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You Clap For Me Now is the viral video that tackles racism during coronavirus

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Hollie Richardson
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You Clap For Me Now

This week’s You Clap For Me Now viral video features Stylist’s art director, Claire Cheung. Here, Claire tells digital writer Hollie Richardson her reasons for taking part in spreading the powerful message about racism during coronavirus.

My parents moved to the UK in their early 20s from Hong Kong. I still today suffer from racism, which has been exacerbated due to Covid-19. In the past few weeks I’ve received hostile looks and someone even tried to knock me off my bike the other day.

This is why I decided to take part in the viral You Clap For Me Now video earlier this week.

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I was asked to take part by the talented Sachini Imbuldeniya, who is creative director at The Bridge Studio. It features first, second and third generation immigrants from minority backgrounds. We each read a line of You Clap For Me Now, a poem written by Darren Smith.

This is Sachini’s message that I was keen to assist in achieving: “#clapforcarers reminded me that this awful pandemic could present us with a real opportunity to kill off the government’s ‘hostile environment’ towards immigrants and refugees once and for all. 

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“The script (written by my awesome friend) is to remind Britain that many of the people we clapped for and the people we now rely on for food, community support and health care are first, second and third generation immigrants. From Windrush to the present day we have always relied on the skills, energy and brilliance of immigrants to create a better country.

“We want to use this short film to remind Britain of this, so that when we recover from this pandemic we don’t return to the disgraceful xenophobia and bigotry that we’ve seen over the past decade.”

To deliver the message, Sachini wanted to involve a group of key workers – a nurse, doctor, teacher, delivery driver, supermarket worker, bin man, food bank volunteer, hospital porter, journalist (this is where I came in!). The idea came about after the United Nations put out a global call to all creatives and, as a creative, I was keen to help Sachini.

The video has since gone viral with over 7 million likes and retweets from people such as Jess Phillips, JK Rowling, Jameela Jamil and even Piers Morgan – if unity can be found with such opposites, the video can only be a great thing.

I’m so pleased that this has gone viral for the talented Sachini and for us to take a step back and find something positive to take out of this pandemic, which feels nothing but negative. 

I think it will resonate with people from all around the world. The hardworking ethnic minorities were always here and will continue to be here after we finish applauding them – it’s asking people to be more mindful. 

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We also have to remember that the racists and the bigots are the few, and that the virus is bringing people together, people are being really supportive.

The community spirit in my area has been nothing but up-lifting. I can’t wait to have a street party when we get out of this so I can meet everyone.

You Clap For Me Now credits:

Writer  Darren Smith

Producer  Sachini Imbuldeniya

Video Editor  Ruben Alvarado

Images: Getty

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

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