"This is America," says angry customer at a New York restaurant
The employees of a restaurant in New York City became the target of the latest racist incident against Hispanics, according to a video of the confrontation that went viral Wednesday.
New York attorney Aaron Schlossberg was enraged when the employees of Fresh Kitchen, in the Midtown area, began to speak in Spanish among themselves. He threatened to notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) "to have each one of them kicked out of my country."
The restaurant's manager, Emily Serrano, told NBC4 that she and another employee, who are bilingual, were speaking in Spanish when the yelling began.
"He's screaming at the guy serving him, 'Give me my f***ing sandwich, you shouldn't be speaking Spanish, I feel disrespected, go back to your country," recalls the woman, born in New York of Puerto Rican parents.
In a moment of fury, another client started recording with her cellphone and later published the video with the message: "Just experience what America is becoming!"
The video, which had more than 3 million views, shows the man complaining to an employee that "your staff is speaking Spanish to customers when they should speak in English."
When the worker tried to answer him they are bilingual and therefore they speak in both languages, the man did not accept it: "This is America," he exclaimed.
In the video, several people are heard calling the furious client "ignorant." He then threatens to call ICE because, he added, he suspected the workers were undocumented.
"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, the least they can do is speak English," he added before leaving the restaurant.
Schlossberg works out of his eponymous firm, The Law Offices of Aaron Schlossberg, on Madison Avenue a few blocks away from Grand Central Station. He's a graduate of George Washington Law School with a clean discipline record since being admitted to practice in New York in 2003. The firm's yelp page got bombed with so many one-star ratings in the wake of his rant, Yelp is doing an Active Cleanup Alert (the Ask The Community question immediately visible: "Is this the same bigot that was yelling at people for using Spanish in America?"
Before his LinkedIn profile became unavailable, several outlets noted Schlossberg's profile claims he studied in Madrid. His law firm's website, on its opening page, says the firm has attorneys that speak Spanish, French and Chinese.
A spokesperson for Fresh Kitchen told NBC4 the staff was "in awe" of what happened. They said the cafe welcomes people from all cultures.
One in five U.S. residents speaks a language other than English at home, or a record 61.8 million, according to the 2013 American Community Survey, part of the U.S. Census.