Asian business owners in Arlington react to national surge in anti-Asian hate incidents

The rise in anti-Asian hate incidents has caused a panic in the community, and many Asian business owners feel uneasy in this climate.

Huan Tran, LA Hair & Nails owner, said he and his wife are scared to go outside alone.

“It feels very dangerous,” Tran said. “We don’t feel safe like usual anymore.”

Businesses are the primary site of Asian discrimination at 35.4%, followed by 25.3% in public streets, according to Stop AAPI Hate, a reporting center for discrimination toward Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Texas is among the top five states with the most anti-Asian discrimination incidents.

The discrimination has Steven Nguyen, Sprout’s Springrolls & Pho owner, on edge. It made him cautious about employees staying alone at the restaurant or leaving at night, he said.

Last week, a man attacked a 65-year-old woman while making anti-Asian remarks in New York, but witnesses didn’t intervene. This incident made Tran mad when he saw it.

“All the men around, and they didn't do nothing, and [they] just [stood] there and it really, really aggravated me,” he said.

However, there has been more support from local customers, Nguyen said. He feels humbled and blessed to have people care about the business.

“They've done what they can to try to make us feel better,” he said. “We have some very good customers and very good residents of Arlington.”

Erik Iglesia, Take a Bao general manager, is grateful that there hasn’t been a major incident of discrimination at the restaurant yet. However, he is scared for his older staff and the owners since older people have been targeted, he said.

“Racism is always there. It’s just, you know, now it’s just kinda like getting amplified in a way,” he said.


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