The last few years have shown that speaking Spanish in a public space can, unfortunately, make one a target of bigotry. And it seems this is the case regardless of the location – whether this is in Montana near the border, a heavily Latino city/state, or even a Mexican restaurant. Recently, an unnamed woman berated Sergio Budar, the general manager of the Mexican restaurant she was patronizing, in Parkersburg, West Virginia because he spoke Spanish to two employees.
Latino Rebels reported that in a pair of videos first posted on Facebook, Irma Dleon reveals that her daughter – who works at the restaurant – recorded the interaction. “My poor baby was frightened but cannot believe this continues to happen,” Irma wrote. “We should be united as a country, but there is much hate. We are all human trying to help each other out. I will pray for this woman to be a better person, but you can only educate the ignorant. First, they must listen.”
But it’s clear from the video that the woman had no intention of listening. She criticized Budar for speaking Spanish, and when he apologized (and spoke in English), she’s still not satisfied. “Well, I’m sorry about you, too,” she said. “Get the fuck out of my country.”
Another update: the man whom Jill berated is named Sergio Budar. He is the general manager of the two-chain Mexican restaurant. He has confirmed to me that he is the man in the video.
— Julio Ricardo Varela (@julito77) February 18, 2019
Though the woman says she’s not racist and that she’s not judging him by the way he looks, she said she saw no need to be nice to him. “So I [got] raped by an illegal alien, but you can speak English, and I have to be nice to you,” she said.
In the end, Budar offered to pay her bill if she will exit the premises. The woman – accompanied by a white bearded man who appears to call her Jill – did eventually leave.
Several of these type of incidents have occurred in the last few years. And regardless of the fact that speaking Spanish is not illegal (and that English isn’t the US’ official language) and that it does not tell you anything about anyone’s citizenship status, many bigots have used this as a reason to verbally and sometimes physically attack others.