"This is America. Use English ONLY."
A racist woman has been filmed by a Korean student at a Starbucks in California.
Filmed by Annie An, a Korean college student, the incident has since gone viral. In the clip, a woman is seen sitting casually in the Starbucks spewing anti-Asian sentiment. Khon reports that the incident occurred in Walnut Creek, Bay Area.
Although slightly inaudible, Khon reports that at the beginning of the clip,the woman says, “especially that Oriental. I hate it.”
“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.
In An’s Facebook post, the college student writes that the woman also said, “This is America. Use English ONLY.”
“I don’t want to hear foreign language,” she goes on to say.
An responds, “Hello, this is America. We all have freedom to use own language.”
The college student was particularly angered when the woman said phrases such as, “Especially Korean”, “disgusting”, “be quiet and sit down”, “English only” and “immigrants”.
Sean Lee, who was tutoring An at the Starbucks said the incident was sparked after the pair were speaking in Korean. “We might need to brainstorm this way and write the essay that way,” Lee said in Korean before 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.’”
“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.
Starbucks employees asked the woman to leave and called the police after she refused. 3 police officers arrived and the woman left.
“This is the most unexpected and unbelievable day for me this entire 2017,” An writes in her post. “And I even surprising that she didn’t stop complaining about my language even police officers were here.”
“Thanks for the Starbucks employees tried to stop the situation and called the police for us.”
“I wish non of immigrants and international students experience this SHITTY THING.”
“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.”
In an interview with the Korean Herald, An said she was no stranger to racist encounters in the America.
“I have experienced racism on multiple counts during my stay in the US,” said Annie. “For instance, the waitress would refuse to serve me at a restaurant in a white neighborhood, or a white man would yell at me from a passing car, calling me ‘Ching Ching.’”
However, the incident in Starbucks was still a first for her. “But this is my first time to encounter someone who exhibited such outright sarcasm in a nonchalant, uncaring manner.”
“We should never brush off racist remarks and actions,” An said. “The more we stay quiet, the more history will ignore us. I wish more people would realize the power of immigrants, as the nation of US was built by immigrant hands.”
An also revealed that her viral video of the incident attracted negativity. “Some left aggressive comments on the video thread. Two people sent direct messages,” she said.“One read, ‘You should have talked quietly. Your language sounds kinda annoying,’ and another read ‘F— off Asian.’”