STUDIO CITY (CBSLA) — A man whose rant demanding that some New York City restaurant workers speak English in front of patrons has gone viral.
The video showing a white man berating staff at the Fresh Kitchen restaurant in Midtown Manhattan was posted to Facebook Tuesday and has been viewed nearly 3.5 million times.
“So my wife and her best friend Just experience [sic] what America is becoming !” Facebook user Edward Suazo wrote in his post. “They where on there [sic] lunch time and ordering there [sic] food and just because they where speaking in Spanish to the waiter this [expletive] jumps in and started to call the waiter and my wife and her best friend all types of names and threatened to call I.C.E on them and the employees !!!!”
The video seems to start mid-sentence.
“[…] the clients at your staff is speaking Spanish to customers when they should be speaking English,” the video begins, presumably with the man speaking to a restaurant employee.
“I mean sometimes they do,” the employee responds before the man interrupts. “Every person I listen to — he spoke it, he spoke it, she’s speaking it. It’s America,” the man says as several bystanders can be heard laughing.
“Yeah, it is America!” one person exclaims. “It’s very ignorant,” another says.
As the man begins to walk out of the establishment, he addresses the employee, saying something about “the CEO” before threatening to call immigration agents to the restaurant.
“[…] because I will be following up, and my guess is they’re not documented. So, my next call is to ICE to have each one of ’em kicked out of my country,” the irate man continues. “If they have the balls to come and live off of my money — I pay for their welfare, I pay for their ability to be here — the least they could do is speak English, you understand?”
“Welfare? You’re such an ignorant [expletive],” a bystander says.
The man continues:
“If you guys intend on running a place in Midtown Manhattan, your staff should be speaking English, not Spanish!”
“Because of people like you, our nation…” a woman responds before the man starts to record her on his phone saying, “Honey, I’m calling ICE!”
The man appears to insult the woman’s appearance, pointing the phone down and saying, “Maybe you shouldn’t eat that sandwich today.” “Take a break from the food,” the man says before walking away, to which the woman responds, “Maybe you should get hit by a car, you piece of [expletive]!”
By Wednesday, the video had gone viral, with the original video being shared more than 60,000 times.
Journalist Shaun King tweeted Wednesday morning some of the man’s former classmates had identified him as NYC attorney Aaron M. Schlossberg. He said he was asking the state’s bar association to “look into your bigoted hate here & across NYC.”
“Aaron Schlossberg” was the fifth ranked trending topic on Twitter in the New York area Wednesday evening.
Schlossberg is reported to be a commercial lawyer whose office is listed as being across from the Fresh Kitchen where the incident took place.
The Yelp page for The Law Office of Aaron M Schlossberg has been bombarded with over 500 1-star reviews since the incident went viral, prompting Yelp to post an “Active Cleanup Alert” on the page.
Though the exact provenance of the word “Manhattan,” which the man says during his rant, might be in dispute, it should be noted that it is derived from the Native American Algonquian languages, not English.
The United States does not have an official language.
CBS2’s call to the law office had not been returned Wednesday night.
Below if the full video of the incident: