Check out this mother and daughter’s reaction to a woman shopping at Walmart on Black Friday telling them to “speak the language.”
While many fixate on English being the official language of the United States, America does not technically have an official language. So, when you go out into public, it is common to hear a combination of different languages. Chances of hearing other languages are even greater when you make the decision to go to Walmart on Black Friday.
According to Jasmine Xiong’s now-viral Facebook post, she and her mother decided to shop at Walmart in Appleton, Wisconsin, on Black Friday. The two spoke in their native language – Hmong – while they had a conversation with each other.
What happened next shocked both Jasmine, her mother, and the nearly 400,000 people who have watched the video on Facebook.
USA Today notes another shopper approached Jasmine and her mother and told them they should “speak the language.” Before they continued to engage in conversation with this woman, one of the women decided to pull out a camera and record the situation.
In the video, you can hear the mother and daughter trying to understand why the woman thinks they need to “speak the language” when they are merely having a conversation with each other. The women did slightly note that while the conversation did not have anything to do with her, they should still speak English because they are in America.
The mother and daughter asked the woman if that meant she would speak Hmong if she came over to their house.
The woman said yes, but then she clarified that would only be necessary if she lived at their house. The woman also noted she would take classes and learn another language if she made plans to travel to another country. She proceeded to claim she took Spanish classes with plans to go to Mexico. The mother and daughter challenged the claim by asking her to speak Spanish. The woman responded by counting in Spanish which the mother and daughter brushed off as just about everyone learned how to count to 10 in Spanish. After all, it was more singing than counting.
The unidentified woman acted as if the mother and daughter attacked her for asking them to “speak the language” by asking them several times to stop yelling. Jasmine and her mother explained to the woman that her words were racist and that they had every right to be upset.
“I was really shocked and upset and offended that she would say something like that,” Jasmine told USA Today as she opened up about what happened and how it made her feel.
In 1976, the first 50,000 Hmong people arrived in the United States as refugees from the Laos and Vietnam war.
Wisconsin is home to the third-largest concentration of Hmong people, following California and Minnesota. In total, there are roughly 250,000 people of the Hmong ethnicity currently living in the United States.
Jasmine noted she started the recording near the end of the altercation between her and the other shopper to share the surprising experience with her family and friends. She never thought the video would attract so much attention on social media.
After seeing her video go viral, Jasmine’s biggest regret is not getting more of the altercation on film.
“I’ve never encountered something like that. I never thought I would.”
Unfortunately, USA Today noted this is not the first time that shoppers of another ethnicity were the victims of racist comments, and it likely will not be the last time, either.
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