Racism rears its ugly head once again, this time in a Coon Rapids, Minn. Applebee’s where one woman smashed a beer mug in another woman’s face just because she wasn’t speaking English. The attack is one of the latest racially motivated incidents to occur, such as the drunken student who strangled a Muslim woman at a restaurant.
Last Friday, Asma Mohamed Jama was dining with family including her husband and friends, when Jama, who immigrated from Kenya, started to speak Swahili. Sitting within an earshot were Jama’s attacker 43-year-old Jodie Burchard-Risch and her husband. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Burchard-Risch became upset and started yelling at Jama, for not speaking “American” as Jama’s friend said. Applebee’s managers tried to escort Burchard-Risch out, but the Star Tribune said she took a drink and threw it on Jama before doing a “roundhouse punch motion" and smashing the beer mug on Jama’s face.
The couple tried to get away but an Applebee’s manager followed them and got her arrested.
The attack left Jama with a busted lip and in need of 17 stitches for cuts on her face. She spoke to a CBS affiliate in Minneapolis and said, "I live in America. I can speak English but we prefer to speak our own language if it bothers you I'm sorry.” She talked about the attack saying, “Emotionally, that has destroyed me to be entirely honest." A friend of Jama’s has already set up a GoFundMe to help with her medical expenses, raising almost $7,500.
The Pioneer Press says Burchard-Risch has been charged with third-degree assault, but Minnesota’s Council on American-Islamic Relations wants the assault to be charged as a hate crime.