Houston - A local business owner is doing his part to raise awareness and Stop Asian Hate. He’s put up a billboard in Bellaire that says "Hate towards one of us is hate towards all of us" in lieu of advertising for his business.
Since 2002, Le Hoang Nguyen has been advertising for his insurance business on a billboard on the corner of Boone and Bellaire. But since the summer, he’s changed his course and decided to use it to erase the hate, instead.
"In the Asian culture, we’re taught to mind our own business, just keep your head down and work hard and all that. But for me it was enough. Enough is enough," Nguyen said.
Many may recognize Le Hoang Nguyen as an Astros super fan or local business owner. But recently, he’s transitioned into a different role, becoming more outspoken about civil injustice.
It all began after he watched the viral cell phone video of George Floyd last summer.
"I sat in my office and I cried. For me, it was just time to speak up, time to lend my voice. That old saying, ‘what would you do if you weren’t afraid?’ 'If not me, then who?’ 'If not now, then when?’ Nguyen said.
In June, Nguyen replaced his billboard with a "Black Lives Matter, stop racism" message and began receiving death threats.
Afraid of what might happen, Nguyen laid low, even apologizing on television.
"But then I realized, it was a call to end racism, stop racism. I have nothing to apologize for. I’m on the right side of history," Nguyen said.
In 2020, hate crimes against Asians spiked 150%. The videos capturing the senseless violence and the complete lack of action from bystanders, triggered Nguyen to not only speak up, but act.
"It angers me. It’s like what if that were your mom, what if that were your grandmother? How would you feel?" Nguyen said.
"I made this shirt. It says 'human, you and me' to remind people that we’re all human beings. When we start treating each other as human beings, as humankind, then a lot of these problems will just go away, hopefully," Nguyen said.
Nguyen designed the shirts himself and will be donating all proceeds to AAJC, the Asian Americans Advancing Justice organization.
If you’re interested in getting a shirt or helping out, Nguyen is asking folks donate a minimum of $22.50 to https://secure.donationpay.org/aajc/ and e-mail him a receipt with your size and address. He will mail you a t-shirt in return.