Le Hoang Nguyen, a Vietnamese-American businessman in Houston, is facing backlash after buying a Black Lives Matter billboard in Houston.
Nguyen said that he stands in solidarity with Black people and those who experience racism in America. The billboard in question is at Bellaire Blvd. and Boone road in southwest Houston.
“Having faced racism first hand over the tears and especially having seen the recent social injustices in American, I used my personal funds to put a billboard that shares the message of the Black Lives Matter,” he said on a Facebook post on Wednesday. “I did not receive any outside funds. The opinion expressed is 100% my own.”
He stated that in addition to the public support the movement has received, he hoped the billboard would serve as an inspiration for the next generation and spark difficult conversations about racism and injustices. He stated that the billboard was not political, and that it did not support any particular organization.
“It supports the simple of the Black Lives Matter movement to stop racism and injustice for all,” Nguyen, who runs a Farmers Insurance office, said. “I believe every life matters. But, if we do not stand up for the lives of those most marginalized, how can we say that all lives matter?”
However, he revealed that there were those who opposed the billboard, and that some of them called for a boycott of his business while others even called for his lynching.
“Not in a million years, did I think that I would receive death threats,” he wrote on Facebook. “There has been a public call for my lynching within my own Vietnamese community. A community that I love, and a community that I have proudly served.”
Some of his critics asked him to focus on the injustices that Vietnamese-Americans face.
“I grew up being called names,” he said. “I was in jobs where I was limited by the color of my skin. That is why I support stopping racism and injustice - period.”
Others maintained that America is the land of the free and that all a person has to do is work hard.
However, Nguyen stated that this was not necessarily true. He revealed that he had moved to America at age 9 without his parents.
“However, I did not grow up with people who ran when they saw me,” he said. “I did not have to fear for my life anytime I saw the police. I was never told I am worthless by those with different skin colors. I know that my life would have been a lot hard to build if I did. Who am I to judge the enduring challenges that others face?”
Nguyen stated that the next billboard he sets up will honor first responders.
Sources: America Now