Man accuses Houston-area business of discrimination when singled out for not wearing face mask
HOUSTON - A Richmond man says he is the victim of discrimination after he says he was singled out and told to put on a mask while at a local repair shop.
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Bao Dinh says he's experienced discrimination before on social media.
"Some female just told me I'm the reason why [there’s] the virus," he says. "I'm actually Vietnamese."
Dinh says he felt discriminated against when he went to Good One Automotive Auto Repair in Richmond Tuesday afternoon. He says he went in for an inspection as he had done before the coronavirus pandemic and was asked to put on a mask by the manager.
Dinh replied that he was vaccinated but says he was told that by not wearing a mask, it was making customers uncomfortable.
He tells us he then left the store but reentered with his cell phone camera rolling and posted the video on YouTube.
In it, the manager asks if Dinh has a question for him, and he responds, "I want to know the reason why I have to wear [a] mask when nobody else is wearing a mask?"
He argues as the manager appears to point to a sign on the door.
The video also shows an employee who came into the room unmasked and a seated customer who also didn't wear a face covering.
"Is it because I’m Asian, and I have the virus or something? That’s the only way I would make people uncomfortable because nobody else had to wear a mask," says Dinh in the video.
Dinh says he was told he could wait outside but chose to take his business elsewhere.
"The lone customer there shook his head and said, ‘I don't understand either’ because he didn't ask him to wear a mask," he said in our interview.
Our crew visited the shop where a "masks required" sign was posted on the door. However, I was not asked to put on a mask while entering or during the time I was there.
One of two customers in the waiting area also did not have a face covering.
The manager told us he keeps his mask on, but he’s comfortable with customers taking theirs off if they're sitting six feet away.
The owner did not want to go on camera but also commented saying there was no discrimination.
He says his employees do not monitor who keeps a mask on in the waiting area, and because of COVID variants, his policy will not change anytime soon.
Additionally, the owner plans to remind employees to pay attention to mask-wearing and personally reach out to Dinh, who says he only wants to be treated like everybody else.
"You got to be fair to everybody- just do not single me out," Dinh said.