“That is racism and it is an implied threat”
Poor Sean Spicer. The White House Press Secretary can’t even go out to the Apple Store without someone coming up to him to express a grievance with his boss, President Trump. But the real problem is that Spicer just can’t help himself—turning an awkward confrontation into something that reeks of implied racism and xenophobia.
D.C.-area resident Shree Chauhan said she was making her own visit to a local Apple Store to fix her broken iPhone screen when she spotted Spicer. “I looked up to see Sean Spicer. I Googled him to make sure my eyes were not deceiving me,” she wrote in a Medium post that has since gone viral.
After all, better to make sure you’re not about to drop a truth bomb on an unsuspecting Melissa McCarthy.
Admittedly, Chauhan’s verbal assault on Spicer is pretty annoying at first, as she blurts out insults at him and asking what it’s like “working for a fascist,” and “Have you committed treason too? Just like the president. Have you committed treason too? What can you tell me about Russia?”
Even she admits, “I was honestly quite nervous and wanted to come up with more cogent questions but did not have time to do so.” She also freely acknowledges that while she sees other public figures all the time around the D.C. area, including conservative Republicans like Sen. Chuck Grassley, she leaves them alone. But she felt as if this was a moment where she had no choice but to speak up.
However, all awkwardness aside, it was Spicer who turns what could have been a moment of empathy into a callous display when he responds, “Such a great country that allows you to be here.”
Needless to say, the implication is that Chauhan—an Indian-American who was, in fact, born in the United States—is an immigrant who could be deported under Trump’s policies for confronting Spicer in a public location.
“So I watched the video over and over again,” Chauhan writes in her Medium post. “And his words were clear. … ‘Such a great country that allows you to be here.’ That is racism and it is an implied threat.”
The 33-year-old then uploaded the video via Periscope, where it quickly spread across social media.
Explaining her response to the huge reaction the video is getting, she writes:
“It’s one thing to have a Twitter egg tell say you do not belong in America, it is quite another to have the Press Secretary of the United States of America do so. I am still astounded. And while I am fearless, I wonder how this administration will use its power to silence ordinary people like me.”