International Student Berated at Starbucks for Speaking Korean: Watch
An international student from Seoul, South Korea, was verbally assaulted by a customer at Starbucks in Walnut Creek, California, for speaking Korean. Annie An documented the scene on her cellphone and later uploaded a video to Facebook.
In the post, An says the woman told her “This is America. Use English only” and “Your language is disgusting.”
In the footage, an elderly woman working on a laptop can be heard telling An, “If you can sit and be quiet, fine, but I don’t want to hear your language.”
A Starbucks employee defends An’s right to speak Korean within the establishment and nicely asks the woman to leave. Instead, she continues to berate An.
“You’re going to be in trouble when I get this letter out,” she said, tapping a single key on her computer. A bystander responds, “You’re pressing numbers over and over again.”
The employee pipes up once more to inform the woman that if she doesn’t leave, he will call the cops. “That’s fine,” she replies.
According to An, three cops then arrived on the scene to escort her off the premises.
The December 10 post has over 297,000 views and has been shared 3,400 times. Over 1,200 commenters have flooded the replies section with words of encouragement and support for A — and quite the opposite for the offender.
“Ugh… what a despicable human!” Liz Baer Flowers wrote.
“Stupid old lady (frown face),” Raquel Medina said.
“Go Starbucks employees! They did the right thing. They didn’t allow that awful racist to continue. My hats off to them for fir standing up for your rights. I’m sorry you had to witness horrible people,” Cathy Heather Ann Robinson wrote.
“Annie An come to Brentwood. I'll buy you a cup of coffee and show you why a real middle age American white women is supposed to act like ... We are to embrace differences and share kindness. Hateful people and outburst speak about them not you,” Pam Cambra-Sams wrote. “May your days be better and never ever let an ugly personality break your spirit or disrespect your heritage!! Humanity sees no color and speaks all language.”
In a statement to The Daily Meal, a spokesperson for Starbucks said: "As the video shows, our partners (employees) take great pride in making sure our stores are welcoming environments, where our customers enjoy a culture of warmth, belonging and everyone is welcome. We want everyone who visits our stores to enjoy their visit."
For more on the Seattle-based coffee giant, here are 20 things you didn’t know about Starbucks.