Joel Aparicio took a Facebook live video last week, showing a Walmart employee telling him that if he didn't speak English properly then he shouldn't even be in the country. The video shows the employee helping him at a self-checkout station in Pasadena, Texas, but soon the subject turned to his understanding of the English language.
Aparico asked the employee if it's necessary to speak English, and she replies, in Spanish that it is in Texas. When he continues to try to speak to her in Spanish, she says, “no, no, no, en inglés".
Speaking to the Houston Chronicle, Aparicio explained that after a checkout machine malfunction, he tried to get help from someone, asking her if she spoke Spanish. She initially said no, then relented and helped him, but when it malfunctioned again she told him he shouldn't be in the country if he cannot speak English.
“I live in Texas, so I speak English,” she told him. Aparicio, originally from El Salvador, has lived in Texas for 13 years, and said that he had never experienced “something like this” in Houston before.
"I felt bad," Aparicio told Chron.com. "No one had ever treated me like that in that store. They've always been friendly. I felt discriminated, to be truthful. Just because I didn’t speak English.”
The video later amassed over 400,000 views and 4,000 shares, but Aparicio did receive some threats as a result. A man who claimed the woman in the video was his grandmother, called Aparicio a "f*cking Mexican bitch”. Another, who identified the Walmart employee as her mother, threatened to “kick his mother f*cking ass".
According to Aparicio, the woman looked Hispanic, which is why he believes they should be trying to help one another. According to the Chronicle, Walmart responded to a request for comment, stating that they have addressed the incident internally.