Each year, millions of people from all over the world come to the United States for travel or work. This means that the United States is also home to people who speak many different languages in addition to English.
In fact, unlike many other countries around the world, the United States doesn’t have an official language. While scientists recognize that there are huge benefits to speaking more than one language, some people haven’t seemed to get the news.
A couple of years ago on the busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, a young Wisconsin resident and her mother were singled out by a fellow shopper for speaking a different language in the local Walmart. Only the young woman in question, then-22-year-old Jasmine Xiong, caught the whole thing on video, and it exploded!
LOVE MY TEAM, WIN OR LOSE! We’ll be back next year with KD & KLAY on the court to the end! Golden State Warriors(Don’t mind my face, I had a bit of Asian flush lol)
Xiong and her mother are American citizens, but they are also Hmong. This ethnic group from Southeast Asia has between 14 million and 15 million people who live all the over world. Many Hmong Americans are descended from people who fought with American troops against Communist forces during the Vietnam War and came to the United States as refugees.
But for the women in the Walmart, they weren’t able to speak their language in the store. As Xiong told USA Today, the woman walked up them out of the blue and said: “if you live here in America, speak the language.”
While Xiong and her mother speak fluent English, as they would point out in the video, they sometimes use Hmong to communicate, as they did while doing their Christmas shopping.
The video has more than 330,000 views and has been shared more than 4,000 times!
Jasmine Xiong told USA Today, “I was really shocked and upset and offended that she would say something like that.” She had never expected that a simple chat about buying presents could offend someone else. The conversation continued for several minutes as Xiong and her mother got increasingly irate at the woman’s ignorance.
When Xiong decided to share the video with family and friends on Facebook, she wrote, “I called her out on it because America doesn’t have an official, single language, American English is just the most common, spoken language in America.”
In the video, Xiong points out that while she and her mom can speak either language fluently, the woman could only speak English. “So if you come to our house, you have to speak Hmong?” When the woman shows surprise at how upset Xiong and her mother are, her mother jumps in: “of course I’m going to be offended if you’re making racist comments.”
What Xiong didn’t realize was that her short video would resonate with thousands of other people across the country. Thousands of people watched her video and shared it with their friends and family. Xiong got a lot of support from Americans of all backgrounds and all walks of life who defended her freedom to express herself.
As one commenter, Amanda Dabb, wrote in response to Xiong’s video: “You and your mother are beautiful and so is your language. America is the melting pot of the world. It has been that way since its beginning… part of what made America what it was, was that. All people from different places coming together to seek life, liberty and pursue happiness.”
— fox8news (@fox8news) November 29, 2017
As Xiong told USA Today, “I’ve never encountered something like that. I never thought I would.” Hopefully, her story will show others that all Americans are Americans, regardless of which languages they speak and where.
Ignorant woman made a comment because my mom spoke Hmong to me at Walmart and she said " If you live here in America, speak the language" so I called her out on it because America doesn't have an official, single language, American English is just the most common, spoken language in America but I only got the last part of it so here ya go!
Jasmine Xiong စာစုတင်ရာတွင် အသုံးပြုမှု ၂၀၁၇၊ နိုဝင်ဘာ ၂၄၊ သောကြာနေ့