Seemingly anti-Vietnamese and Chinese graffiti has been discovered in Garden Grove, California, one of the cities that makes up the large Vietnamese-American enclave of Little Saigon.
The graffiti, which appears in a photo reportedly taken Monday, uses disparaging language, mentioning people from South Vietnam and China. According to social media posts, the graffiti appeared as early as August 2015 and has been spotted on a Korean supermarket as well as on Bolsa Avenue, a main thoroughfare that runs through multiple cities with large Asian-American populations in Orange County, California.
"Garden Grove is a city of compassion," Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen told NBC News. "We are a welcoming, multicultural community, proud of our vibrant diversity."
Nguyen said he had not heard about the graffiti until this week and is calling on the Garden Grove Police Department to investigate it as a possible hate crime.
"I know how painful it is for our community, especially as an Asian American, to see these racial attacks in the public eye," Nguyen said. "It is unacceptable for anyone to feel threatened and unsafe on account of their race. I am calling on our police chief to investigate these reports as possible hate crimes. And I call upon every Garden Grove resident to show compassion for one another, as we stand together against ignorance and hate."
The Garden Grove Police Department did not respond to a request from NBC News for comment.