Restaurant owner receives xenophobic note from customer: 'I was torn down a little bit'
A Thai restaurant owner in Texas received a napkin with a xenophobic message that has since gone viral.
On Nov. 21, Rungsri Rittiluechai, the owner of Thai Thai Restaurant in Lubbock, shared a photo of the napkin, which read: "If you're going to live in AMERICA, learn to speak ENGLISH! or, go back to where you came from!"
"Someone left it at the counter at lunch today. Who ever you are, I apologize for that which I wasn't born with," Rittiluechai wrote in the caption.
The owner's post, which was initially shared on the restaurant's Facebook page and later his personal page, almost immediately sparked an uproar. As of Tuesday afternoon, it has received over 15,000 reactions and nearly 3,000 comments.
"That's awful and totally disgusting," one person wrote in response. "Please don't worry about those jerks. I'm so sorry this happened to you but so many of your customers love you!"
"I'm so sorry people are so hateful," another person wrote. "Remember this has everything to do with their own issues and nothing to do with you or your beautiful culture."
More than a week later, on Nov. 29, Rittiluechai followed up on his original post with a lighter one that included a photo of all the napkins he received from local customers.
"Diversity makes strong communities!" one message read. "Thank you for being a part of our community."
"We love you!" another read. "Thank you for being in Lubbock because you add so much to our community!"
Like the original post, Rittiluechai's follow-up post similarly went viral, receiving almost 5,000 reactions. This time, however, the comments were more enthusiastic.
"That's the Lubbock I know, and am proud to be a part of," one Facebook user wrote. "Sometimes, you gotta rise above. Thanks for great food and your kindness always."
In an interview with WVLA/WGMB TV, Rittiluechai said he has been overwhelmed by the support he's received in the days following the incident.
"I was torn down a little bit, [but] the response from the customers helped a lot," he admitted.