The hashtag #YouClapForMeNow is trending thanks to a moving video paying tribute to immigrants who are holding our country together
“So it’s finally happened. That thing you were afraid of. Something’s come from overseas and taken your jobs. Made it unsafe to walk the streets, kept you trapped in your home, a dirty disease, your proud nation gone. But not me, or me, or me, or me. No, you clap for me now.”
As the video cuts from person to person in their place of work, homes or streets, the emotion in their voice is palpable. The brain child of Sachini Imbuldeniya, the video features a poem called You Clap for Me Now, written by Darren James Smith.
Sharing the video on Instagram, Sachini calls it “A poem to remind us all that a large majority of ‘key workers’ are from Black and Minority Ethnic families.”
Explaining that the poem is read line by line by first, second and third-generation immigrants including doctors, teachers, care workers and shop keepers, Sachini goes on to say:
“Despite long, shameful histories of facing racism and hostility, immigrants globally are showing kindness and solidarity by delivering essential aid and services to their nations. Because we know – and they know – it doesn’t matter where you come from.
“During this pandemic we are all humans together, fighting a common enemy.
“You Clap for Me Now reminds us all that when we finally emerge from lockdown, we must remember those who helped us and our loved ones through it. We must ensure that we never go back to a time where we ignore, hurt or disrespect people because of their religion, profession, or the colour of their skin.”
The video has already had 1.8 million views and is climbing rapidly. Clapping for the NHS and showing our gratitude is wonderful, but as this video reminds us, it's important for us not to forget this when everything is over.
Here is the poem in full:
“So it’s finally happened, that thing you were afraid of, something’s come from overseas and taken your jobs, made it unsafe to walk the streets, kept you trapped in your home, a dirty disease, your proud nation gone, but not me, or me, or me, or me. No, you clap for me now.
“You cheer as I toil, bringing food to your family, bringing food from your soil, propping up your hospitals. Not some foreign invader, delivery driver, teacher, life saver. Don’t say go home, don’t say not here.
“You know how it feels for home to be a prison, you know how it feels to live in fear, so you clap for me now. All this love you are bringing, but don’t forget when it’s no longer quiet, don’t forget when you can no longer hear the birds singing, or see clearer waters that I crossed for you to make lives filled with peace and bring peace to your life too.
“Come all you Gretas, you Malalas, you immigrants, see what we have learned. It only takes the smallest thing to change the world.”
We hope this video makes as big an impression on you as it did us and that you’ll join us in saying: we will remember.