Things That Matter

Mexican Family Kicked Out Of Public Pool For Playing Spanish-Language Music

Yet again a viral TikTok is showing the all too real struggle that many Latinx folks know all too well – especially when it comes to the frequent racist and verbal attacks in shared spaces simply for speaking Spanish. That’s exactly what was caught on camera in North Carolina as a Mexican family simply enjoying their day at a public pool at Flex Fitness and Recreation Center in Hendersonville, NC suddenly found their day was cut short when they were kicked out for playing Spanish-language music.

A public pool in North Carolina is receiving backlash after its owner allegedly tried to kick a Mexican family out of its pool for playing Latin music.

@esposatoxica

Tiktok, do your thing.

♬ original sound – Bianca Emma Figueroa

According to reports, Veronica Ramirez, Bella Perez and several others were at the Flex Fitness and Recreation Center pool in North Carolina when an employee tried to disconnect their speaker.

“She’s had music in English, and she says nothing. But we had music in Spanish,” Perez told an officer in a recording of the incident that has since garnered more than 8.5 million views on TikTok. “She came with a bad attitude and disconnected our speaker and tried to take it with her.”

The incident occurred after white women at the pool complained about the music, Figueroa said in the video. When staff tried to take the speaker without communicating, Ramirez, Perez and others were upset and sought an explanation, she said. The pool staff then called the police to remove them, and officers arrived on scene, according to Figueroa.

“It hurts me to see the inequality and racism,” Perez said in Spanish in the video. We also see in the video that although Perez is speaking to the police in Spanish, she is spoken to in English and young children are forced to be translators. We do later see an officer finally address the family in Spanish. Activists say there needs to be legal protections to prevent children from having to act as translators. The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office declined to comment on the incident, stating that no one was available Saturday who could speak to what occurred.

The incident is leading to demand for change from activists and the victims.

Thankfully, since the incident went viral, a large network of activists from the Latinx community around the state have rushed to help the family and the wider community in North Carolina. Several groups rushed to Raleigh – the state capital – Saturday to demand legislative change. Members of the families joined Poder NC, a Latinx advocacy group, outside of the North Carolina State Capitol Building to speak about the incident. Addressing a gathering 30 to 40 people, Figueroa said she spoke to a “worldwide” audience.

“This cannot continue happening,” she said. “The women behind me said ‘No more.’ They said ‘We will speak up, and we will speak up in our native language.’”

“We’ve been silenced for too long,” Figueroa added.

Poder NC and the family are demanding that the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office publicize the incident report, release the 911 call audio and establish a policy that avoids putting children in a situation where they must interpret for law enforcement.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com