Despite a recent rise in hate speech and a lack of progress in ending discriminatory hiring of minorities and immigrants, those who feel empowered to blatantly discriminate against immigrants still run the risk of being instantly outed and facing the wrath of everyday Internet activists.
This time the victim was Minh, a Vietnamese man in Seattle, Washington, who was preemptively threatened to be sent home by a hiring manager because of his level of English. When Minh responded to a job opportunity at Dash Delivery, he received a rude, mocking email from the HR manager, saying, “Let me tell you now, if you no speak English, I will send you home” with “if you no speak English” underlined.
Minh’s daughter Emily posted the email exchange on Twitter. “Non-English speakers really have it hard bc my dad just got rejected from this job offer,” she wrote. “All of [the manager’s] emails we’re [sic] also very unprofessional & passive aggressive.“
Her original tweet had been liked by roughly 50,000 Twitter users and had 23,000 retweets as of Feb. 8.
It didn’t take long for the tweets to be noticed by a local attorney who contacted the delivery company to report the HR manager’s behavior. Soon after, Minh and Emily received an email from Dash Delivery, saying, “Our company is an equal opportunity employer and it is proud of its diverse workforce.” The email also stated that the HR manager had been fired following the incident.
Minh’s daughter Emily has since updated the story on Twitter, stating that while they were offered assistance to pursue legal action against the company, her father has opted to move on from the incident. Emily also posted a photo of her father’s English-to-Vietnamese language notebook to show how hard he’s working to find a job.
For immigrants and minorities in general, the situation of the Huyhn family might sound familiar.
Reports of discrimination and hate speech have risen since the 2016 presidential election. A poll by NPR revealed that nearly every group in the U.S. feels they suffer from discrimination. More than 70 percent of Latinos said they feel discriminated against, compared to 92 percent of African-Americans and 61 percent of Asians.
Moreover, hiring biases in the country haven’t improved in 25 years, according to this study, and it’s particularly tough for African-Americans and Latinos. On average, white applicants receive 24 percent more callbacks than Latino applicants.
The wave of hate speech and crimes across the United States has inspired project like ProPublica’s Documenting Hate, which aims to collect data of hate crimes and discriminatory practices, and The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hate Map, which gathers data about hate groups in all 50 states.