Linda Dwire, the woman in the viral video being shouted at by good Samaritan Kamira Trent for yelling at two Hispanic women to speak English, doesn’t consider herself a racist.
The video in question shows Dwire in a heated confrontation with Kamira Trent, a white woman who stepped in to defend the two Hispanic women that Dwire was allegedly harassing. The video was posted by one of the women being harassed, Fabiola Velasquez, and quickly made its rounds on social media, as Trent steps in and tells Dwire to leave the store.
Dwire, the woman in white pointing her finger at Trent, confronted Velasquez and her friend Isabel Marin after Dwire heard Velasquez and Marin speaking in Spanish and interrupted them to ask if they lived in America.
Velasquez, who had been in the United States for eight years, told BuzzFeed News that Dwire was aggressive and kept putting her hand in her face. Velasquez had her three children with her when the confrontation began.
Trent told BuzzFeed said she overheard Dwire tell Velasquez and Marin, “You’re in America. You’re in my country. You can’t speak Spanish here. You need to speak English if you’re going to be in America.”
According to BuzzFeed News who spoke with Dwire on the phone, Dwire maintained that, despite what many people are saying after watching the video, she is “not racist and that she was not harassing the women.”
“It has nothing to do with race. It’s a patriotic thing,” Dwire told BuzzFeed News. “When people come to my country, they need to love it enough to speak English.”
Dwire also told BuzzFeed that she believes immigrants in the United States who don’t speak English choose to do so, and that they are dividing the country.
“They’d rather have their country here. I don’t mind them coming here as long as they want to be an American and not go on our welfare system,” she said. “When there are so many people that they don’t learn English, that’s what divides our country.”
Dwire also said she’s confronted people in public places about not speaking English before and believes “US immigration laws should stipulate that immigrants learn English,” according to BuzzFeed News.
Velasquez disagrees with Dwire, and says that she felt threatened by Dwire, who made her feel as though she would hurt them.
“If she wasn’t racist, she wouldn’t care what language we would speak,” Velasquez told BuzzFeed News. “It baffles me because, I don’t understand what concept they have about us [immigrants.] What are we trying to take away from them exactly?”
Dwire claims that she has received threats since the incident and isn’t sure if she’ll be able to find an attorney to take up her case, according to BuzzFeed News.
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