Interview by: Pippa Simmonds
William Diep is a powerhouse. How many sixteen-year-olds do you know who, due to the blasé attitude of their country’s current president, have taken matters into their own hands by creating an online anti-racism movement in the midst of a global pandemic? I now know one – and he’s great.
Following a series of videos that emerged online back at the beginning of the frustratingly long Black Mirror episode that is 2020, showing a number of Asian-American people in incredibly compromising situations involving physical and verbal abuse; William saw a pattern that he couldn’t stand for. In fact, he even saw it at school, when one day in February, a classmate claimed the “Kung-Fu” or “Ling-ling” virus was brought to America by people of Asian descent. “It was completely abusive, derogatory and offensive to the Asian-American community. The fact that I may get attacked because people look at me and think I may have brought the virus here is completely false.” Following this, alongside President Trump’s failure to address these issues; William ultimately felt he had no choice but to launch his student-led Instagram campaign: Virus: Racism.
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