UPDATE: Thanks to journalist Shaun King, a hateful bigot who ranted against a group of people in a Manhattan market earlier this week — for speaking Spanish, and to each other, not even to him — has now been identified as Aaron Schlossberg, a commercial attorney in New York City.
Schlossberg has a history of racism, as noted by King in a follow-up tweet which included video of Schlossberg calling another individual “an ugly f---ing foreigner.”
This is the unedited video from October of 2016 of Manhattan Attorney Aaron Schlossberg assaulting, then calling a complete stranger "an ugly fucking foreigner" on the sidewalk on 5th Avenue.— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) May 17, 2018
The man he's talking to, @morewillie, is a white man from Massachusetts.
He's unhinged pic.twitter.com/epkpFWggx6
“He’s unhinged,” King added at the end of his tweet.
As a result of King’s efforts at outing Schlossberg as the man in the video, Schlossberg’s online business ratings have taken a significant dive. A flurry of one-star reviews has inundated his law firm, and on Google specifically someone comically changed his company’s profile from law firm to “Spanish restaurant.”
Yelp had to step in to temporarily suspend new ratings of his services, what it calls an “active cleanup alert” that occurs when ratings are made that don’t have to do with the business itself. This often happens when businesses engage in behavior that garners negative attention to them.
Still, one could be forgiven for feeling like Schlossberg got his “just desserts,” given the incendiary and racist statements he made earlier this week. Certainly this is a lesson for other bigots as well — treat others with respect and keep your mouth shut, or suffer the economic consequences.
UPDATE: Shaun King tweeted out an update to his search for the identity of a man who shouted down at individuals for speaking Spanish in a store in Manhattan Wednesday.
According to King, seven former classmates of attorney Aaron M. Schlossberg identified him as the person who berated the individuals in the store for speaking the language to one another.
Dear Midtown Manhattan Attorney Aaron M Schlossberg,— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) May 16, 2018
7 of your college classmates from @JohnsHopkins & @GWtweets contacted me and said this is you & they aren't surprised.
I am asking the New York Bar Association (@nysba) to also look into your bigoted hate here & across NYC. https://t.co/8pF1nzQtDu
King wrote in a tweet that he is calling on the New York Bar Association "to also look into your bigoted hate here & across NYC."
King had previously tweeted out that he wanted to speak with Schlossberg in a reply to an initial tweet asking for help identifying him.
Please let Attorney Aaron M. Schlossberg of Midtown Manhattan know I’m trying to get in touch with him. I have a few questions.— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) May 16, 2018
If you reach him, ask how often he eats at the Fresh Kitchen next door to his office and if he has a problem with people speaking Spanish there. pic.twitter.com/8pgQ6wZNzi
In May 2016, Schlossberg gave a $500 donation to President Donald Trump's political campaign, according to Open Secrets.
King's efforts have apparently prevailed. If Schlossberg is indeed the man who harassed Spanish-speaking customers for no reason, he can no longer hide himself for having done so.
An individual's actions have consequences, and social stigma for the person in King's video ought to be one of them for having treated others in such a rotten way.
Journalist Shaun King is unafraid to call a bigot a bigot, and to make them infamous on social media when it's called for. On Tuesday, he asked his Twitter and Facebook followers for help identifying a person for harassing a group of people for speaking Spanish.
Video of the Caucasian man vociferously complaining to what appears to be a manager of a Fresh Kitchen store showed that he’s very upset about an employee speaking Spanish to another customer — even though that interaction has no effect on the man himself because he wasn’t involved in that conversation until he made himself so.
Who this this bigot in Midtown Manhattan? What's his name?— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) May 16, 2018
Please share this.
Here he is harassing & insulting two women for speaking Spanish...TO EACH OTHER in the middle of Manhattan.
Trump has empowered ugly white people like this to say whatever they feel like saying. pic.twitter.com/WbHlet6H7c
Employees were speaking that language to customers "when they should be speaking English," the unidentified man said. The manager politely tried to explain that sometimes that happens.
And why shouldn't it? There's no harm in two people speaking a different language, and if the customer is more fluent in one versus the other, it's good customer service to accommodate that.
The man isn't having it — he starts pointing out everyone in the store who is speaking Spanish.
"Every person I listen to — he spoke it, he spoke it, she's speaking it — it's America," he complained.
"Yeah!" said a woman off-screen, pointing out his obvious blunder in argumentative reasoning — that a freedom to speak a different language is not forbidden in this country.
On Twitter, King asked his followers for help identifying the man.
“Who this this bigot in Midtown Manhattan? What's his name?” he asked users of the social media site. He did the same on his Facebook account.
He also laid partial blame on President Donald Trump.
“Trump has empowered ugly white people like this to say whatever they feel like saying,” King wrote.
Describing the man's behavior as "ugly" certainly fits the bill. The man went on to say that he would take action against the individuals speaking Spanish in the store, making racist assumptions about their status as citizens while doing so.
"My guess is they're not documented," he said. "So my next call is to ICE to have each one of them taken out of my country. ... I pay for their welfare, I pay for their ability to be here."
A woman can be heard laughing incredulously at this man's bigoted statement. He indeed has no basis, other than a language he’s upset about hearing being spoken, to assume anyone’s citizenship status.
It’s unfortunate that this kind of rhetoric is becoming more and more common in our public spaces, and King is right to put some of the blame on the president. It’s not likely that this man became a racist because of Trump — but certainly, Trump’s derogatory speeches and statements toward Latinxs have encouraged bigots to be more vocal about their racism and other prejudices.
This man’s harassing behavior needs to be shunned by as many people as possible. King is right to share his tirade on social media, encouraging others to identify who the man is. Bigots shouldn’t be allowed to harass others and then hide afterward — there should be social consequences for their actions.
Banner/thumbnail credit: REUTERS/Mike Blake