A woman who called out a taxi driver for being “racist” towards her has been fiercely condemned across social media.
Food influencer Nguyen Yeats-Brown (who goes by the TikTok username itsgnochgnoch), posted a video of her confrontation with the cabbie in which she told him off for “offensive” remarks he had made to her during their journey.
In the clip, Yeats-Brown, who is from London, asked the driver to drop her off “anywhere” because she no longer felt “comfortable” in his car.
She explained that her upset was caused by his speculation over her nationality, telling him: “What you said to me was quite offensive, about how you were trying to guess where I'm from because you think we all look the same.
“And then you said, ‘Oh, I couldn't tell where you were from because you look a little bit different’. That's very racist.”
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She noted in a caption to the video that she’d told the man she was from Vietnam, to which he’d responded: “My [girlfriend] is Chinese so I try to guess where people are from because they all look the same to me.”
The unidentified driver, who was audibly not a native Brit, instantly replied with an effusive apology, saying: “Please don't get me wrong, my English is not perfect. My girlfriend is Chinese and I love the Asian people because they're so polite, so kind, right?”
Yeats-Brown then interjected by pointing out: “There's a difference between you loving Asian people and you saying that we all look the same and that you are trying to guess where I'm from because I look different to ‘them’. To them – that's the key word.”
The man then begged for her forgiveness, telling her: “Please forgive me. I really don't mean it [like] that.”
Sounding distressed, he continued: “If something is wrong, this company will fire me. And I have a daughter. I swear to God, I don't mean this –please forgive me – I swear to God I don't.”
some ppl in her comments were like “aw im so sorry this happened to u, ur so strong ❤️” like??? how traumatizing was a stranger mistaking where ur from that u even cried?? get a grip honestly.
The Londonder headlined her clip with the caption: “This morning I experienced racism…" But rather than receive the sympathy and support she may have been expecting, she was the one who was vilified.
Posting the video to his own TikTok profile, one user accused her of “bullying a kind-hearted, immigrant taxi driver who meant no harm.”
Elsewhere, another creator, called Massive Asif, shared an excoriating stitch in which he accused her of being a “snowflake” who was “acting like she’d been racially abused.”
“Mate, saying Asian people look the same or similar isn't racist, it's f**king science,” he said. “They're from the same part of the world, obviously they look similar, in the same way Bangladeshis, Pakistanians and Indians look really similar [...] that isn't racist.”
He ended his tirade: “Just cause you're offended doesn't mean you're right."
However, other users were more empathetic, with Asian-American commentator Soogia describing it as “a situation that I can see both sides of”.
“I'm very sympathetic to him because I have parents who speak broken English, and there have been many times where they're trying to convey an idea, but because their language is somewhat limited, because English is their second language, they sometimes can say things in a way that they might not have intended,” she explained.
“So what was the driver supposed to do? He said that he was sorry. And from what I heard, I think he really meant it. So for her to then post the video, I don't know that that was necessary, but I understand why she posted the video thinking, ‘See how often these things happen, the frequency with which s**t happens to us?’”.
She continued: “I know what it feels like to be just sitting there doing nothing and having somebody say some stupid offensive s**t. So from her perspective, I get it. I understand why she filmed it and felt the need to speak up for herself. And then from his perspective, he completely owned it and apologised for it, and I don't know what further he could have done.”
Full video here if you want to see it @xyzabc6603 I can sympathize with bith people involved. There is so much more we could talk about but at the end of the day, all I can hope is they both learn something from this experience. ##modelminoritymyth##misunderstanding##accountability##twosidestoeverystory
Meanwhile, Yeats-Brown took down the offending video from her own page and later posted a (now-deleted) response to the backlash.
She wrote in a lengthy statement: “There has been a very big misunderstanding from the video I posted about the cab driver and I can only say I'm sorry it came off in a bad light as it was never my intention.
“I never did it for views or clout, I thought that by posting it, it showed that I spoke up for something that offended me and hear so often as an ignorant observation by many. I wasn't putting myself in the other shoe at the time [and] I acted purely on emotions which sometimes isn't always correct and now I realised that.
Continuing her defence, she confirmed that she hadn’t identified the man at any point and hadn’t reported him to his employer, so he won’t have lost his job over the whole affair.
She then went on: “I apologise for saying what he said was racist, I genuinely thought it was at the time, I've dealt with racial stereotypes all the way through growing up and no one has ever told me different, but now I will take the time to educate myself on the matter and be more understanding in the future.”
She wrapped up her post by requesting the “time and space to process and reflect”, adding: “I understand your frustration and anger towards this matter and I can only apologise.
“But I am receiving as far as multiple death threats such as ‘you should go kill yourself,’ ‘your mum should have swallowed you at birth,’ and ‘I’d have left her on the motorway’, and racial insults including words such as ‘disgusting c***k’ and ‘dog eater’ etc therefore I wholeheartedly beg you to respect me as a human being who [has] made a mistake. I don’t think I deserve hate to this extent.”
She ended her plea: “Thank you for understanding and I am sorry I let you down.”
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