Sean Spicer, White House spokesman, was accosted by an Indian woman — who peppered him with issues about committing “treason” & working for a “fascist” like President Donald Trump — as he shopped in an Apple store up the weekend.
— Shree ✊?❤️?? (@shreec) March 11, 2017
The meeting has since spread virally after the woman who recorded it, Shree Chauhan, 33, claimed online that Spicer had made a racist comment to her, stating: “It’s such a great country that allows you to be here.”
“Unlike this administration, I do not believe in ‘alternative facts.’ I believe in facts. I do not believe in accusing someone of this level of racism, when if in fact it was not,” Chauhan wrote Sunday in a lengthy post on Medium.
“So I watched the video over and over again,” she said. “And his words were clear…’Such a great country that allows you to be here.’ That is racism and it is an implied threat.”
Chauhan, who lives in Washington, D.C., recorded the interaction with Spicer on Periscope Saturday night after finding the White House spokesman in the Apple store. She had been there making her iPhone fixed & told she ultimately felt the want to “speak truth to power.”
“It is customary to give public figures their space…However, given what Mr. Spicer and his boss are doing to this country, I do not believe they are entitled to these norms and customs,” Chauhan explained.
In the clip, the self-described “eternal optimist” can be heard asking Spicer a series of questions, including “How does it feel to work for a fascist” and “Have you helped with the Russia stuff?”
“We have a great country,” the press secretary replies, while appearing to try to ignore Chauhan.
“Have you committed treason too? Just like the president,” she asks. “What can you tell me about Russia?”
It is after this barrage that Spicer delivers his allegedly “racist” remark, saying: “It’s such a great country that allows you to be here.”
Chauhan composed on Medium that the reply gave her disgusted.
“I am still stunned by the boldness of having my citizenship threatened on camera,” she said. “I was not polite. But when does being impolite mean that I should be thrown out of the United States of America? The country I was born in, the country I was raised in, the country I love despite its flaws.”
Talking to the Daily Mail regarding the video on Sunday, Chauhan shot down claims that Spicer could have been pointing to the 1st Amendment rights of all Americans to practice free speech when he addressed the comment.
“He’s the press secretary for the president of the United States,” she said. “Don’t tell me what he probably meant because he also works for this administration that has done all of these things.”
Chauhan went on to note how Donald Trump has signed executive orders temporarily halting refugees & asylum seekers from predominantly Muslim nations in the Middle East & Africa.
“He could’ve said, ‘Such a great country that allows dissent,’” she told the Mail. “There’s a lot of way that could’ve been said. To have someone who speaks for the president of the United States tell me to my face that I shouldn’t be here and I was born here — that is a real thing.”
Chauhan added that she’s feared for her safety since the day Trump was elected.
“I woke up the day after the election in fear of what would happen to someone like me. And we’ve seen what happened,” she said. “We’ve seen what happened to Indians.”
Beginning this month, a 39-year-old Seattle tenant of Sikh heritage was killed by a man who reportedly yelled: “go back to your country” just ahead pulling the trigger.
Weeks earlier that incident, a couple of Indian engineers were targeted by a Navy veteran who said them the same thing earlier blasting away at them. 1 of the men ended up dying & the another was wounded.
“They’re gonna spin it however they want, but there is a palatable fear that people have in this country, and it is warranted,” Chauhan told. “On a regular basis, Mr. Spicer consistently defends the actions — and I believe unconstitutional actions — & lies on behalf of this administration.
“Spicer has the protection of the podium when he’s in the press room,” she continued. “I didn’t have time to sit there and ask questions I would ask if I was a reporter…Maybe having someone like a regular person ask those questions instead [of reporters] — that might work.”
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