Maskless California 'Karen' harasses landscape worker from doing his job in viral video: 'Show me your papers'
Juan Andrade was mowing a lawn at an apartment complex in the city of Rancho Mirage, California, when a white female resident approached him without a face mask on and demanded proof of his US citizenship. Andrade has spent 10 years working for a landscaping company in Rancho Mirage but the Parkview Villas incident was particularly remarkable. “It’s usually been about the work, but never to instigate or harass me,” Andrade told NBC Palm Springs. “Like any other complex, I was just doing the work for all of them, mowing the lawn," he recalled. "I passed by her apartment and when I turned around to do the second round that’s when I saw her standing."
According to him, this is not the first time the woman has accosted him. She allegedly approached him three months ago as well and told him to “Go back to your country.” However, Andrade started recording her this time around.
California:— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) July 17, 2020
Obnoxious ridiculous racist lady harasses a landscaper and demands to “see his papers”.
So much ugliness...pic.twitter.com/cNoi77UvEm
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, leaned down to the camera and blew a kiss before she began circling him. "Can you move? I'm doing my work," Andrade told her as she stood in his path but she wouldn't budge. "Can you move out of my work area?" he repeated, "And can you step away? You're too close to me right now and you're not wearing a mask." In response, the woman said in a low voice, "Then show me your papers." "Can you move away?" he asked again but she repeated, "No, no. Show me your papers." He responded, "You want to see my papers? You immigration?"
She raised her eyebrows and said, "Show me your papers, mariposa," the woman told Andrade, raising her eyebrows. Mariposa is Spanish for "butterfly" but it is also a pejorative term for "homosexual". Rancho Mirage City Attorney Steve Quintanilla and the local Housing Authority's Manager Marcus Aleman have announced their intention to open an investigation ever since the video was shared online and went viral. "The Rancho Mirage Housing Authority has a zero-tolerance policy for this type of behavior and the harassment of anyone, including other tenants, visitors, guests, and contracted vendors conducting work at its affordable senior housing properties," Aleman said in a statement.
According to Newsweek, the phrase "show me your papers" has racist connotations in US history. It was reportedly a demand made on freed slaves in the 1800s, "persecuted Jews during the Nazi Holocaust, Japanese-Americans during World War II and, in the modern era, people of Central and South American ethnicity living in the United States". Speaking to NBC Palm Springs, Megan Beaman Jacinto, an immigration lawyer in the Coachella Valley, said that "unless you are law enforcement...they are using that ['show me your papers'] conversation as just another way to intimidate and create objects out of human beings who appear to be different from them."
Former President Barack Obama also faced demands for proof of his citizenship during his presidency by then real estate mogul Donald Trump who milked the "birther" conspiracy theory after it was first spread by a Hillary Clinton campaign staffer in 2008. This was corroborated by Patti Solis Doyle who was Hillary’s campaign manager until the Iowa caucuses that year.