SAN ANTONIO – Community leaders stood united Thursday in a press conference outside the Bexar County Courthouse to condemn racist graffiti found on the windows of a Northwest Side ramen shop.
On Sunday, Noodle Tree owner Mike Nguyen went to the ramen shop to find racist graffiti that read, “no masks,” “ramen noodle flu,” and other derogatory remarks. The graffiti came after Nguyen had spoke out against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on CNN about the governor’s decision to remove the mask mandate.
Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales, who organized the press conference on Thursday, said it was important to speak out against the rise in attacks targeting Asian Americans.
“It’s important that the people of San Antonio know that this is not who we are,” Gonzales said. “We are a community of loving people. We are a community of tolerant people.”
Gonzales committed to prosecuting the individuals responsible for the graffiti “to the full extent of the law,” including an “anti hate-crime enhancement” he can add on to criminal charges.
Others who spoke up for the Asian community in San Antonio included San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Police Chief William McManus, and Councilman Manny Pelaez.
“San Antonio is not a home for bigots, and if you don’t feel like these people are worth of your respect and your compassions, then please find another city to live in,” Pelaez said.
The support was appreciated by members of the Asian community, like Christina Lew, the president of the San Antonio chapter for the Chinese American Citizens Alliance.
“You are the true representation of San Antonio,” Lew told the supporters in attendance. “Seeing pictures of people coming together to clean the racist graffiti ... further proves that we live in a great city.”
Lew said she will work with city and county leaders to help break down cultural barriers that she said keeps some Asian Americans from reporting being victims of crime.
Though the police chief and district attorney committed to thorough investigation of the case, neither offered any specifics on what investigators have uncovered so far.
Anyone with information on the vandalism at Noodle Tree is asked to call law enforcement.
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