A white woman defends Mexican shoppers against another white (albeit, racist) woman.
A video posted on Facebook showing women in a shouting match quickly went viral when the reason for the spat was much, much worse.
Fabiola Velasquez was grocery shopping with her friend Isabel Marin at City Market grocery store Monday afternoon. Both women are from Mexico and were speaking to each other in Spanish when they were stopped by Linda Dwire, who asked them if they lived in the United States and if they enjoyed it here.
When both women answered in the affirmative, Dwire said they should learn English.
Velasquez said Dwire steadily became more aggressive, already putting her hands to their faces.
“She said that if we’re living in this country we didn’t need to speak Spanish, only English,” Velasquez wrote in Spanish on her Facebook, according to a report by Huffpost.
Adding that she never thought it would happen to her, Velasquez said she would only ever see those kinds of interactions on social media.
“I never thought this would happen to me … I always watched these videos online that riled me up, and when it happened to me I felt frozen and unable to respond.” Velasquez also wrote.
Then one Kamira Trent stepped in for the two harassed women.
The footage shows Trent, in the grey hoodie, already in a screaming match with Dwire, who even attempts to give reason as to why she thinks two Mexican women minding their own business should speak in English when they weren’t even talking to her.
“I was trying to get her away from the two women, but she wasn’t going to leave them alone,” Trent told Huffpost.
“You come from a different generation than I do … and you’re going to lose it,” Dwire said, referring to the country, and pointing angrily at Trent.
“No I do not. I have respect … You do not harass people,” Trent says back. “I’m calling the cops. You leave these women alone! Get out!”
Dwire can be heard saying that Trent will ‘lose your country’ as she backs up to her cart, but Trent follows her as they walk away from the women.
“You do not harass Hispanic women!” Trent can be overheard yelling as a store employee begins to follow her and Dwire.
BuzzFeed reported that police eventually did come and arrest Dwire, charging her with harassment, which was confirmed by Garfield County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado.
Velasquez, who has lived in the U.S. for eight years, was with her children during the altercation.
Buzzfeed reported that Dwire insists her confrontation with the women had “nothing to do with race.”
“It’s a patriotic thing,” Dwire said. “When people come to my country, they need to love it enough to speak English.”
Velasquez, however, didn’t buy it.
“If she wasn’t racist, she wouldn’t care what language we would speak,” Velasquez said. “It baffles me because I don’t understand what concept they have about us [immigrants]. What are we trying to take away from them exactly?”