A white woman in Walnut Creek, California was kicked out of a Starbucks coffee shop after she told two Korean students to stop speaking “Oriental.”
According to local news station, KRON 4, Korean exchange student Annie An was trying to get some schoolwork done with the help of her tutor, Sean Lee, earlier this week.
Seemingly out of the blue, an older woman asked them to stop talking. Things heated up from there as the woman continued to insist that the students stop saying words she’ll never understand.
The Hangugeo-language-triggered woman at one point told Starbucks employees, “They’re speaking in Oriental. I hate it.”
When her concerns were swatted down by staff who patiently explained that people are allowed to speak Korean in coffee shops, the woman replied that Barack Obama once said people who live in the United States should learn to speak English.
This is true, but it was apparently unconvincing.
Two Starbucks employees then tried to reason with her a bit more but she still refused to budge. Video captured part of the confrontation.
At one point the woman says, “You’re gonna be in trouble when I get this letter out.” To which one of the Starbucks employees responds. “You’re pressing numbers over and over again.”
Lee, who is fluent in English, spoke with KRON 4 about the incident. He said:
Out of nowhere, we didn’t provoke her. We were just minding our own business. This lady just suddenly says, “Don’t you dare say that again.
As the hateful display spiraled into an increasingly awkward stalemate of sorts, the woman was asked to leave, but refused. Ultimately, she was removed by Walnut Creek Police.
[image via screengrab; video courtesy Sean Lee]