Orlando hair salon vandalized, threatened for mistaken identity over racist rant, owner says

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After a woman was filmed making anti-Asian comments at an Orlando restaurant last week, the owner of a nearby hair salon says his business was vandalized with messages filled with hate – and had received a flurry of threats and negative reviews – from people who mistakenly think it’s her in the video – but it’s not her.

Last week, King Cajun Crawfish posted a video on its Facebook page of a woman apparently unhappy with her meal and wanting a refund. When that didn’t happen, the women made a number of racist remarks.

“Do you want me to spell it for you? You’re a Chinese (expletive),” the woman said in the video. “…Take your (expletive) back to your country.”

This unidentified woman reportedly works at a beauty salon in Orlando, which apparently has a similar name to Iris R. Mejia (Mejia owns Beauty Bar Orlando).

But it was too late for internet sleuths and social media commentators.

“Since Monday I have received threatening phone calls, death threats and threats to burn my business, all over a false identity. My stylists and I have lost business due to threats and fear of coming to work . The threats seemed meaningless , until today,” Mejia wrote on a GoFundMe page.

Over the weekend, she discovered vandals had sprayed graffiti on her shop, including “get back in your cage”, among swear words and other comments. As a result, she had to cancel appointments and some of her employees were afraid to return to work.

“We received threats for more than a week straight,” she said.

“A lot of stylists were afraid to come to work.”

Stylist Michelle Niesluchowski returned to work and said the threats, harassment and phone calls had been exhausting, but “fighting hate with hate is not the answer”.

“It’s terrible,” she said.

As of Wednesday, the GoFundMe had raised over $6,000 towards its goal of $10,000.

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