Houston Walmart Employee Tells Man to Speak English 'Because We're In Texas'

YouTube / Houston Chronicle
A Houston-area man is receiving threats online after he shared a video of a Walmart employee telling him to speak English because "we're in Texas."

Joel Aparicio told the Houston Chronicle that he was shopping at a Walmart in Pasadena when he tried using the self-checkout lane. The machine wasn't working, so he asked an employee for help.

An older woman assigned to the area went over to help Aparicio, who asked the woman if she spoke Spanish, to which she said she doesn't.

Aparicio said he asked if there was an employee who spoke Spanish who could help him. The employee was able help Aparicio despite the language barrier and left, but the same issue happened again soon after.

Aparicio, who is originally from El Salvador but has lived in Houston for 13 years, said the same employee came to help him, but that she told him in Spanish, "He shouldn't be in this country if he couldn't speak English."

He then started recording his interaction with the employee, which has been uploaded to the Houston Chronicle's YouTube channel.
While speaking in Spanish, Aparicio asked the woman if it's necessary to speak English.

"Yes, because we're in Texas," she replied. Later in the dialogue, the woman said, "I live in Texas, so I speak English."

Aparicio said he'd been going to that Walmart location for about a decade, and that he'd never been discriminated against at that store or anywhere else in Houston.

After sharing the video online, Aparicio said he's gotten threats from people who know the woman in the video. Leaving comments calling him a "f—-ing Mexican b—-h" and threatening to "kick his motherf—-ing ass," the El Salvador native said he's informed police about the threats. Walmart has also been made aware of the video, and told the Houston newspaper that "the incident was being addressed internally."

But Aparicio told the Houston Chronicle that his encounter with the woman didn't need to turn out the way it did.

"She looked Hispanic," he said. "We have to try to help each other."

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