By Randall Yip, AsAmNews Executive Editor
The popular Instagram account Jackfroot has confirmed that its co-founder David Nguyen has died.
The post simply read “In loving memory of David Nguyen 6/30/85 – 3/5/23.” It included video of about a dozen people raising a toast to Nguyen along David Hill Road and Hassler Parkway in San Jose. Mourners placed numerous lighted candles in front of a photo collage of Nguyen.
“Thank you for your support during this difficult time,” the caption read.
Jackfroot is an entertainment and news account that often posts videos of topics ranging from anti-Asian hate to popular foods. Its three Instagram accounts have more than 475,000 total followers.
AsAmNews contacted the Santa Clara County coroner, but it declined to comment on a possible cause of death saying the “investigation is ongoing.” An investigator said Nguyen’s body was discovered on Hassler Parkway, but would not comment any further.
More than 600 followers have expressed their condolences with several referencing that Nguyen may have been going through mental health issues.
“I’m sad to hear about his death because it makes me think about how much darkness was in his spirit. The burden he was holding for the sake of entertaining what is evil. Lord have mercy on him,” wrote one.
“I hope this serves as a stepping stone for Asians to de-stigmatize mental health issues and for men to stop suffering in silence. We need to reach out for help as well as have a strong support system of people around who understand your struggle,” said another.
However, most thanked Nguyen for the mentoring and support he gave them and his advocacy for bringing to light the subject of anti-Asian hate.
“His passing has been weighing heavily on me the past 24 hours and I never even met David in person.😢 He’s done so much for our community that goes beyond what we see posted,” said one commenter.
“RIP I never met you but soo respected you for what you stood for and done for the AAPI community.”
“You have no idea how special you truly are. You are missed deeply by all of us and more… you have left legacies and we honor you and everything you have done to help our voices get heard.”
AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. Please take advantage of a $30,000 matching grant challenge. An anonymous donor has offered to match dollar for dollar every tax-deductible donation made to Asian American Media Inc from November 1, 2023 until the end of the year. The money will be used to fund the addition of a new reporter and to produce content for limited English-speaking Asian immigrants. We are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.