California, particularly the San Francisco Bay Area, is well-known for being strongly liberal and quite diverse. However, one woman reminded us all that racism lives everywhere.
An unidentified white woman was booted out of a Starbucks in Walnut Creek, California, this week after she demanded that two Korean students sitting next to her stop speaking “Oriental.”
Annie An, a Korean exchange student, was doing work for school with her tutor, Sean Lee, inside the establishment when they encountered the overtly racist woman, Raw Story reports.
In a clip of the incident that has gone viral, Starbucks employees intervened, asking the woman what was wrong.
“They’re speaking in Oriental,” she replied. “I hate it.”
The employees informed the woman that the students were allowed to speak in whatever language they pleased, which prompted her to claim that former President Barack Obama said people who live in America should speak English.
Why she felt the need to invoke Obama to validate her racism remains a mystery.
“Out of nowhere, we didn’t provoke her,” said Lee, who is fluent in English. “We were just minding our own business. This lady just suddenly says, ‘Don’t you dare say that again.'”
The woman refused to leave the café upon being asked, leading the employees to call the police, who came and escorted her out.
Her actions were a display of pure and shameless ignorance, as evidenced by the fact that she used the word "Oriental" in 2017. We can only hope that the backlash serves as a learning experience for her, but we aren't holding our breath.
Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters