Video of woman berating IHOP customer for speaking Spanish goes viral

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A video posted Friday of a California woman being berated by another for speaking Spanish at a Los Angeles IHOP has gone viral.

The three-minute rant caught on video by Norma Vasquez’s son shows her clashing with an unidentified woman in large, dark sunglasses interrupting her while speaking Spanish.

“We speak English in American. Go back to Spain,” the woman can be heard saying.

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“I speak English. Not good, but I speak English,” responded Vasquez, who arrived from El Salvador 30 years ago.

The video, shared by Vasquez’s son, Carlos, on his Facebook page has been shared and viewed more than 16 million times.

"I was shocked, and right now, still to see that it's still growing and growing and growing. But I'm glad it spread, because that's the point," Carlos Vasquez told the Los Angeles Times. "I wanted people to be aware of what's going on, even in the city of Los Angeles."

The Vasquez family was at IHOP as an early birthday celebration for Carlos, who turned 25 on Saturday.

In the video, Carlos Vasquez can be heard repeatedly telling the woman that she could not tell his mother to speak English and that she in fact does.

"Inside, I wasn't upset," he told NBC 4 this week. "I got more upset when my mom started to cry. It wasn't fair for my mom to cry to a stranger just because my mom was speaking Spanish."

Norma Vasquez, who is a janitor in Santa Monica, told NBC 4 that she felt “awful” and “worthless” by the woman’s rant, which also targeted her son at one point.

"Do you want the Russians over here telling you what to do? Do you want the Nazis telling you what to do?” the woman told Carlos Vasquez in the fiery exchange.

He responded: “That’s what you’re doing to my mom. You’re telling her what to do. She speaks English. She’s not perfect, but she speaks English.”

Carlos Vasquez, who lives in Highland Park and is a teacher's assistant, said neither he nor his parents ever experienced anything similar, saying “it was just so rare to see that in L.A.”

“We were very, very shocked,” he told the L.A. Times.

The altercation drew a crowd, including many IHOP employees, but none of them stepped in, Carlos Vasquez said. It was something that disappointed him.

He said his mother didn’t want to stay at the restaurant after the incident, but he told her they should still eat there.

“Otherwise we’re going to show the lady that she has more power versus us,” he added.

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