Model and student activist Hamida Ahmed and her family were told to leave a Dunkin' Donuts for speaking Somali in Portland, Maine.
The 20-year-old University of Southern Maine student and her family were speaking their native language while completing an order at the donut shop's drive-thru. According to NBC News, an employee taking orders reportedly told them to stop yelling. "We were just speaking in our native language. We weren’t yelling," Ahmed told NBC News.
Ahmed then recorded a short video of her interaction with the woman and posted the now-viral video to Twitter.
"You’re going to disrespect me 'cause I speak a different language than you. Is that what it is?" Ahmed asked the employee in the video.
But the employee was unwilling to continue taking the family's order. Instead, she threatened to call the police if the family did not leave.
"You can leave. I don’t want to hear it. I’m done with it. You can leave, or I will call the cops," she can be heard saying in the short video.
Guys, I need your help. Today my family and I want @dunkindonuts. Before we even place our order through the dr thru, we were told to leave for speaking in our native language. We were called a “ bitch.” The police were called on us, and now can’t go back their. I am disgusted. pic.twitter.com/A1foloR1ma— Hamdia Ahmed (@hamdia_ahmed) October 15, 2018
In an attempt to resolve the issue, Ahmed went inside to speak to the angry woman. Her brother, however, stayed in the car because "he was afraid as a Black man in America — you never know what’s going to happen" when the police intervene.
Ahmed was later punished for speaking Somali in the drive-thru. She received a no-trespass order from the police for “disturbance and yelling at staff.” Store owner Dave DaRosa ultimately rescinded it, reports Yahoo News. Rosa also apologized for how Ahmed and her family were treated.
“Dunkin’ and our franchisees are committed to creating a positive customer service experience for all of our guests. The franchisee who owns and operates the store has confirmed he has met with the guest, sincerely apologized to her for the poor experience and is working on providing additional customer service training to his store crew," Dunkin' Donuts said in a statement.
Since immigrating to the United States 14 years ago, Ahmed has become an advocate for immigrant rights, speaking at the United Nations and holding rallies for their causes.
"I’m proud of myself for speaking up against this because it’s not right," Ahmed said. "My family did not deserve to be treated that way, and I hope I started a conversation about why the police are called on Black people for no reason."
Statement pic.twitter.com/Dh9Nu7vJRN— Hamdia Ahmed (@hamdia_ahmed) October 18, 2018
This most recent incident has been one of many where white people have called the authorities on Black people for doing mundane activities. Several days ago, a white woman in St. Louis was fired from her job for preventing a Black tenant from entering his apartment.
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