Jonann Velardi, the owner of A Taste of Laos used Facebook Live to tell her story of a recent incident that occurred at her restaurant on Bank Place in Utica. Velardi, a Laotian-American born in Utica, said a person walking by as she was preparing her restaurant before opening, called her lazy and used a racial slur to describe her.
"Pay no attention to her, she's just a lazy Chink," the person yelled about Velardi. Velardi took her story to Facebook Live where dozens of people commented in support of her.
One Facebook user said, "I understand you are upset… I understand you are hurt and RIGHTFULLY SO!!! But listen to me… use allllll that anger…" to become ever stronger.
Velardi said on that day, she and her son were the only ones working at the restaurant and they were preparing food for a fundraiser in which proceeds would be donated to the Proctor High School Drama Club.
Velardi said the comments made her incredibly sad, and she wasn't sure if it was the slur that bothered her most, or if it was the fact that she was called lazy. "I am not lazy," Velardi said.
A Taste of Laos is located at 12 Bank Place in Utica and is currently offering takeout and in dining service. Velardi says, they're unable to hire enough staff to open their dining room. Their phone number is (315) 404-5065.
Watch the complete video post below.
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