An Asian American father and daughter are recovering from an incident involving a stranger who popped out of nowhere to tell them to “go back to China.”
The moment occurred while the Los Angeles based duo, known as Derek and Mimi (@derekandmimi) on TikTok, were discussing an upcoming dinner while preparing for a video last week.
In the recorded clip, a man can be heard cutting off the pair while they were busy talking to the camera.
After asking the stranger to repeat himself, Derek stepped away from the frame, leaving Mimi visibly upset.
@derekandmimiThis was pretty intense just because Mimi was with me.♬ original sound – Derek and Mimi
“So while we were about to do our TikTok a couple walked by. The man said: ‘You should go back to China,’” Derek wrote in the video, which has now received 2.5 million views.
“I’m distraught. The look on her sweet face at the end was so heartbreaking and such an emotional trigger. So often I’ve experienced that same thing,” one Instagram user wrote.
Another commented, “My heart breaks for your daughter. I had been told to ‘go back’ myself and it still hurts and I can still hear that person’s voice in my head. I hope she is able to persevere through this.”
Derek and Mimi have 1.2 million followers on TikTok.
In a series of updates, Derek announced they are physically safe, but Mimi is taking a social media break to process everything that happened.
“We are completely safe. We are totally fine, physically at least,” he said. “Mentally, is something else.”
Derek thanked the public for their support in the aftermath of the incident, which he described as “definitely something we never thought we would endure as a family, and no family should never have to endure.”
@derekandmimiUpdate Part 1 ##derekandmimi ##stopasianhate ##nogate ##love ##support ##asianamerican ##asian♬ original sound – Derek and Mimi
Derek also learned that the man who offended them is a transient individual who struggles with “some form of mental illness.” Regardless, he pointed out that it is no excuse for anyone to ever be told something “to that extent.”
“This is proof that no matter how hard we try, no matter how many milestones we reach, no matter how many marches there are for each and every ethnicity out there, we will still see this happening,” Derek added.
“All we can do as a society is try and do better, but definitely try and make it so that our children and our children’s children understand love and compassion.”
Feature Image Screenshots via @derekandmimi