Texas’ Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo—the first Latina and first woman elected as the county’s top executive referred to as “judge” in that county—addressed a bilingual news conference on Monday to brief the state’s most populous county on a chemical fire. 43 percent of Hidalgo’s county is Hispanic with 40 percent of the 4.6 million people identifying a language other than English as their first language according to census figures.
The press conference, where Hidalgo fielded questions from English and Spanish media outlets was livestreamed on Facebook by several media outlets. But at least one person took exception to Hidalgo’s efforts.
Texas county commissioner Mark Tice of Chambers county posted a comment on the Facebook livestream for channel KHOU 11 News.
Tice publicly stated:
“She is a joke. [Speak] English this is not Mexico.”
Tice’s comment immediately drew attention of others following the news conference.
“She is the joke? You’re to stupid to even properly understand what was going on. She speaks at-least 2 languages. You only got elected because your a hill billy. The ONLY reason you’re not working on a used car lot is because the Republican party spent way too much money to make sure more uneducated Caucasians were there next to them.” ~ William Shouse IV
“Mark Tice, how ignorant are you? You’re right, this isn’t Mexico. In this country, we have the right to speak whatever language we want. As a county commissioner, you should already be aware of the fact that the US, does not have an official language. If listening to a Spanish translation offends you, then maybe you should change the channel or simply mute your tv. Simple as that sir.” ~ Juan YourfavoriteMexican Murillo
People pointed out the demographics of the people Hidalgo represents.
And gave a bit of a geography and a history lesson as well.
Tice told The Houston Chronicle when they asked for a comment on his Facebook criticism of Hidalgo:
“It’s real simple. This is the United States. Speak English.”
But after facing backlash, Tice tried to walk back his comments.