The blonde-haired middle-aged white woman with a vaguely Eastern European accent in a now-viral video referred to as an Arizonan, says she not only prefers to sit with white people but threatens that non-whites will be “wiped out” in response to a fellow customer’s request to sit beside her.
Unlike the almost-daily racist-white-woman videos that some may be desensitized to, in this recording the as of yet unidentified woman doesn’t contain her racism aimed at Lennys Bermudez. Bermudez is of Puerto Rican descent. Puerto Ricans are Americans.
This is how it went:
Bermudez says while her car was charging, she went to grab a bite at the Wildflower Bread Company restaurant in north Phoenix Arizona. Busy at that hour, Bermudez says she politely asked the woman, wearing a Harley Davidson jacket and sitting alone at a four-top littered with documents, a cell phone and a glass of water, if the seat next to her was available: “Excuse me, is it OK if I sit here next to you?”
The woman’s response stunned Bermudez: “Do I have a choice?”
Stunned, Bermudez began filming. “I have never been told somebody prefers whites,” she says. Without skipping a beat the bespectacled woman quips in her accented English: “Yes, that would be me.”
Some who opined her accent may be Russian or Slavic also point out that Bermudez sounds very American.
She then adds, “I prefer the whole freaking nation to be white. How about that.”
“You know that’s never going to happen, right?” Bermudez says.
“Oh, it will happen. You will be wiped out. Trust me.”
There are several moments where Bermudez says nothing as the woman shifts her seat away from Bermudez.
“So you prefer white people, not me,” Bermudez asks. “Definitely,” the woman says emphatically.
Bermudez has her own mortgage business. She’s a model. She’s married to a model and has six children. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. Her Facebook is packed with images of her family and inspirational posts. Until Tuesday, just two days before Thanksgiving in the Phoenix eatery.
“So this happened today. I hate to say the political climate is to blame for someone’s outrageous behavior, but I was visibly shaken today with this exchange. I simply asked the woman if I could sit down next to her while I waited for the car to charge.
I noticed she was attentively reading her papers and wanted to be respectful and not interrupt. I asked, “ Would you mind if I sit next to you?” Seems pretty simple. That is when things got crazy!!
Her reply, “Do I have a choice?”
Bermudez says she was so “shocked, I asked her to repeat it so I could see her face.”
Bermudez says the woman was asked to leave the restaurant and, she says, the store manager walked her to her vehicle after “for safety.”
“We really embrace the diversity of not only our workforce but of course our customers. If a guest is uncomfortable in one of our restaurants, we’d like them to come to the manager,” Basile was quoted as saying.
Reaction to Bermudez’ video, where she is at once incredulous but calm as the exchange unfolds, was a collective outrage.
Bermudez said she’s a proud American and an “equally proud Puerto Rican.”
“I wish for a world for my children and my children’s children’s to never worry about this stuff…but then again, we are who we are.”
Some are calling for the woman to not only be identified, but charged with a hate crime.
Arizona health care advocate, campaign manager/regional field director, and former state legislature candidate Nathan Schneider called for an investigation.
“@WildflowerBread, this woman needs to be permanently banned from your establishment and @phoenixpolice needs to file charges against her for making threats. This is a hate crime and it needs to be taken seriously. #racism”
Wildflower did not address the incident directly on its social accounts but did reply to a tweet.
“Thank you for your concern. Wildflower does not condone racism or discrimination of any kind. Our manager intervened immediately upon the incident being reported and the woman making the inflammatory remarks left the premises.”
“But this woman’s threat of violence is more alarming than the typical “sobbing” white lady racist.”