This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.
A viral video showing a woman hurling racist remarks at a table of men at a Lethbridge, Alberta Denny’s is being condemned by the city’s mayor.
The video, which was posted on Facebook and Twitter, shows a woman sitting next to a man at a booth inside the restaurant; however, she is facing a group of at least three men at the next table and berating them, seemingly because she doesn’t believe they are Canadian.
“Shut your fucking mouth then, ‘cause you know what? You’re dealing with a Canadian woman right now and I will leap across this table and punch you right in your fucking mouth,” the woman says as the video starts.
“You’re a fucking ignorant prick, is what you are,” she continues, as one of the men laughs.
“Ahahaha, yeah you’re fucking funny. Go back to your fucking country,” the woman says.
In response, one of the men, seen on camera calmly drinking what appears to be water, says “Don’t say that... Just respect, don’t say like that.”
The man seated with the angry woman instructs the table of men to “relax.”
The woman goes on to repeat that she is Canadian, to which one of the men says “We’re all Canadians. We’re all the same. You’re a human being. I’m a human being—there’s nothing special about you.”
The woman insists the men are not Canadian and asks if they pay taxes. One of the men responds, “fucking of course I pay taxes.”
“Oh, everybody pays taxes really? You do? You were born and raised here? Not all your friends pay taxes here,” the woman retorts.
Near the end of the clip, she climbs up in her booth to fully turn around and face them.
“You’re not dealing with one of your Syrian bitches right now. You’re dealing with a Canadian woman and I’m not going to be talked down to by you,” she says. “You laugh all you want. That’s a prime example of why we don’t want you here.”
Although social media posts indicate the incident happened last night, a manager at the Lethbridge Denny’s location told VICE it took place earlier than that. Lethbridge police also told VICE the incident didn’t happen last night, but they said they would provide more details later today. The man who posted the video, Monir Omerzai, indicated on Facebook that he was one of the men being attacked and that cops and restaurant staff asked his group to leave before asking the woman to leave.
The Denny’s manager, who hung up before giving his name, said his staff called police and he believes police escorted both parties out of the restaurant, however, he said he was not working at the time.
Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman described the incident as racist and embarrassing in a Facebook post.
“We are working hard to address racism and bigotry but can not prevent ignorance and the hostile behavior of individuals. Most Lethbridge citizens are proud of our reputation as a city that welcomes immigrants and refugees,” Spearman wrote, going on to name several local initiatives that support immigrants, including a newly expanded Lethbridge Family Services, an Islamic Center, and a multi-cultural center.
Denny’s head office has not yet responded to VICE’s request for comment.
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