask for help, even though we ask our fellow Americans to be outraged for us, even though we ask for more mainstream media coverage.”
Once the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread in the United States in 2020, attacks against Asian-Americans increased. After former President Donald Trump labeled coronavirus as “Chinese virus” and ”Kung flu,” NYPD data revealed an alarming 1,900 percent increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in New York City.
In April, the FBI anticipated a potential surge. “The FBI assesses hate crime incidents against Asian Americans likely will surge across the United States, due to the spread of coronavirus disease ... endangering Asian American communities. The FBI makes this assessment based on the assumption that a portion of the US public will associate COVID-19 with China and Asian American populations.”
“Hate crimes against Asian Americans have skyrocketed but too often these attacks are ignored & underreported,” said Crazy Rich Asians star Gemma Chan.
Hate crimes against Asian Americans have skyrocketed but too often these attacks are ignored & underreported. This is not limited to the US; in the UK attacks against East & Southeast Asians have increased 300% during the pandemic. Please share & raise awareness #EnoughIsEnoughhttps://t.co/J9VEh5hUh1— Gemma Chan (@gemma_chan) February 6, 2021
“We stand with our Asian American & Pacific Islander community against the rising tide of racism and hate crimes that have been stoked to a fever pitch, much of amplified by the actions of our last president. It‘s on all of us to speak up against bigotry & protect our neighbors,” said Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
President Joe Biden signed an executive action in January, ordering federal agencies to combat xenophobia.