A Daughter Defended Her Dad From An Anti-Immigrant Remark — And Was Met By A Wave Of Understanding And Support

"This email was gross, unnecessary and degrading."

Emily Huynh's father, Minh Huynh, is on the hunt for a job, but the callous response he reportedly received from an HR manager in Everett, Washington (which has since gone viral on Twitter) highlights the discrimination some non-native English speakers face in the job market.

According to a Twitter thread Emily shared on Jan. 22, the saga began when Minh received an email reply from a hiring manager at a delivery company after he'd contacted Peterson about an employment opportunity. The nasty response, below, poked fun at Minh's less than perfect grasp of the English language and confirmed the language barrier had cost him the position. (A Plus has redacted the hiring manager's name and contact information from the screenshot that Emily posted.)

"Let me tell you now, if you no speak English I will send you home," Peterson wrote in the email. What's more? Emily noted that "all of Bruce's emails we're also very unprofessional & passive aggressive."


Emily Huynh

Nextshark reports that Minh came to the United States from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in 1995. He previously owned a restaurant in Washington, and until about two years ago he worked as an overnight truck driver — a position he had held for approximately 13 years. Since losing that job Minh has been tirelessly looking for work, but as this mean-spirited exchange proves, that is no easy feat.

Though Emily said her dad "isn't that hurt" by Peterson's email, she explained he did have difficulty understanding why his lack of English was keeping him from a job when he has more work experience than most people. "My dad told me that he isn't that 'hurt' by it, but there's a big stigma around Asian immigrant parents that deal with this all the time. They brush it off because they don't understand the depth of the situation," Emily told the publication. "People always use micro aggressions with or without knowing they do which is a big concern when it comes to the treatment of future citizens."

In a later tweet, Emily added, "I understand that the job requires English but his email(s) could've been handled way more professionally. This email was gross, unnecessary and degrading."

Many people on social media agreed, and several even shared their own stories of parents being discriminated against or made to feel less than because of language or other cultural barriers. "This hurts. This is how our parents get treated on the daily and often times, their pure hearts can't even do much about it," wrote one Twitter user. "Please use your privilege for good and speak up for these injustices you see. We appreciate it more than you know."

Though many social media users have encouraged Emily and her family to sue the company for discrimination, she explained her father has "forgiven and wants to move on." She did, however, share that her tweet had led to change: the hiring manager in question was let go and the delivery company has offered an apology to her father. 

"[The manager] was inappropriate and inconsistent with our company's values," wrote owner Kevin Bus after apologizing to Minh. "Our company is an equal opportunity employer and it is proud of its diverse workforce. Indeed, the majority of the employees performing the work for which you applied speak English as a second language and they represent a wide range of backgrounds and nationalities."

On Jan. 24, Emily posted a video of her dad reading the NextShark article, writing that he was "overwhelmed by the amount of support" he had received.


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