Video shows Walmart employee telling man to speak English “because we’re in Texas”

by learn a language journalist
  • A Houston man said a Walmart employee told him to speak English.

    A Houston man said a Walmart employee told him to speak English.

    Photo: Joel Aparicio

  • Latinos who don’t speak Spanish.

    Latinos who don’t speak Spanish.

    Photo: Getty Images

  • Selena

    This Texan star brought Tejano music to the masses in both English and Spanish, so it’s surprising to some to learn she didn’t really speak Spanish. She learned just enough to be able to sing her songs.

    Selena

    This Texan star brought Tejano music to the masses in both English and Spanish, so it’s surprising to some to learn she didn’t really speak Spanish. She learned just enough to be able to sing her songs.

    Photo: Vinnie Zuffante, Getty Images

  • Selena Gomez

    Like the Texan singer she was named for, this Texas-born star also doesn’t really speak Spanish.

    Selena Gomez

    Like the Texan singer she was named for, this Texas-born star also doesn’t really speak Spanish.

    Photo: Jon Kopaloff, FilmMagic

  • Christina Aguilera

    This star has a Spanish album, but she says she doesn’t really speak it fluently.

    Christina Aguilera

    This star has a Spanish album, but she says she doesn’t really speak it fluently.

    Photo: Charley Gallay, Getty Images For Entertainment I

  • James Roday

    Not many know the star of Psych is even Latino, but his real name is James Rodriguez. He’s also from Texas and doesn’t speak Spanish.

    James Roday

    Not many know the star of Psych is even Latino, but his real name is James Rodriguez. He’s also from Texas and doesn’t speak Spanish.

    Photo: USA Network, NBCU Photo Bank Via Getty Images

  • Demi Lovato

    Yet another Texan Latino who doesn’t speak Spanish, although she says she’s learning.

    Demi Lovato

    Yet another Texan Latino who doesn’t speak Spanish, although she says she’s learning.

    Photo: John Parra, Getty Images For Clear Channel

  • Eva Longoria

    The actress didn’t grow up speaking Spanish but says she learned it as she became politically and socially active. Although she still prefers English and says she just gets by in Spanish.

    Eva Longoria

    The actress didn’t grow up speaking Spanish but says she learned it as she became politically and socially active. Although she still prefers English and says she just gets by in Spanish.

    Photo: Ian Gavan, Getty Images

  • Julian Castro

    He’s a rising star of the Democratic party and he speaks often of his abuelita, but this Texan-born Latino doesn’t speak much Spanish.

    Julian Castro

    He’s a rising star of the Democratic party and he speaks often of his abuelita, but this Texan-born Latino doesn’t speak much Spanish.

    Photo: Alex Wong, Getty Images

  • Stacey Dash

    The “Clueless” actress is part Mexican. She says she plans to learn Spanish so she can teach it to her kids.

    Stacey Dash

    The “Clueless” actress is part Mexican. She says she plans to learn Spanish so she can teach it to her kids.

    Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images

  • Cameron Diaz

    She has Cuban heritage and says her family were cigar rollers for generations, but she doesn’t speak Spanish.

    Cameron Diaz

    She has Cuban heritage and says her family were cigar rollers for generations, but she doesn’t speak Spanish.

    Photo: Stuart C. Wilson, Getty Images

  • Jessica Alba

    The third-generation American says her grandpa decided not to speak Spanish in the home because he didn’t want his kids to be different.

    Jessica Alba

    The third-generation American says her grandpa decided not to speak Spanish in the home because he didn’t want his kids to be different.

    Photo: Ilya S. Savenok, Getty Images For Global Citizen

  • Ryan Guzman

    This “Step Up” star is also from Texas and although his dad is from Mexico, he doesn’t speak Spanish.

    Ryan Guzman

    This “Step Up” star is also from Texas and although his dad is from Mexico, he doesn’t speak Spanish.

    Photo: Jesse Grant, WireImage

  • Bella Thorne

    This up-and-coming Cuban-American actress says her first-language was Spanish, and she can still understand it, but that she stopped speaking it when she went to school and struggled with dyslexia.

    Bella Thorne

    This up-and-coming Cuban-American actress says her first-language was Spanish, and she can still understand it, but that she stopped speaking it when she went to school and struggled with dyslexia.

    Photo: Kevin Winter, Getty Images

  • Melissa De Sousa

    The Panamanian actress and Afro-Latina says she’s proud of her Latin roots and is frustrated when she visits family and can’t understand everything that’s said.

    Melissa De Sousa

    The Panamanian actress and Afro-Latina says she’s proud of her Latin roots and is frustrated when she visits family and can’t understand everything that’s said.

    Photo: Jason LaVeris, FilmMagic

  • Carlos Pena, Jr.

    The Big Time Rush star is learning Spanish too. He’s had to learn because he’s singing in Spanish now.

    Carlos Pena, Jr.

    The Big Time Rush star is learning Spanish too. He’s had to learn because he’s singing in Spanish now.

    Photo: Barry King, FilmMagic

  • David Archuleta

    So… he speaks a little bit of Spanish, but he didn’t really learn until he went on a Mormon Mission in South America.

    David Archuleta

    So… he speaks a little bit of Spanish, but he didn’t really learn until he went on a Mormon Mission in South America.

    Photo: Jonathan Leibson, FilmMagic

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A Houston man said a Walmart employee told him to speak English.

A Houston man said a Walmart employee told him to speak English.

Photo: Joel Aparicio

Video shows Walmart employee telling man to speak English “because we’re in Texas”

A Houston area man is receiving threats for posting a video online showing a prejudiced comment from a Walmart employee.

Joel Aparicio said he was doing his Sunday shopping at a Pasadena Walmart when the self-checkout machine malfunctioned and a staffer arrived to help.

As the problem was worked out, Aparicio said he asked the Walmart employee if she spoke Spanish. She said no.

Aparicio said he then asked her if there was anyone available who did speak Spanish who could help him. He said the employee managed to fix the problem anyway and left, but the error occurred again moments later.

When the same woman returned to help him, Aparicio said she told him, in Spanish, that he shouldn’t be in this country if he couldn’t speak English.

That’s when Aparicio said he began recording their interaction.

“It’s necessary to speak English then?” Aparicio asks the woman in Spanish.

“Yes, because we’re in Texas,” she responds.

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“Only because of that?” Aparicio asks. The women nods.

As the checkout process continues, Aparicio tells her: “You don’t have green eyes to only be speaking English.”

“I live in Texas, so I speak English,” she replies.

Aparicio, a 13-year resident of Houston and originally from El Salvador, said he had been going to that Walmart, located on Shaver St., for about 10 years.

“I felt bad,” Aparicio told Chron.com. “No one had ever treated me like that in that store. They’ve always been friendly.”

“I felt discriminated, to be truthful,” he said. “Just because I didn’t speak English.”

He said it’s the only time he’s ever experienced something like this in Houston.

After posting the video online, Aparicio received threats from people apparently familiar with the woman.

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“Say you f**king Mexican b*tch. Learn some f**king English hoe ass n***a,” read one private message sent to Aparicio. “If I find you, I’ma f**k you up big time for messing with my grandmother.”

Another person posted that Aparicio recorded her mom. She threatened to “kick his mother f**king ass.”

Aparicio said he informed the police about the threats.

“It doesn’t have to be this way,” Aparicio said of the interaction with the Walmart employee. “She looked Hispanic. We have to try to help each other.”

In a statement to , Walmart said it was aware of the video and said the incident was being addressed internally.

Fernando Ramirez covers Texas news and politics. Read him on our breaking news site and on our subscriber site. | Fernando.ramirez@chron.com | @fernramirez93

This content was originally published here.

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