A woman confronted a U.S. Air Force officer outside of a Starbucks store, told her she “shouldn’t be speaking Spanish” and that it was “distasteful” to do so in her uniform.
Xiara Mercado, an airman first class stationed at Pearl Harbor, said she was speaking Spanish while she was on the phone waiting for her drink inside Starbucks on July 17, FOX 10 News in Phoenix reported. When she went outside, a woman confronted her and told her not to speak Spanish.
Mercado posted about the confrontation on her Facebook page, and it has gone viral.
“You shouldn’t be speaking Spanish, that’s not what the uniform represents … it’s distasteful,” the woman said. “You speaking another language that does not represent America and that uniform you are wearing—that’s distasteful.”
Mercado said she was shocked and took a moment to collect her thoughts before responding.
She told the unnamed woman, “I’m sorry ma’am, the only distasteful thing here is that you are clueless to your discrimination, please educate yourself. Have a nice day.”
The woman then told Mercado she didn’t know how Mercado was “allowed to wear that uniform.”
“I wear it proudly,” Mercado responded.