Social media users have changed their profile pictures to Vicha Ratanapakdee in a display of unity.
By Tom McLean
In unified opposition to the despicable display of violence and racial intolerance that took place in San Francisco on the 28th of January 2021, social media users across Thailand and the globe have begun changing their profile photos to an illustration of the 84 year old grandfather, Vicha Ratanapakdee.
In troubling footage that has been released to the public Khun Vicha was killed in an unprovoked attack. The video captured showed a 19-year old teenager named Antoine Watson pushing the elderly man to the ground, causing a severe head injury. He tragically died in hospital two days after the assault.
The poignant image that has been circulating on social media was created by Los Angeles-based illustrator Jonathan D. Chang as a tribute to the victim of the tragic assault. The artist posted the image on Instagram while calling for justice, as this incident is not the first of its kind in recent time.
Anti-Asian racism, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been on the rise in countries like the USA and the United Kingdom, and has been highlighted as a motivating factor in this horrendous crime. In protest, the hashtags #AsiansAreHuman and #JusticeForVicha have been trending in Thailand, and are also beginning to gain traction worldwide. Murder suspect, Antoine Watson was arrested by the police but has since plead not guilty. The outcome of Antoine Watson’s prosecution remains to be seen.
If you’d like to donate to Khun Vicha’s family, visit this link.
Photo: Jonathan D. Chang