TWO families are settling longstanding grievances after a Filipino-American resident of Las Vegas captured and published a video of his neighbor on Tuesday, January 3 in which she insults his ethnicity in a profanity-laden tirade.
Dexter Manawat told local ABC television station, KTNV, that hostilities between him and the unidentified woman in the footage were rooted in recurring disputes over yard work.
In the clip, she refers to the Philippines as a “…ghetto, living under a tarp, piece of [expletive] land,” and calls Filipinos “loin-cloth wearers” and “orange savages,” as she sweeps dead leaves away from her property.
The video went viral and elicited outrage from the Filipino community. Numerous comments on social media accuse the woman of being a racist. Some individuals had even sought her identity, threatening violence, according to a follow-up post on Manawat’s Facebook page published on Wednesday, January 4.
He has since taken the video down and said that his family and their neighbors have begun a dialogue with the intent of working out their differences. In an interview with KTNV, the woman—whose face and identity remain hidden—can be heard sobbing as she extends her apologies to the Filipino community at large.
“I stooped to the lowest possible denominator to hurt someone because I was angry,” she told reporters on Tuesday. She added that “I’m not just saying that because I was…caught. What I said wasn’t right and I wasn’t raised that way.”
She also said that her frustrations were directed at Manawat and not his culture.
The Fil-Am who shot the cellphone video admitted that he hasn’t always been the best neighbor, but said that the unidentified woman’s comments went too far. He said tension between him and his neighbors had existed for years, but he is averse to extreme suggestions of retaliation.
“I don’t believe violence or physical harm is the answer,” Manawat wrote on Wednesday. He went on to say that “Instead of looking for her, we need to pray for her. Pray that God softens her heart.” (Eric Anthony Licas/AJPress)