Things That Matter

A Woman On A Flight To NYC Was Told By A Man To Stop Speaking Spanish And The Passengers Swept In With All The Support

No doubt about it, 2019 has served people of color some caca. From our current U.S. president telling congresswomen of color to “go back” to their “crime-infested” countries to a white woman telling a Puerto Rican woman, “I hope Trump deports you,” it’s no surprise when yet another story of racism and bigotry goes viral. 

But just as important as highlighting the rising trend of racism in our country, is showcasing when bystanders stand up for fellow citizens and put racists in their place. 

The latest incident of racism concluded with a somewhat positive spin.

Last week, film and television producer Jaime Primak, who is of Italian descent, and stars in Bravo’s hit show “Jersey Belle,”  tweeted that she was on a plane to New York City when a racist passenger told her to “please stop speaking Spanish.” 

“In his defense,” Primak tweeted. “It’s very early and he’s racist.” 

And in a refreshing turn of events, Primak went on to share that, “the man next to him STARTED SPEAKING SPANISH and then the flight attendant and my GOD I have never wanted to get up and dance more than I do now.” 

Primak’s tweet quickly went viral with people offering their support.

Whick like, yes ma’am thank you for your care and support.  

Of course, incidents like this are not isolated and we won’t be the last time this makes headlines.

This past year in March, not even three months into 2019, we reported that we had already seen multiple examples of racism against Latinos go viral. Latinos continued to be fired from their jobs or harassed in public simply for speaking Spanish. The first ICE raid of a large employer in over ten years forever changed 100 immigrant lives. Despite Democratic control of the House, the federal government continues to expand ICE’s reach.

One example was of a woman being harassed at a Walmart for speaking Spanish.

Credit: Dulce Nereyda / Facebook

According to the video, Nereyda was at Walmart and was speaking Spanish with her mother. That’s when this man spoke up and told her that she needed to stop speaking Spanish because she was in the U.S. Newsflash, viejito, English is not the official language of this country and, in fact, English is the language forced on the country by European colonizers. If you really want to show respect to this country, maybe start by learning it’s history before you tell people you can’t wait for Trump to use your tax dollars to build the border wall.

And in the same way Latinos and other communities of color rallied behind the Nereyda, Primak saw an endless outpour of support when something similar happened to her. 

People on social media were quick to have Primak’s back and offer words of support. 

One Twitter user said, “I don’t even speak Spanish” but he would have still gone at it just to annoy the man. This is the kind of solidarity we need!

Another Twitter asked Primak, “what airline?” Yeah, what airline? We’re ready to book our flight tbh. 

You don’t have to tell us twice after seeing what the flight attendant did for Primak. 

Others said that they would have started swearing at the man in other languages besides Spanish. SAME! 

“I can’t speak Spanish but would probably have started swearing at him in a variety of other languages,” @scrapchallenge1 wrote in a tweet. “I had a rather international upbringing and can swear in French, Dutch, German, Arabic, Turkish, and Hong Kong Chinese.” 

Another pointed out that the man is in for a treat since “over 800 languages” are spoken in New York City. 

You tried it, bud. #SorryNotSorry 

@HeathenCandor on Twitter shared her experience with teaching English to students traveling from Spain to New York. 

“I had a few students who specifically studied for their trip to New York,” she writes. “After they returned they’d say with a bemused look: ‘I didn’t even need to speak English. People came out of nowhere & offered to help in Spanish.’”

Someone pointed out that in Europe, for example, it would almost be embarrassing not to know more than one language.  

“Seriously, what’s with some people about speaking multiple langs? It’s so common, so normal, and part of the richness of life. Power? Fear, but of what? In Europe, you’d be embarrassed not to know more than 1.” 

Another woman says she’s “waiting for this to happen to me” so she can put whoever in their place. 

“I’m the child of immigrants and though I was born here, English wasn’t my first language. I speak with my grandma in her native tongue and I’m loud. Come at me,” she tweeted. We’re with ya, girl.

Despite the unfortunate and downright disgusting incident, it’s refreshing to see that other folks continue to stick up for their communities. Let’s keep supporting one another y que sigamos hablando Espanol y cualquier otro lenguaje! 

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