If you ever broke a piñata –and had to sing the accompanying song that goes with it, you’ll see how brilliant this is. Sign by Jessica Solt. Photos: Laura Martínez
Being Hispanic in the U.S. has become a sort of act of resistance for many of us. Not only because we have to deal with a president who launched his candidacy by calling Mexicans a bunch of rapists and criminals, but because that same presidency seems to be enabling all kinds of racist behavior towards “these people” (i.e. Latinos, Hispanics, Beaners or whatever you want to call “my people.”)
In one of the most recent of these episodes, a video went viral this week showing New York attorney Aaron Schlossberg verbally attacking deli employees for –wait for it– speaking Spanish. In Manhattan. At a deli. Imagine that!
In the video (which was first reported by Latino Rebels), we can see Schlossberg complaining aggressively to the deli’s management, saying “your staff is speaking Spanish to clients when they should be speaking English. Every person I listen to: he spoke it, he spoke it, she’s speaking it,” he says, pointing angrily at several people in the place.
The incident spread quickly across social media and made it eventually to the main media outlets, causing hilarious scenes where reporters were trying to interview Schlossberg just to see him running away as if someone had called La Migra on him.
The hero of the afternoon: The dude with the big Bluetooth speaker
Needless to say, Schlossberg’s tirade got Latinos very angry (and many reasonable non-Latinos, of course) but I’m happy to report that “my people” responded in the best way possible: By throwing him a Latin FIESTA right on his block, outside a posh apartment building on West 60th Street, in the heart of Manhattan.
The party, which took place on Friday, May 18, was organized by a group known as Millennials for Revolution on Facebook who invited people to show Schlossberg that speaking Spanish is not a crime and that “we will gladly educate you on our culture and language by throwing a big fiesta.”
And it was goooood!
It was only 5:30 pm but dozens of people were already gathered, listening to music, waving improvised signs and chanting things like Hablamos español! I don’t know exactly how, but I found myself joining the crowd dancing to some good ol’ Latin favorites: From Celia Cruz’ Quimbara, to Elvis Crespo’s Suavemente and –yes– several versions of Despacito. Ay!
The fiesta reached its peak when a mariachi band, organized through a GoFundMe page that has raised over $1,000, arrived on site and gave us some old time Mexican favorites, including a moving version of Cielito lindo, which had us all singing out loud.
I created the #AaronSchlossbergLatinParty hashtag on Twitter and was happy to see it was used by other users to help spread the love.
Click through this Twitter moment and ¡Que siga la fiesta!
UPDATE: On Tuesday May 22, the racist lawyer used social media to apologize. The apology is lame and I don’t believe him, but here it is: