Footage of a woman’s racist rant in Portland, Oregon, has gone viral after being posted on social media on Wednesday, and the backlash has been severe, causing her to leave the area.
The video shows a woman in a white car attacking another driver, who was filming the confrontation, for supposedly being in the country illegally. The victim of the abuse, named Selina Cairel on Facebook, posted it online with a few sentences describing what happened. The video has since been viewed almost a million times, as of Friday morning.
“Before you say anything you might want to make sure you’re actual ‘legals,’” the unidentified woman told Cairel and her friend. Asked what she means, the woman replies: “That you’re ‘illegals’ crossing the border. And your parents probably had to work for fucking dirt just to get here.” The woman is smiling as she speaks and has a passenger in her car, who appears to be hiding from the camera.
According to Cairel, she had been out with friends in Portland when the woman started racially abusing her for being Asian. “It started when she had said in the most demeaning, poor excuse of a supposed ‘Asian’ accent that ‘She’s Asian, she can’t see, that’s why she can’t drive,'” Cairel wrote.
After trying to tell her she was being offensive, and after the woman first began filming her, Cairel decided to take out her own camera and start recording. “I never let this pass and want to make sure this kind of behavior is seen and how people of color encounter this all the time. I want to make sure she gets seen and her racist, ignorant behavior is exposed.
“This is going to be so good,” Cairel can be heard saying as the woman continues her rant. When Cairel’s friend asks, “Is this real life?” Cairel replies: “Yes, this is so much fun [because] this is the kind of shit I have to deal with in Portland.”
The offending woman’s identity was swiftly discovered on social media. Speaking to local media outlet KOIN, her mother said she was “sorry” and accepts she “made a mistake.” She said that her daughter is of Native American descent from a tribe in Alaska, and she has had to move out of the area due to the backlash.
Their house has reportedly been put under police watch after threatening calls, and the daughter’s former employer—Stars Cabaret Bridgeport—were forced to release a statement saying she no longer worked there.
Cairel followed up her video on Facebook with a picture of her American passport and the message: “I promise I’m legal guys.”
It’s one of several racist episodes in Portland to go viral in recent months. Another woman’s rant was recorded by Bassel Hamieh, a Lebanese-American born in Portland. “You don’t look like a Portland guy,” she told Hamieh in the video. “You were not born here. You have a huge accent. I have an American accent.”
Hamieh wrote: “It’s time for all my friends to know that yes, I live a good life, but every day I have to deal with this racism. And I’m innocent. I haven’t done anything wrong.”