On Monday, August 1, in Grand Junction, Colorado, Yolanda Flores took her son, Ahmed, to get a physical at the Mesa County Health Department — where her family was violently verbally accosted.
Flores and her family left their German shepherd in their car, in the building’s parking lot, with the windows rolled down. When Ahmed and the Flores’ 6-year-old granddaughter went out to check on the dog, he told the Daily Sentinel, “[Two women] started yelling at us. They followed us back into the building.”
Flores ended up using her cell phone’s camera to record the verbal assault that ensued, fearing that it would turn into physical violence.
The video she recorded, which now has been shared well over 7 thousand times, shows two white women — who work at the Mesa County Health Department — yelling at Flores and her husband, pelting them with racial slurs.
They berated her and her husband for their choppy English. One even went as far as snapping her fingers in Flores’ face, saying, “Speak English, bitch, it’s America,” and the woman even vindictively encourages her to post the video on YouTube.
The video was posted on Flores’ daughter Wendy’s Facebook page. In the post, she writes:
“this right here is what’s wrong with the world. People acting out of spite and hate towards a different race. Judging someone without knowing them…These women are a disgrace to humanity overall.”
Since posting, the video has been viewed more than 600 thousand times and has gotten the attention of Univision and Telemundo.
The boy, Ahmed, can be seen in the video sobbing and pleading with his mom in Spanish as the woman calls the family “god damn wetbacks” and, as she sees and hears him crying, she turns to him and says, “not you hon, not you.”
But if not him, then who else is she talking to? Just because she’s directing the conversation at his mother, there’s no way the violent racism and xenophobia she was spewing wasn’t meant for him too.
The same exact slurs she was saying affect him, just as much as it affects Mexican and other Latinx people, whether it’s directed at us firsthand or it’s overheard.
These are the same words that the likes of Donald Trump have used to rally a following and rise to power. These are the same ideals that make Trump want to build stronger borders. These ideas all contribute to a bigger picture: white supremacy.
The lady in the video can be heard saying “your kind,” as she points to her skin, “just fucking want to get something for nothing. Well, get your ass a job if you don’t have one!” Why is it that because Flores and her family are Brown, she’s assumed to be jobless and therefore innately poor and taking advantage of government resources? Why is it that, just because she speaks Spanish, she’s seen as uneducated? White people will find any reason to unleash the wave of racism they’ve been holding back.
Whether this family is or isn’t documented or recognized as citizens in the United States is irrelevant. Many publications have mentioned their status. However, doing so only renders the violence they endured justifiable — or not — and it only upholds the violence and xenophobia that undocumented folks experience daily.
It’s important to remember that Trump didn’t start the anti-Immigrant or anti-Latinx racism that people have encountered. This violence has lived here for decades. It lives in every link of the fences, between every brick and in every grain of wood that makes up our borders. Trump merely gave people the ganas to voice it loudly, to act on it more often, and to express these ideals out in the open.