Woman Criticized for Speaking Spanish at an IHOP Restaurant in Los Angeles

Norma Vasquez was waiting for a table with her family when her son recorded this exchange with a stranger

This is the stranger who beraded Norma and Carlos Vasquez, captured via smartphone.

A mother and her son were involved in a heated argument with an elderly woman who objected to their use of Spanish at an IHOP at Koreatown in Los Angeles.

Longtime United States resident Norma Vasquez and her son Carlos were chatting in Spanish while waiting for a table when an elderly woman passed by and overheard their conversation. She interrupted them, saying, “Go back to Spain,” and “We speak English in America.” The entire exchange was captured by Carlos in this smartphone video, which he posted on Facebook.

“I speak English,” Norma replied. “Not good, but I speak English.” NBC4 reports that Norma came to the U.S. in 1984 from El Salvador.

The elderly woman repeatedly said in the video, “[Fidel] Castro is here,” and “Do you want the Russians here telling you what to do? Do you want the Nazis here telling you what to do?”


Carlos told NBC4, “This is Los Angeles. Even the name of the city is in Spanish. She shouldn’t be mad or interrupting families for whatever language they’re speaking.”