Shame on you, Señor Schlossberg. You should learn from the fine lawyers of Spanish Harlem, who I’m sure are much more attuned to the sensibilities of a multicultural, multiethnic city –and the need for [true] bilingual professionals.
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.
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!