Latina Taco Bell employee fired for refusing to serve customer is totally racist, here's why


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There's zero tolerance for racism in our world right now, and that includes within our own Latino community. At a time when people and even politicians are coming after Latinos and all minorities, it is hard to believe that there are still people out there who choose to treat others around them unfairly instead of sticking together. That was the case for Alexandria Montgomery who attempted to go to her neighborhood Taco Bell for a late-night meal but was refused service because she didn't speak Spanish. Yes, you read that right. Spanish.

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A worker, who appears to be Cuban, at a location for the fast food joint in Hialeah, Florida, did not take the customer's order on Wednesday, September 12, claiming that she didn't speak English, and that there was no one else at the franchise at the time who could understand Alexandria's order. Alexandria, who is African-American, then pulled up to the window and began filming and shared the now-viral interaction on Facebook, saying that the restaurant was "racist." It is clear in the video that the employee somewhat understood what the customer was saying, but continued to tell Alexandria to drive away so that she could serve other customers behind her. Call it what you want, but to me it's obvious what was really happening here: racism.

It all started when the unsuspecting customer had a quesadilla craving.

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Alexandria and another passenger pulled up to the drive-thru in the mostly-Latino populated area, and attempted to place an order through the drive-thru speakers. She was then turned away because the person on the receiving end said she didn't speak English. Call us crazy but numbers and most of the words on the Taco Bell menu are pretty much easy to understand in both languages. Tacos, burritos, quesadillas, chalupas are the same in English and Spanish, right?

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Alexandria didn't give up on her quest to get herself a late night snack and drove up to the window.

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The attempt still failed after she was quickly and rudely dismissed by the employee, who also lied saying her name was "Luisa." "That's not my problem. This is Hialeah, I’m sorry," the employee said in the clip and directed them to go to another location. Alexandria said: "This is America! Y'all don't take over the whole population." Another worker approached the window but was no help.

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The clip has now gone viral on Facebook.

While there's no telling what really went down prior to the video, what happened once they were face to face was so unpleasant. Alexandria did her best to keep her composure, even when the Taco Bell employee taunted her and said the manager was "at his home sleeping" and then slammed the sliding door at the window and threatened to make a phone call to the police. Anyone who is conscious enough, knows that calling the cops for minor things like these can be life threatening for people of color. The customer shared the 3-minute long video on Facebook and, at the time of publication, it already had more that 300,000 views. She also shared an update, writing: "Luisa was fired today. Luisa isn’t even her real name lol. She was the general manager on that shift." Yikes.

Taco Bell's corporate office released a statement assuring that they don't support this sort of behavior from its workers.

“This individual no longer works for the brand. This does not meet our customer service expectation. We have worked quickly to resolve with the customer to ensure this doesn’t happen again," a spokesperson told El Nuevo Herald. As far as the customer goes, Alexandria told NBC 6 that the company offered her a $100 gift card, as if $100 worth of cheap imitation Mexican food is going to make up for the blatant disrespect. "A gift card is not gonna just solve the problem," she told the news outlet. "It's not gonna give me justice. Don't try to, like, sweep it under the rug." She also told CBS Miami that, sadly, the experience left her feeling like she didn't "belong" in South Florida, where she has lived her whole life.

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Some creative Internet users have already found a way to make light of the situation.

After Alexandria shared the post on Facebook, some hilarious users shared their own interpretation of the events. One user even reimagined the situation if there was a Cuban customer on the driver's seat. Let's be honest. If the situation was flipped and someone refused to serve one of our people for not speaking English, we'd be taking to the streets to protest and scream racism. So we can't simply ignore it when one of our people does this to someone else. 

Another user recreated the moment and we can't lie, it is pretty funny.

While we understand this is a pretty messed up situation, we can see that there is some humor in this as well. We can laugh about it and still acknowledge that we have a long way to go when it comes to how we treat other people from different cultures. Especially if we expect to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of our background. The South Florida community has a population that is mostly Latinos and it is unfair for them, just because they are the majority, to treat others with disdain. We must do better as people, especially in this political climate.

Topics: racism  abuse  cuba  culture