Police in a South Texas town are investigating a road-rage incident in which a man’s tirade of expletives took a sudden detour down a long, dark road of xenophobia.
Video is embedded below, but laden throughout with foul language. A censored transcript follows.
~ SCENE ~
Outside the driver’s licensing office in Kingsville — a small town along Texas highway 77, about 20 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico.
A man films from the driver’s seat of his white sedan, in front of the building. He identified himself to the HuffPost as Ali Alghamdi, a 24-year-old student at Texas A&M University, nearly 300 miles north.
A dark Chevrolet is stopped a few yards ahead of Alghamdi. Its driver, an unknown man in a cowboy hat, is pacing angrily between the two vehicles.
MAN WITH HAT (MWH): You were tailgating me, b—-.
ALGHAMDI: No, you cut off the street.
MWH: No, no, no, no, you were coming too fast.
The man in the cowboy hat walks quickly over to Alghamdi’s window, filling the camera fame.
MWH: You were tailgating me, b—, you were tailgating me, b—-, you were tailgating me!
ALGHAMDI: If you notice, your language is not good.
ALGHAMDI: I’m not doing anything.
MWH: Because you’re [unprintable].
The voice of a woman off camera can be heard weakly protesting as the argument escalated.
MWH: This is America, dumb—.
ALGHAMDI: I know.
MWH: You gotta learn how to drive. This isn’t Pakistan.
ALGHAMDI: If you’ve got to fight, there is a place we go to. Listen —
MWH: This is not Pakistan, Afghanistan or Kuwait, [expletive].
ALGHAMDI: What, say that again?
The hatted man moves up to the window again.
Man With Hat (MWH): This is not Pakistan, Afghanistan or Kuwait. We have rules in this country.
ALGHAMDI: Why do you say Pakistan?
MWH: Turning around. Because you sound like an [expletive], a [expletive] Arab.
ALGHAMDI: Calling after him. Where are you from, sir?
MWH: America, b—. Get it straight.
ALGHAMDI: What about your heritage?
ALGHAMDI: Your grandparents.
MWH: Pointing down to the parking lot. I’m from here [expletive] My grandparents are from here, [expletive].
ALGHAMDI: Not Mexico?
MWH: No, no Mexico, [Spanish expletive].
~ INTERLUDE ~
Alghamdi, who could not be reached for comment, uploaded his video from the May 3 altercation to YouTube, and subsequently gave an interview to HuffPost that published on Monday.
He said that he had been on his way to a court appointment, following behind the Chevrolet, whose driver kept slamming on its brakes, nearly causing a collision. The Chevrolet finally swerved in front of the government building, HuffPost wrote, and the hatted man “stormed out of his car and began screaming racist profanities at Alghamdi, calling him a terrorist.”
The student started to record around that point, he told the outlet. He said he feared that the man might be armed — though nothing more than a wallet chain can be seen at his waist in the video, which continues as Alghamdi discovers the hatted man can curse in Spanish.
ALGHAMDI: You’re not Latin?
Man with Hat (MWH): You’re in South Texas. If you don’t speak Spanish, you’re a dumb [expletive].
ALGHAMDI: I know Spanish.
MWH: Okay, then. Does that make you a Mexican?
ALGHAMDI: That’s not my question. Look, I’m being respectful.
MWH: No you’re [expletive] tailgating … being an idiot.
A more traditional road rage argument follows — about who did what at a stop sign, or who cut off who. As with the previous footage, Alghamdi invariably remains calm, and the other man is invariably screaming.
Bradley Lile, a lieutenant with the Kingsville Police Department, said an officer responded to the location afterward and spoke to the student. The department plans to file a disorderly conduct case against the other man, who has not been named, in court on Wednesday.
Besides its possible criminal import, the video joins other cases of spontaneous, ethnically based rage that have gone viral this month — including a lawyer screaming inside a Manhattan deli because he heard Spanish spoken, and a man screaming inside a California coffee shop because he saw a Muslim.
As in those cases, no violence takes place in Alghamdi’s video. It concludes as the hatted man leaves the student and storms into the government building, with one more racially tinged volley of anger:
MWH: Learn how to drive, [expletive].
ALGHAMDI: Have a nice day.
ALGHAMDI: Muchas gracias.
MWH: [unprintable, in Spanish]