A racist rant by a white woman in a nail salon run by Vietnamese immigrants went viral on Facebook and now is being shown on TV and discussed even more widely.
The woman in the incident has not been identified, but another patron, Robin L. Roether, posted it on her Facebook page on June 8 with the admonition: “Watch how this woman treats her nail tech. Please share no one deserves this kind of treatment ever.”
The salon is in Lutz, Florida, an unincorporated suburb east of Tampa.
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WATCH: Florida woman goes on a racist tirade in a nail salon, yelling expletives at nail techs and telling them to learn english because their "language sounds nasty." https://t.co/TkGex0qOgT pic.twitter.com/wOWglDbAS4
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 13, 2018
When the woman began yelling at her male nail tech for not understanding her slurred English, the owner of Bali Nail Spa, Karen Vu, came over and tried to calm her down.
“If they don’t understand the language, they should go back to their own country,” the woman yelled.
“Oh, no. No, nobody can say that,” responded Vu.
“Yes, I can,” the woman says, complaining that the man who did her nails could not explain something to her correctly, reports CBS News.
The woman yelled out to others in the salon, “Who all agrees with that? Like, if you get a service done, I mean, shouldn’t you be able to understand who’s doing it?”
The woman again told Vu that she needed to learn English, to which Vu replied that she tries to learn every single day, adding, “That’s something I work on.”
Vu continued to apologize to the woman, trying to calm her down, but the woman was not going to be shut up.
“Don’t move to America unless you know Engish, okay?” the woman shouted.
“Don’t say that,” said Vu, getting upset.
“You have to pass some exams to get into the States, you know,” said the woman. “Oh, Jesus. Like really, you just spread your legs and like hop into a nail salon and watch you guy whisper behind the clients’ backs.”
That was enough even for Vu: “We’re done here.”
However, the woman would not get up or stop talking.
“After the woman dropped the F-bomb,” reports CBS News, “Vu seemed to have had enough.”
“Don’t say that,” said Vu. “You sound nasty. That’s not nice.”
“Your language sounds nasty,” shot back the woman. “It actually sounds like you were born out of [expletive] hermit crab.”
Finally, another patron intervened, telling the woman she “had enough.”
“You’re being nasty,” said the woman, a friend of Roether.
“No, I’m not,” the woman shouted back.
The two got into an expletive-filled argument.
“You don’t call them hermit crabs,” said Roether’s friend. “You’re being [expletive] nasty. Get our [expletive] out.”
“You don’t tell me when to get the [expletive] out,” the woman shot back.
After she was asked to leave several more times, the woman stormed out without paying and continued yelling as she left.
Vu said that she was surprised when she learned two videos of the incident had been posted on Facebook.
Vu, who has owned the salon for ten years, said that she considers a customer her “best friend,” and that she was just trying to calm the woman down but she kept going.
Vu said this was the first time she ever experienced such discrimination.
After the video went viral, Vu said that three people came by and offered to pay the money for the woman who walked out but she refused. “It made me emotional,” she said.
“A lot of people called and brought flowers, donuts, shared with me. I’m very emotional,” said Vu.
“In the United States,” added Vu, “we come to immigrate. It’s a problem when you hurt a lot of people like that.”
This is only one of many incidents across the U.S. in recent months.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, the number of such incidents of all kinds has grown exponentially since Trump took office, making remarks that seem to give racists a sense that they have license to attack those who are different than them.
Many Vietnamese came to the U.S. as immigrants after they were forced out of their own war-torn country, and most have proven to be industrious and good citizens who work hard, pay taxes and become part of their community.
It is unfortunate that the ignorant American-born – who don’t know better but now feel empowered by the racist in the White House – hurt people in this way, but it has become an unfortunate part of life in America– for now.