Womn. Founder Sophia Chang Told to ‘Go Back to Wuhan’ While Having Lunch in Newport Beach
By Carl Samson
September 14, 2020
A Korean American entrepreneur and social media influencer took to her platform to expose a man who demanded that she and her sister return to Wuhan in an apparent outburst of racism related to COVID-19.
Sophia Chang, the co-founder of female apparel line womn., managed to film the aftermath of the encounter, which occurred at Bluewater Grill in Newport Beach, California over the weekend.
In an Instagram post, Chang recalled the man making the offensive demand while she and her sister were sitting down for dinner. Apparently, he assumed they were Chinese.
“This man made direct eye contact with us and said ‘go back to Wuhan’ as he headed to the bathroom,” Chang wrote. “Once he returned, we asked him why he would say that and he goes ‘I don’t speak Chinese, I don’t know what you’re talking about.'”
In the video, the man can be seen returning to his wife, while Chang and her sister report him to the restaurant manager. They demanded his removal from the establishment and threatened to post about the incident if no action was taken.
The manager then approached the man in his seat, but the video ended shortly after. Chang confirmed to NextShark and in follow-up Stories that he was asked to leave.
“Yes, the manager told the couple that they needed to leave,” Chang recalled. However, it took them some time as they still spoke to the waitress who served them.
“I believe he personally knew the waitress who was serving him, because she gave him a hug before they left,” Chang said. “They were chatting for a bit so it took awhile for them to leave.”
Still, Chang decided to expose the man to raise awareness of racism, which has worsened for Asian Americans since the coronavirus pandemic reached the U.S.
“I’ve dealt with racism in the past but nothing on this level. I feel really sad that this is the reality of the world we live in today,” Chang told NextShark. “Since it’s happened, I’ve constantly replayed it in my mind over and over again.”
She added that the incident made her think of how African Americans have it worse.
“For me to be able to even post about it on my platform is a privilege. The fact that I can even post about it is a privilege,” Chang added. “It weighs really heavy on me that Black people go through this daily and even so much more.”
Chang urged others who find themselves in similar situations to report their cases.
Meanwhile, users condemned the incident, offered words of support, and shared their own experiences:
Bluewater Grill also commented under Chang’s post to inform her that they had sent her a direct message. The man’s identity remains unknown as of this writing.
Feature Image Screenshots via @sophiachang
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