'Ramen Racist': Who is Louis Grayson? Florida restaurateur calls anti-Asian attack a SHOCKER
Ramen store owner posts 'heartbreaking' video on his page, shows men hurling racist insults at him and calling him a 'woke sissy mother------'
Despite the best efforts of the Joe Biden administration, city officials, and police forces, anti-Asian abuse continues to occur regularly in the US. In the latest incident, three drunken men were seen hurling insults at the owner of a ramen shop in Delray, Florida on July 15. The men were recorded insulting owner Louis Grayson as he and his staff were attempting to close the shop for the night. A video of the incident, first posted on the store's Facebook page has since gone viral and led to widespread condemnation of the men.
We've extensively tracked anti-Asian crime at MEAWW, with incidents skyrocketing in 2021 as the US returns to "normal". In May, a 75-year-old woman was punched in New York City, leaving her with a broken nose and fractured eye socket. On April 7, cops tased and arrested Gregory Jacques in NYC after he assaulted an Asian 7-11 store employee. Days later, Michael Vivona was arrested in California for punching an elderly Korean-American couple.
While NYC has seen a huge spike in hate crime, the issue is clearly a widespread one nationally. Thankfully, it appears no physical harm was done to Grayson. The men hurled abuses at him, before walking away. In response, Grayson uploaded the video to both Facebook and Twitter, asking for the community to help report the men. "If anyone know or recognize these men please be careful and report them. We will not stand for it EVER and we hope justice will be served to these individuals," he wrote on Facebook.
Who is Louis Grayson?
The 30-year-old store owner has a long history in the food industry. According to his LinkedIn profile, Grayson founded Ramen Lab Eatery in Miami in 2017. Before that, he spent around five years working in marketing, including for a firm that specialized in Asian food. Between 2010 and 2012, Grayson worked as the manager of Lemongrass Asian Bristo in Boca Raton. He also served as a waiter for a year at a Thai restaurant.
Grayson credits his family for his love for food, and his decision to enter the competitive restaurant industry. "Growing up in the restaurant business and having the opportunity to travel to many states and countries widen my food experiences, I knew I wanted to do something in the food industry," he said in a 2018 interview. His parents were first-generation immigrants from Thailand who also ran an Asian restaurant. "My tipping point for my decision to start a restaurant was in Washington D.C., I entered a food competition called Launch Pad Mess Hall. After this, I knew I wanted to open my own business into the food industry," he added.
Having obtained a BS degree in business from Lynn University, Grayson put his skills to the test with Ramen Lab Eatery. By 2018, the store had two more outlets in Grandview Public Market and in Delray Beach’s Pineapple Grove. However, Covid-19 quickly wiped away all the highs Grayson enjoyed till that point. "It makes customers hesitant to come in," Grayson told The Atlantic Current. "This is the first time I ever experienced something like this and it’s a shocker. The last two to three weeks have been stressful." Adding to the woes of the slow business is the rise in anti-Asian violence and racism.
'I hope you f----- die of corona'
According to Grayson, he and his staff were closing up the store for the night when the incident occurred. The men walked over from a nearby pizzeria and pulled up the Ramen Lab chairs stacked outside the store. When a waitress asked them to leave, she was insulted in return prompting Grayson to come outside and record everything. "I asked you nicely to leave, that's about it," he can be heard saying.
In response, one man says, "Take your f----- China flu & shove it up your ass! Asshole, you f----- Taiwanese c----, motherf-----." Grayson then replies, "Well done, sir, thank you," but the insults don't stop. Another man then calls him "a woke sissy motherf-----," and a "communist". The first man then takes out his phone to record the encounter, before the third warns him it might be better to leave. The men then leave the area, but as they do so one of them screams "'bye coronavirus go f--- yourself corona. I hope you f------ die of corona."
Grayson told The Sun-Sentinel that abuse started after one of the men asked him where he was from. He replied "from here", to which the man said, "no, you’re from China." Here's a video of the encounter he uploaded on Facebook. Viewer discretion is advised, the video contains profanity that may not be suitable for all audiences.
In response, many viewers condemned the men. "I shared this video to spread awareness. This was absolutely disgusting to watch. Grown men acting like douchebags for no reason. I’m so sorry you had to deal with this," one person commented. Another said, "I’m so sorry! This was so uncalled for. Disgusting verbiage and behavior. Racism is alive and well." One person posted, "This is horrendous! I've shared the video on all my platforms & to my advocacy circles. I'm so sorry that y'all are subjected to this vile hatred & bigotry."
Grayson's staff reportedly called the police, and a later post on Facebook confirms one of them has been identified. It is unclear if he has been arrested though, Grayson simply posted "We have found the person." He also urged social media not to identify the wrong person, as it appeared someone had and the individual was reportedly receiving a lot of abuse.