This time, that Karen is a he.
A fun birthday dinner ended up with a bitter taste for a Fil-Am family after a white man spewed racist slur at them at a restaurant in Carmel Valley, California.
Raymond Orosa and his family went to Bernadus Lodge and Spa’s Lucia restaurant to celebrate his wife Mari’s special day, when they heard a man yelling at them saying, “You f***ing Asians.”
This man, Michael Lofthouse, CEO of tech company Solid8, was caught on cam by Orosa’s niece Jordan Chan raising his middle finger at them and said, “Trump’s gonna f*** you.”
The now viral post has garnered 92,000+ reactions, and even caught the attention of American singer Kelly Clarkson.
“We were celebrating my tita’s birthday… when this white supremacist starts yelling disgusting racist remarks at us,” Chan posted. “It is no coincidence that this man has the audacity to showcase such blatant racism on the fourth of July. White supremacy has a notorious habit of masquerading as patriotism!”
Waitress to the rescue
Upon seeing the act, waitress Gennica Cochran immediately demanded Lofthouse to leave the restaurant.
“To hear the emotion coming out of my voice, to see my mannerisms, it was unbelievable. It was just something that came over me and I just did what needed to be done,” Cochran told KGO-TV. “You don’t come in here and say those kinds of things to people. Especially [when] people feel so raw coming out of quarantine. [For] most of these people, this is the first time that they’ve been out to dinner and then you have something attacking them, it was just no, no. I don’t have time for this.”
Amazed at how she handled the situation, netizens wanted to let her know they appreciated her kind deed. To reward her, people donated tips to a fundraiser headed by Jeremy Stephens, which is now over $80,000.
“We are raising money for Gennica, 100 percent of which will go to her directly,” Stephens said. “We want to show our appreciation for the everyday heroes who are doing what they can to make the world a better place for those who deal with racism in all forms on a near daily basis.”
In a statement, Lofthouse publicly apologized to the family for his “incredibly hurtful and divisive comments.” A story by the San Francisco Chronicles also confirms that Lofthouse has stepped down from his company, “terminating all business relationships with immediate effect.”
But for Orosa, who’s been living in the US for almost three decades, Lofthouse has to apologize to the whole Asian American community.
“Despite the fact that racism still exists, it shouldn’t stop us from doing the right thing,” he said to the Asian Journal. “If we have one unified voice and speak up, the better it is for people to understand that we can do this and protect each other from people like this guy.”
This is not the first time Filipinos living in the US experienced racism. In the past months, a Filipina was verbally harassed while working out at a public park, while a Filipino in San Francisco was accused of defacing private property after stenciling “Black Lives Matter” outside his house.