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Woman tells shoppers on Black Friday to 'speak the language'

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APPLETON, Wis. — A Walmart shopper approached two women on Black Friday, admonishing them to "speak the language" as they talked to one another during what is supposed to be a season of peace and goodwill.

Jasmine Xiong, 22, of Appleton was talking to her mother in Hmong when a woman approached and told both of them: “If you live here in America, speak the language.”

After the unidentified shopper spoke to the women for a few minutes, Xiong began recording.

“I was really shocked and upset and offended that she would say something like that,” Xiong said Monday.

About 50,000 Hmong, who first began arriving in the United States in 1976 as refugees from the war in Vietnam and Laos, now live in Wisconsin, according to the 2010 Census. It is the country's third-largest concentration of Hmong after California and Minnesota; about 250,000 people of Hmong ethnicity live in the United States.

By Monday afternoon, the 1-minute, 7-second video had attracted more than 330,000 views on Facebook and had been shared more than 4,000 times. The woman who made the comment isn’t identified.

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