College student Annie An’s recent routine visit to a Bay Area Starbucks took a nasty turn thanks to a racist white woman who eventually had to be hauled out of the store by police.
An, an international student originally from Korea, was in the midst of a study session at a Walnut Creek Starbucks this past weekend when a random white woman at a nearby table began harassing her and her tutor Sean Lee after overhearing the pair speaking Korean.
Speaking with KRON, Lee recalled saying something along the lines of “We might need to brainstorm this way and write the essay that way,” when the woman exclaimed loudly “Don’t you dare say that again!”
An immediately began recording the harassment; Lee uploaded the video to Facebook.
The unidentified woman continued her unprompted harassment, referring to An as “Oriental” and exclaiming simply that “I don’t want to hear the language.” The Starbucks employees intervened, asking the woman to leave. When she refused—claiming “you’re gonna be in trouble”—the employees called the local police, who escorted her from the store.
In a Facebook post accompanying the video, Lee wrote that he never expected to find himself in the sort of video he has often watched.
“In our day-to-day pursuits and responsibilities, it’s all too easy to forget that racism and anti-immigrant sentiments are a real thing in this country, even in the Bay Area that so often touts ‘diversity,’” Lee said. “There are hundreds of thousands of fellow Americans who would cheer on this racist lady. Is it even worth confronting them when they are so indoctrinated by their twisted ideology? Can we have a constructive dialogue with them? I don’t know.”