A New York City lawyer whose rant chastising restaurant workers for speaking in Spanish went viral has apologised and insisted that he is not racist.
In a statement on Tuesday, Aaron Schlossberg said that the manner in which he “expressed” himself was unacceptable and that the video watched by millions around the world did not convey his real self.
Schlossberg launched an angry tirade against the workers, repeatedly telling them that they were “in America” and accusing them of being welfare recipients.
He also threatened to call immigration officials to get the workers deported.
The video sparked outrage online and protesters gathered outside his office building, often accompanied by Mariachi bands singing in Spanish.
An earlier video of Schlossberg calling a man an “ugly f***ing foreigner” also emerged in the aftermath of the restaurant incident.
— AaronSchlossbergLaw (@ASchlossbergLaw) May 22, 2018
His track record of racist behaviour has led many to question whether the apology was made out of expediency rather than genuine remorse.
Prominent Black rights activists, Shaun King, called the apology “half-hearted”.
“[Schlossberg] insisted it is an exception – and that he isn’t racist, but we now have over a dozen reports of him being racist all over New York,” he wrote on Twitter.
I fixed Aaron Schlossberg’s apology. pic.twitter.com/U1iXQd0WDJ
— 𝚑𝚒𝚜𝚙𝚊𝚗𝚒𝚌 𝚙𝚒𝚡𝚒𝚎 𝚍𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚖 𝚐𝚒𝚛𝚕 (@mathewrodriguez) May 22, 2018
Others expressed similar scepticism, with some posting satirical versions of the apology letter.
One was re-edited to read: “To the people I insulted, I am deeply racist”.
The comments underneath Schlossberg’s apology statement on Twitter were mostly dismissive.
“You’re only sorry it got caught on video and went viral,” wrote one user named Patrick Hill.