Consider this a variation on a theme.
Internet sleuths are trying to track down a white man caught on video ranting about people speaking Spanish at a New York City lunch spot. The viral video, which has garnered over a million views since being posted Tuesday afternoon, shows the man threatening to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement on customers and workers at a Fresh Kitchen restaurant in Manhattan for daring to speak a language other than English.
“Every person I listen to—he’s speaking it, she’s speaking it. This is America,” the man shouted as he pointed to various people in the restaurant.
“Your clients and your staff are speaking Spanish to staff when they should be speaking English,” the man ranted. “My guess is they’re undocumented, so my next call is to ICE to have each one of them taken out of my country. If they have the balls to come here and live off my money—I pay for their welfare. I pay for their ability to be here.”
Darth Chad, in all his righteous anger, clearly missed the fact that everyone he was talking about was gainfully employed and/or could afford the very same lunch order that he was placing.
As The Gothamist reported, the man—who activist-reporter Shaun King has alleged is Manhattan attorney Aaron Schlossberg—was confronted by at least one other customer: a woman, not seen on camera, who calls the man an “ignorant asshole.”
When the man responds by telling the woman she should take a break from eating, she replies, “Maybe you should get hit by a car.”
(Lord, I love New York.)
As stories mount of white people calling the cops on black people for the most innocuous activities, like shopping, napping, making money orders and cooking out, it’s important to step back and look at the unifying theme: the threat of state interference (and state violence) for the crime of moving through mostly white spaces.
It’s an aggressive escalation that shouts, “You do not belong here!” And this man, whoever he may be, with his insistence on America being his country, the aggrieved payer of “their welfare,” and overflowing with resentment at a language that has been spoken within the United States’ borders since before its inception, very much fits into this larger narrative.
“This is America”: Black and brown people need not apply.