San Antonio Ramen Shop Vandalized with Racist Slogans

Vandals painted racist slogans on Mike Nguyen's storefront after he called Texas' newly relaxed mask policy "cowardly" on CNN.

Video Transcript

CAT SANDOVAL: San Antonio restaurant owner and chef Mike Nguyen found his restaurant vandalized Sunday with racist words like "Kung Flu," once promoted by former President Trump.

DONALD TRUMP: Kung Flu, yes.

MIKE NGUYEN: I knew that there could be a chance of, you know, the business getting vandalized or myself being attacked.

CAT SANDOVAL: This comes days after he appeared on CNN to criticize the Texas governor for lifting the mask mandate.

MIKE NGUYEN: The governor doesn't have us Texans' interests at play at this point. I think it's more of a personal interest, I think, because this isn't to drop the mask mandate. It is selfish and cowardly.

CAT SANDOVAL: Nguyen is immunocompromised, and he is currently undergoing treatment for lymphoma.

MIKE NGUYEN: I had hesitation initially to go on because of the backlash. But, you know, at the end of the day, I realized that, you know, it needed to be said.

CAT SANDOVAL: New numbers from reporting center, Stop AAPI Hate, received more than 3,700 anti-Asian hate incidents nationally since the start of the pandemic. Nguyen is an example. His CNN appearance has been followed by death threats, harassment, and low restaurant ratings.

WILLIAM MCMANUS: That's nothing but a bigoted, cowardly move to do something like that. It's just not-- it's not San Antonio by any means.

CAT SANDOVAL: The San Antonio Police Department tells Newsy they are currently in preliminary investigations.

The graffiti says, "Go back to China," but you're not even Chinese.

MIKE NGUYEN: No, I'm not. No, that's-- and that's the irony of it. It's stupid. You know what I mean? And it's like, I'm half-Vietnamese [INAUDIBLE]. And that was just the dumbest thing ever.

CAT SANDOVAL: After his restaurant was targeted, the community came together to clean and wipe away messages of hate.

MIKE NGUYEN: Those were strangers, complete people-- like complete strangers. And that for me was a very powerful message, you know? The negativity and the initial hate, like, it brought us together, and that's what us Texans do.

CAT SANDOVAL: Instead of slurs, hearts now appear in the Noodle Tree Restaurant, with one reading, "Love is stronger than hate." For Newsy, I'm Cat Sandoval.