“Now you don’t get f—– nothing cause you’re a stupid m———- who can’t read and write and speak the f—— English language,” the man said in a Dec. 17 recording of the incident, which was captured by Aviles’s security camera and posted to social media.
On Tuesday, after activists in Milwaukee held a news conference urging the company to take action, UPS announced that the driver, who the company did not name, has been terminated.
“There is no place in any community for racism, bigotry or hate,” a spokesman with the company told NBC News. “This is very serious and we promptly took action, terminating the driver’s employment.”
“We just want to make sure that UPS is serious and wants to make amends with the Latino community,” Shirley Aviles, the man’s mother told The Washington Post in an interview late Tuesday.
Video of the Dec. 17 incident shows the unidentified UPS driver approaching Aviles’s front door at around 7 p.m. After his rant, the driver pasted the failed delivery note on the door, shaking his head in apparent disapproval.
Although the man did not explicitly name Aviles in his “racist remarks,” Shirley Aviles told The Post that she has no doubt the driver was referring to her son, whose name was printed on the box.
“He’s never met my son,” said the 45-year-old mother. “He’s basing it solely on the Latino surname… He meant it. He sent it back. It was malicious.”
Hours later, Aviles, 23, who was home sleeping when the delivery man arrived and had been expecting the package containing a Christmas present, awoke to notifications from his Ring security camera. (Ring is an Amazon product. Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.) That’s when he saw the recording of the driver’s remarks and shared it with his mother, who posted it to her social media.
The following day, through a relative who works at UPS, the company apologized and said they wanted to chat, Shirley Aviles said. She declined to talk until re-watching the video and organizing a list of demands.
The package finally arrived three days after Christmas, but only after her son had to call to follow up again, she said.
Then, for nearly three weeks, Aviles said the family heard nothing from UPS. On Tuesday, the Aviles family and local activists held a news conference demanding that the driver be dismissed, and urging the company to invest more in diversity training.
Darryl Morin, the president of Forward Latino, accused UPS of lacking interest in investigating the event or correcting the driver’s behavior.
“As such, this is no longer an issue of a single rogue driver, but one of UPS’ failure to commit to operational excellence and more importantly, UPS management’s failure to combat hate within their company,” Morin said at the news conference.
Hours later, the company called Morin to announce the driver had been dismissed last month, he told The Post.
Shirley Aviles said she hopes the video can become a “teaching opportunity” so others can avoid making assumptions about Latinos.
“It can’t be that somebody can make such an assumption just by looking at an individual’s surname,” she said. “I thought we were so past that. There are so many of us Latinos who were born here. It’s ridiculous to think that people who think we don’t speak English because of our last name still exist.”