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An undocumented victim of hate: 'We don't want to go anywhere'

Josué Campos and his wife went to a fast-food restaurant in North Carolina the day after the presidential election. They say the employees made fun of them, presumably because they are Hispanic.
28 Nov 2016 – 1:54 PM EST

Univision is tracking reported incidents of hate and racism following the presidential election. Follow our live coverage (in Spanish) here.

On Nov. 9, the day after the presidential election, Josué David Campos and his wife went to Firehouse Subs in Gastonia, North Carolina, just as they had many times over the past two years.

“We had just walked in when the employees started to whisper and laugh at us,” said Campos, a 29-year old undocumented migrant who fled El Salvador in 2006 to escape gang violence in the Central American nation.

Campos said the restaurant's employees were gossiping, presumably about him and his wife.

“The woman who took my order acted like she didn't understand my English, even though I was saying everything correctly. She asked my name, I gave it to her and she asked me to spell it. They were all laughing at me,” he said.

Campos said he did not hear what the restaurant employees were saying.

“We didn't even want to talk. I didn't want to eat. I felt really bad. Now we don't want to go anywhere because we're afraid they will laugh at us,” Campos said.

The couple left the restaurant after their meal, without complaining to the manager.

Univision called Firehouse Subs in Gastonia, but the manager said he had no information and asked to remain anonymous.

Reports of hate emerged at a steady tick in the days following the election, from painted swastikas and human walls, to a letter sent to a Muslim high school teacher telling her to “hang herself” with her headscarf.

A black female university student was assaulted by white males yelling “Trump, Trump, Trump,” and an Episcopal church in a heavily Latino community near Washington, D.C., vandalized with a “Trump nation, whites only” message.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based organization that combats hate, intolerance and discrimination, reported 584 incidents of "election related" harassment and intimidation during the week that followed Trump's victory, including 206 incidents against immigrants. Nearly two-thirds of the incidents took place in the three days after the election.

A "hate incident" is one motivated by racism or other prejudices, including offensive jokes, harassment and intimidation. Unlike a hate crime, a hate incident does not have to involve a criminal act.

Oren Segal, director of the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism, said people in situations like that faced by the Campos' should contact civil rights organizations, even if they are undocumented.

Some states also have “ public accomodation laws” that prohibit discrimination based on race, gender, religion and national origin. But no such laws exist in North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas.

Segal also recommended that victims of a hate incident complain right away to the owner or manager of the business where it occurred.

If you have been the victim in an incident of racism, you can contact Univision to tell us your story. Contact us via WhatsApp 305-301-2625.


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