Discrimination against anyone speaking a foreign language is not uncommon in the U.S. but with the advent of cell phones now, these moments are being captured and shared across social media platforms. These assaults against people who are doing nothing but speaking their native language in a public space comes from white Americans, usually spewing hateful and ignorant statements about immigrants as a whole. Most recently, 27-year-old Xiara Mercado, who is a member of the Air Force, was confronted by a woman at a Starbucks after she overheard her speaking in Spanish on her phone. In a Facebook post, she wrote that the woman said, “you speaking another language that does not represent America and that uniform you are wearing, that’s distasteful.”
This sense of entitlement to confront someone speaking a language other than English in the U.S. is prevalent in every one of these racist interactions indicating a lack of respect and a lack of common decency. For the following list we’ve compiled the various instances when Spanish speakers have been verbally assaulted in a public space.