A long time show host and singer in the Southern California Vietnamese American community endured being racially harassed in her own front yard.
Nguyễn Cao Kỳ Duyên hosts the video series Paris by Night. She’s lived in the Southern California area for 45 years, but most recently moved to a home in Huntington Beach.
Two Vietnamese American singers recently joined her one night in recording a song in front of her home. She said they softly turned on some music as the singers lip synched to a tune in Vietnamese. A neighbor in an apartment balcony suddenly began screaming.
“Shut the f*ck up,” he yelled. “Bad things are going to start happening. I can promise you that. Get that on camera.”
Nguyễn said it wasn’t until he noticed she had indeed turned a camera on him that he went back inside.
She said she called police to report what she considered a hate crime. Officers took a report from her and then proceeded to question her neighbor. Police blamed the young man’s behavior on having a few drinks and said he offered an apology.
Despite that, the next day, she found a raw egg had been thrown on her balcony. She again called police to file a vandalism report.
“Why I keep calling police, and you should do the same thing, is because you want to have record,” said Nguyễn. “You want to have evidence that this person has done this before and you want to preserve all evidence for later on if it escalates to the point you were harmed.”
To protect herself, Nguyễn installed cameras all around her house. She said two weeks later, her neighbor came over and called a truce. He gave her a personal apology and admitted he was out of line.
“Problem solved, but had I not constantly called the police, put the camera, maybe he would think he can push me around,” she said in a message to fans on You Tube.
“People like him who are racist are in the minority. The minute he started screaming at me that night, all the neighborhood came out and they stood up for me. They tell him don’t do that. Go back in the house. They told me this guy has been a troublemaker for all the neighborhood. My answer is we have nothing to be afraid of. The majority of Americans are not like that.”
AsAmNews has Asian America in its heart. We’re an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. Check out our new Instagram account. Go to our Twitter feed and Facebook page for more content. Please consider interning, joining our staff, or submitting a story.