Linguistic repression in the USA

On this page, I upload cases of language-focused discrimination, repression, and violence that have taken place in the USA.


Woman in Virginia harasses family for speaking Spanish in a restaurant. (October 2018)

Man in Manhattan yells at Spanish speakers, threatens to call immigration (2018).

U.S. Citizens in Montana detained and questioned by a Border Patrol agent when he overheard them speaking Spanish at a gas station (May 2018).



New Jersey teacher punishes students for speaking Spanish and tells them they must "Speak American": The School Board ruled that the incident was neither biased nor racist, and the only punishment for the teacher (Ms. Amico, of Cliffside Park High School in NJ) was to issue an apology. In other words, only the students - and not the teacher - were actually punished.

Woman in Ihop restaurant berates Mexican woman for speaking Spanish, tells her to "go back to Spain" (2015) 


Students in New Jersey walk out over teacher's comment to "speak American" (2017): 

Kentucky woman berates Latina shopper (2016): 

Idaho bus driver fired for pouring water on 8th grade boy, telling him to speak English (2016):

People removed from airplanes in the U.S. for speaking Arabic (2016):


Two Asian-American university students attacked for speaking Mandarin on train (2016):


Student Suspended for Speaking Native American Language (2012)


Nevada school district bans Spanish on the bus (2008):,magico&displayColumn=created&displayCount=1


NJ high school bans foreign languages:,jersey&displayColumn=created&displayCount=1


Minnesota Woman Brutally Assaulted For Speaking Swahili In Applebee’s (2015):


Student suspended for speaking Spanish in a Kansas City school hallway (2005):


Fined in Dallas for not being able to speak English (2009):


Texas judge threatens to take daughter away because mother speaks to her in Spanish (1995):


Whole Foods workers in Albuquerque suspended for speaking Spanish (2013):


Sephora employees: Hired for speaking Spanish, fired for speaking Spanish (2003):