WALNUT CREEK (KRON) – A woman at a Bay Area Starbucks caused a scene after overhearing a tutoring session in Korean.
Cellphone video of her racist rant went viral online, and police had to be called.
“Especially that Oriental. I hate it,” the woman said.
“I’m sorry, but they are allowed to speak their language,” a barista answered.
“You know what, President Obama said that everyone in here, the majority in America, should speak English,” the woman responds.
This encounter caught on cellphone video inside a Walnut Creek Starbucks shows a woman who absolutely did not want to hear other customers speaking in Korean.
Sean Lee was tutoring a community college student, Annie, at the Starbucks.
After Lee said, “We might need to brainstorm this way and write the essay that way,” in Korean, the woman spoke out.
“Out of nowhere, we didn’t provoke her,” Lee said. “We were just minding our own business. This lady just suddenly says, ‘Don’t you dare say that again.'”
At first, they didn’t realize the woman was talking to them because she was a complete stranger to them.
Annie pulled out her phone and hit record.
For a while, the woman tried to hide her face behind her binder.
“If they want to sit and be quiet, that’d be great,” the woman said.
“If you don’t want to hear it, they’re welcome to be here. They’re doing nothing wrong; you’re the one that’s causing an issue,” a barista responds.
Two Starbucks baristas came to Annie’s defense. They politely asked the complaining woman to leave, but she refused, so they called police.
“This was actually my very first time interacting with someone like this, and that’s why I was even more surprised,” Lee said. “I mean, I see videos like this online, you know, I see it on the news, but it’s not something I would ever imagine happening to me or anyone I know.”
Lee says the woman didn’t say much more until police arrived, but then again berated Annie as officers finally got the woman to leave.
The video has gotten over a hundred thousand views, and comments very supportive of Lee and his student.
Lee hopes the surprising conversation will spread awareness and help erase some ignorance.
Lee told KRON4 he doesn’t hate the woman in that video, but he wants her to know she made a lot of people mad.
He says this is a good opportunity for her to explore the different cultures around herself.