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Oregon woman who made racist comments in viral video apologizes

Oregon woman who made racist comments in viral video apologizes


by Catherine Van

PORTLAND, Ore. — A video shared on Facebook of a woman making racist comments toward another woman in downtown Portland has been seen more than 2 million times since it was posted last Wednesday.

The video as posted by Selina Cairel shows a woman in her white Hyundai saying, "Before you say anything, you might want to make sure you're actual legals and then call the cops... That you're illegals crossing the border and your parents had to probably - had to work for [expletive] dirt just to get here."

They are words that Cairel said still replay in her mind.

"It's awful. You know? At the time I was like, 'Is this real life? Is this happening to me?'" she said. "Those words are very hurtful. I don't stand by it. I have never been talked to like that in my whole entire life, ever. That's disrespectful, it was rude."

The 22- year-old is half Filipino, half English. At age 11, she said she and her family emigrated from the Philippines to Vancouver, Wash.

Before Selina even started recording the encounter early Wednesday morning, she says the woman made more racist remarks.

"The first thing she said to me was, 'She's Asian; she can't see. That's why she can't drive,' in the most demeaning stereotypical Asian accent you can ever do," said Cairel.

Selina said she asked her why she would say that, more words were exchanged, and that's when Selina pulled out her phone.

"I want to show people that this happens, that people experience this a lot and that this behavior shouldn't go unnoticed," she said.

She posted the video to her Facebook page that afternoon and it exploded in a matter of hours.

That woman was later confirmed to KATU News as Sierra Measelle of Beaverton.

People online took it even farther and started harassing her employers and even posted her address.

"That's terrible. That's something I really really didn't want to happen, especially to her," said Cairel. "I apologize for people threatening your life and families and everything. I hope she's okay."

Measelle posted a message on her Instagram Sunday afternoon, apologizing to Cairel and her friend for her "ignorant and hateful comments."

"I’d like to again offer my sincere apology to Ms. Cairel and I am sorry for the ignorant, hateful comments I made to her and her friend. I’m ashamed that I let my emotions get the best of me and I reacted in such a hurtful manner that goes completely against my beliefs and morals. I’m extremely disappointed in myself and my lack of empathy.

I plan to transform this negative situation into a positive learning opportunity and I hope that people who casually and carelessly use racist language will learn from my mistakes, as I have learned that these words and actions cause others much pain. I also want to say I’m sorry to all the people affected by my comments and especially my friends, family and place of employment for the harassment they’ve received over this. This incident has definitely allowed me to see how my behavior contributes to racism and how I can and need to do better going forward."

Cairel says she will be able to forgive Measelle in time.

Both women tell KATU News they were not intoxicated the night of the incident.

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