Just days after a video of racist New York lawyer Aaron Schlossberg went viral for threatening to call ICE on a Hispanic waitress for simply speaking Spanish in one of the world’s most diverse cities, two Americans were punished and threatened by law enforcement for the same “crime.”
Ana Suda and Mimi Hernandez were at a gas station in Havre, Montana, around midnight on May 16th to pick up some eggs and milk for the morning – and found themselves in a confrontation with one of the goose-stepping goons that enforce President Trump’s mandate of ethnic cleansing.
The two women were in line at the register when a uniformed Border Patrol agent stepped forward and demanded to see their IDs. “I looked at him like, ‘Are you serious?’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, very serious,’” recounted Suda, who instantly began to film the encounter.
“Ma’am, the reason I asked you for your ID is because I came in here, and I saw that you guys are speaking Spanish, which is very unheard of up here” said the agent.
When Suda rightfully pointed out that this was obviously racial profiling, the agent responded with a contradictory jumble of words that did a very poor job of covering up his racism.
“It has nothing to do with that. It’s the fact that it has to do with you guys speaking Spanish in the store, in a state where it’s predominantly English-speaking” offered the agent, who then detained the two women for nearly forty minutes as he tried but ultimately failed to figure out some justification for arresting them.
“I was so embarrassed … being outside in the gas station, and everybody’s looking at you like you’re doing something wrong. I don’t think speaking Spanish is something criminal, you know? My friend, she started crying. She didn’t stop crying in the truck. And I told her, we are not doing anything wrong” said Suda.
The incident is a terrifying reminder that in Trump’s America, merely speaking a language that isn’t English can be enough to provoke the president’s deportation agents – even though 41 million people speak Spanish in the United States.
aaron schlossberg's actions represent a disturbing truth: a significant share of white Americans understand that ICE is an agency designed to terrify people of color and actively want it to be performing ethnic cleansing
— abolish ice. send homan to the hague. (@SeanMcElwee) May 20, 2018
As the president’s rhetoric against immigrants and demonization of Hispanic Americans takes a disturbing turn for the dehumanizing and the frequency of racially motivated incidents of white people calling law enforcement on people of color for going about their business skyrockets, it’s clear that Trump is dragging our nation down a very dark road – and that we have to double our efforts and our energy to protecting the rights of every human in America, be they white, black, Hispanic, gay, straight, trans, documented, or undocumented.
Watch the video from the incident here: