BEAVERTON, Ore. -- A Beaverton plumber was fired after he was caught on cell phone video yelling racial slurs at a driver in traffic Tuesday.
The video (shown above with offensive language bleeped out by KGW) has gone viral on social media sites like Facebook, YouTube and Reddit. Facebook has since removed the original post, but not before it circulated with nearly 400,000 shares.
Susan Khalaf, of Beaverton, was driving on the Tualatin-Valley Highway near Southwest 170th Avenue when she says a driver behind her began yelling at her through his window. Then, he pulled up next to her and she could hear that he was using foul language, so she rolled down her window at a red light and started recording him on her phone.
"When we stopped again at a light, I look at him and he's still flailing out the window, and so I pulled out my camera and decided to record him," said Khalaf. "I thought maybe he can see what he looks like, saying all these nasty, racial slurs."
The man, who KGW is not identifying, can be heard repeatedly yelling Hispanic racial slurs at Khalaf and clapping.
"Video cameras are everywhere now, so it can get out and your hatred will be seen by everybody."
Khalaf is an American of Jordanian descent. She was born in California and moved to Beaverton in 1992.
Horrified over the experience, Khalaf posted the 20-second video to her Facebook page and immediately started getting responses from her friends and family. They urged her to make the post public, and she did.
In less than 24 hours, thousands of people had shared it, most adding comments.
"I don't believe the majority of people are racist or have hatred, so it was just nice to see all the support," said Khalaf.
Here's a screengrab of the post (Warning: offensive language)
She says she posted the video in an effort to embarrass the driver and show people that ignorance and hate can come too quickly. Khalaf says she didn't want anything to happen to the man, only that he would come to realize what he did was wrong.
"I just wanted to expose him and let people see what kind of person he is, and also hopefully he'll learn something from it and maybe change," she said.
As the video went viral, the man's employer was among those who saw it and fired him. Wolcott Plumbing of Troutdale released this statement to KGW:
"First of all, this is a very upsetting situation. Under no circumstances do I personally nor do we as a company condone the use of abusive language of any kind to anyone.
Last night (Jan 5) I became aware that a video existed, potentially of one of my employees after work hours, using racial slurs, while driving in his personal vehicle.
Upon further investigation today, I learned and confirmed it was one of my employees in the video. This employee was immediately terminated."
The Washington County Sheriff's Office has also been notified about the video, and a spokesman says they plan to contact the man to talk to him about his actions. But they emphasized that he did nothing in the video which warrants an arrest. There were no driving violations, and his words are protected by free speech.
As for Khalaf, she says the feedback she received on social media has taught her that there is indeed more good than bad in this world.
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