A video of a white woman berating a Puerto Rican group for playing Spanish-language music at a Lake Delton park appeared on Facebook May 28, stirring up online controversy over her language.
The video, posted on NowThis, a left-leaning page that boasts nearly nine million followers, depicts a white woman demanding several Spanish speakers to play “American music.” At time of writing, the woman in the video has not been identified.
“In America, we speak English,” the woman said in the video. “We don’t speak — we don’t have to listen to your (expletive) crap!”
According to Baraboo resident Ramon Luis Cancel, who recorded the video in question, the woman approached them unprompted from another area of Lake Delton’s Newport Park on the afternoon of May 20. Cancel said in a Facebook message to the Wisconsin Dells Events that he and the friends he gathered with couldn’t believe what was happening to them at first.
“When the woman approached for the moment, she began to speak to us in a strong tone but at first instance we did not understand why,” Cancel said in the message. “We were in shock, this could not be happening to us.”
The woman insisted that the authorities would come to shut down Cancel’s barbecue, but no police arrived on the scene. She repeatedly said that Americans speak English, however the United States does not have an official language, and with 41 million native speakers, the US boasts the second largest population of Spanish speakers in the world.
Additionally, Cancel is of Puerto Rican descent, which makes him an American citizen. He said he saw that the woman was not upset because of the music itself, but because it was a group of Hispanic people playing it.
“There came a point where I realized that music is no longer the only detail that bothers her, but the fact that we were Latinos, because of how it is expressed and the unpleasant way that she came to us,” Cancel said. “But what she didn’t expect is we are Puerto Ricans who are American citizens just like her.”
The woman also identified herself as a Republican, and voiced support for President Donald Trump, whose statements about Hispanic people during his campaign and presidency have created controversy across the political spectrum.
“Us Republicans, who love Mr. Donald Trump, don’t want to hear this (expletive) crap while all we’re trying to do is fish,” the woman said. “We can’t, because all we hear is your (expletive) music.”
The video goes on for nearly five minutes of the woman cursing at the group, before she eventually walks away with another man. Cancel said he does not know her, and she did not give any identifying information in his footage.
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