Lennys Bermudez Molina was looking for a place to sit at Wildflower Bread Co. at Deer Valley Towne Center last week when she received a shocking response.
Bermudez told The Republic she asked a customer whether she could sit at the table next to her. The woman responded: “Do I have a choice?”
Bermudez, a Phoenix resident of Puerto Rican descent, began recording the encounter, in which the unidentified woman says she would prefer “the whole freaking nation to be white.”
“You know that’s never gonna happen right?” Bermudez counters.
“It’s gonna happen,” the customer responds. “You will be wiped out.”
The video has been viewed more than 583,000 times and shared more than 3,200 times on Facebook.
Bermudez said she has never experienced an incident like this in her 35 years of living in the Valley but blamed the current political climate. She said her family and friends were stunned, describing herself as typically polite and courteous.
“It was really hard for us to explain to (the kids) but, it’s a good lesson for them to learn,” Molina said. “If it could happen to me it could happen to anybody. Racism isn’t a particular color.”
The outpouring of support she’s received since posting the video has been overwhelming, with people reaching out to her from around the world, she said.
“I really just want to thank everyone,” Bermudez said. “Thank them for all of their messages and kind words.”
“We were made aware that a guest made some inflammatory remarks to another guest on the basis of race in one of our restaurants,” the restaurant company said in a statement following the encounter. “Wildflower does not condone racism or discrimination of any kind.”
A company spokesman said the woman who berated Bermudez left on her own. The company also confirmed that the restaurant’s manager escorted Bermudez to her car after the incident.
“This particular incident was highly sensitive and highly charged,” Louis Basile, Wildflower’s founder, said in the statement. “But we’re always concerned about our guests’ experience.”
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