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Language Plays a Role in Discrimination Story

According to a story reported by the Rhode Island news, a store owner requested to see a customer's prove of citizenship after hearing the customer speak Spanish. As the owner was ringing up the customer's purchase, he demanded to see the customer's social security card. In response to the demand, the customer Jose Genao, told the owner he did not have the right to ask all those questions. The owner then pulled out his membership card for Rhode Islanders for Immigration Law Enforcement, a group that seeks curbs on illegal immigration.

The owner threatened Genao by stating he was going to call the police and make a citizen's arrest. Both customers Genao and his friend with whom he was with, are both U.S. Citizens and registered voters. Genao accused the owner of racial stereotyping, all because both gentleman were speaking Spanish.

This incident reflects the wave of anti-immigrant views in this country. Whether it be illegal immigrants or not.No matter what language is spoken, or what color of skin, a person should not be confronted this way. Incidents such as this one happens everyday in this country. Do we really want to bring this country to a point where everyone is a suspect? Where language becomes of a factor for discrimination?

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