An Iowa man was escorted out of a performing arts center after he interrupted a kindergarten concert to deliver a message many people are calling a hate crime.
“USA, English only. USA, English only,” was the chant that got an unidentified man kicked out of kindergarten concert on April 23 in Perry, Iowa, KCCI-TV reported.
Fellow concertgoer Juan Ordonez was able to obtain footage of the incident (video below), which he called a “hate crime.”
“I think it kind of gives the wrong idea to the kids you know, like more bullying in schools,” Ordonez, whose nephew shot the video, told KCCI-TV. “I told him we need to send this video, make sure somebody knows what’s going on in Perry and maybe they stop.”
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The video shows the unidentified man being escorted out of the auditorium as he bellows the offensive chant and waves his fist in the air. He reportedly started the chant after a translator began repeating the host’s opening remarks in Spanish.
“I’ve never heard anything like that and it just hurt me really bad,” said Sara Benedict, whose son was in the concert.
The event was held by students from Perry Elementary School, which has about a 50 percent Hispanic or Latino student population, according to the Iowa Department of Education.
Superintendent M. Lynn Ubben sent an email to the school’s staff the day after the incident, The Des Moines Register reported.
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“We live in a diverse/people rich community that values all people and our children truly are our most precious resource,” Ubben wrote. “As our elementary music instructor so eloquently said, ‘Our children don’t see color, they just see their friends.’”
No charges have been filed against the man responsible for the outburst. Perry Police Department will be conducting an investigation on the matter, The Huffington Post reported.
“I was scared and frustrated and I just wanted to give up and I wanted to tell him that you know there are a lot of people that are mixed here and you know, we’re all the same here,” Benedict told KCCI-TV. “So we all have the same thing and it doesn’t matter what color our skin is or what language we speak, you know.
“We’re all the same people.”
Photo Credit: Screenshot from YouTube