MONTEREY COUNTY, CA — A Bay Area waitress who stood up to hate is being showered with social media love along with the "tip" of a lifetime.
Gennica Cochran has gained hero status for booting disgraced former tech CEO Michael Lofthouse from her an upscale Carmel restaurant after he launched a racist verbal attack against an Asian American family celebrating a birthday earlier this month, ABC7 reports.
Lofthouse has stepped down from his role at Solid8, a Los Gatos-based information technology company according to a San Francisco Chronicle report.
He has since apologized for the incident at Lucia restaurant at the Bernardus Lodge and Spa on the Fourth of July.
Cochran has earned legions of online supporters who by Friday had raised well over $100,000 in “tips” for the waitress on at least three GoFundMe drives.
"I did what anybody else should or would do in that situation," Cochran told ABC7.
"I felt very protective of them. You don't come in here and say those kinds of things to people. Especially people feel so raw coming out of quarantine. Most of these people this is the first time that they've been out to dinner and then you have someone attacking them it was just no, no, I don't have time for this."
Cochran is seen in the video moving towards Lofthouse as he’s putting on his dinner jacket amid his racist rant, then pointing her index finger at him and telling him "Get out of here!"
When Lofthouse replies, "yeah I'm out, I already put my f***ing money down," Cochran doesn’t flinch.
"Get out of here, get out," Cochran says emphatically, waiving her arm like a baseball umpire ejects someone from a game. "You are not allowed here ever again."
Lofthouse had been making a scene at the restaurant before his racist attack on the Chan family, changing tables, sending back food and being rude to a manager, Cochran told the television station.
He is seen at the start of the video, smiling smugly and flashing a middle finger as someone in the background is heard saying "Say that again … Oh, now you're shy?"
Lofthouse then points at the family as says "Trump's gonna f**k you, you f**kers need to leave."
After someone in the background is heard telling him "you need to leave," Lofthouse says as he puts on his jacket "you need to leave, you f******g Asian piece of s**t."
"Oh my God," a person is heard in the background gasping.
Lofthouse issued an apology for the incident in a statement to the television station.
"This was clearly a moment where I lost control and made incredibly hurtful and divisive comments. I would like to deeply apologize to the Chan family," Lofthouse’s statement said.
"I can only imagine the stress and pain they feel. I was taught to respect people of all races, and I will take the time to reflect on my actions and work to better understand the inequality that so many of those around me face every day."
But a family member who was on the receiving end of Lofthouse's diatribe isn't buying it.
"He's just saving face. I think he really meant what he said and what he did," Raymond Orosa told ABC7.
"I don't believe his words because his actions speak louder than the words he's saying."
The incident is among the most recent in a surge of cases of abuse against persons of Asian descent amid the coronavirus crisis.
President Trump has propagated animosity towards people of Asian descent throughout the pandemic with repeated use of racist rhetoric, using terms such as the "China virus," and "Kung flu," to describe the coronavirus.
As of July 1 there were 2,210 reported incidents of racial discrimination against Asian Americans in the United States and 832 in California since the beginning of the pandemic Axios reports, citing datafrom the group, Stop Asian American Pacific Islander Hate.
Several incidents have occurred in the Bay Area.
A woman was spat on in broad daylight in San Francisco in March, multiple South Bay Asian-owned business were vandalized in April, and a rash Anti-Asian graffiti was found in a San Mateo neighborhood in May.
Charissa Cheah, a University of Maryland Baltimore County psychology professor who leading a study researching discrimination against Chinese Americans amid the coronavirus crisis, told The Washington Post that Trump's rhetoric is a factor in the surge of racist-inspired incidents.
"[Trump is] essentially throwing his American citizens or residents of Chinese and Asian descent 'under the bus' by ignoring the consequences of the language he uses," Cheah told The Post. "He's fueling these anti-Chinese sentiments among Americans … not caring that the people who will truly suffer the most are Chinese Americans and other Asian Americans, his citizens whom he's supposed to protect."
The three GoFundMe pages in support of Cochran are listed below:
"Following a news report like Gennica's, it's not uncommon to see multiple GoFundMes started to help another individual," GoFundMe said in a statement.
"What's important to know is that funds from all three campaigns are safely held and will only be released to Gennica. Here is additional information on the GoFundMe Guarantee."
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