A California restaurant employee is getting a hefty tip for shutting down a tech CEO’s racist tirade.
The man, who is white and identified by media outlets as San Francisco cloud computing firm Solid8 CEO Michael Lofthouse, was seen on video posted to Instagram giving an Asian family the middle finger. He’s heard saying, “Trump’s gonna f--- you. You f------ need to leave. You f------ Asian piece of s----.”
That’s when Gennica Cochran, a server at the restaurant, stepped in.
“Get out, you are not allowed here,” she said in the video. “You do not talk to our guests like that. They are valued guests. Get out!”
Her swift actions to defend the family celebrating a birthday at Lucia, a restaurant in Carmel Valley, has drawn admiring comments from many. The video has been viewed almost 700,000 times on Instagram, while a Twitter video of the incident has more than 5 million views.
Koleen Hamblin, a spokeswoman for the restaurant, told the San Francisco Chronicle the restaurant has “received letters and flowers from people” who praised Cochran’s actions.
“It’s been unbelievable, the outpouring of support,” Hamblin told the news outlet.
More than 650 people donated to a GoFundMe to “tip” Cochran for fighting against Lofthouse’s racist rant. As of Wednesday afternoon, almost $16,000 was donated.
“As much as it’s satisfying to drag the man who did this to that family, it’s even more satisfying when we lift up the people who stand up to defend those who are on the receiving end of such racism,” the GoFundMe said. “In this case, that person is this server/yoga instructor Gennica Cochran. She spoke out with a passionate fury against this man, possibly putting her job on the line amidst an economic crisis in order to fight back against just a taste of the racism that is running rampant in our country.”
Asian Americans have reported surges of xenophobia and racist incidents during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the ADL, an anti-hate group.
“These incidents include being told to ‘Go back to China,’ being blamed for ‘bringing the virus’ to the United States, being referred to with racial slurs, spat on, or physically assaulted,” the group said. “Statements by public officials referring to COVID-19 as the ‘Chinese virus,’ ‘Kung Flu’ or ‘Wu Flu’ may be exacerbating the scapegoating and targeting of the AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) community.”