“This is what solidarity looks like! #stopaapihate #stopasianhate #callitahatecrime,” Truong captioned her Instagram post. She’s photographed holding an American flag in one hand and a #CallItAHateCrime poster in the other. Rihanna’s also holding a poster, which reads Hate = Racism Against God. There’s also a video of them dancing together. See it here.
At first it wasn’t clear that Rihanna was there. What with her her mask, glasses, and hat, it could have been anyone. Some people began to catch on once the “Diamonds” singer started sharing her Instagram handle. I mean, there’s only one @badgalriri.
She met a fellow protester and proceeded to type her handle into his phone (using her knuckles because of her manicure, of course). He immediately realized the profile he was looking at and asked in a moment I’m sure he’ll never forget, “That’s you?!” Yes, it is! Imagine meeting Rihanna and not knowing it. Just…imagine! RiRi was also captured dancing more on camera as she marched through streets in NYC. See photos and videos of all this here and here.
These recent protests are in light of a recent surge in anti-Asian hate. Last month three massage parlors near Atlanta were targeted by a 21-year-old white man. Eight people–six of whom were Asian women—were killed. The attacks on Young’s Asian Massage, Gold Spa, and Aromatherapy Spa are part of a bigger pattern of increased violence people of AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) descent are facing because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“What happened yesterday in Atlanta was brutal, tragic, and is certainly not an isolated incident by any means,” Rihanna wrote on Instagram the next day. “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.”