White Santee customer berates Black Starbucks barista in viral video
A woman pulls down her own mask, shouts “Trump 2020” and yells “f-- Black Lives Matter” at the barista
A Santee Starbucks customer who is White loudly berated a barista and shouted an obscenity Sunday after the barista, who is Black, asked her to wear her mask on her face. The encounter went viral on social media Monday and is on the barista’s GoFundMe page.
In the video the barista, Alex Beckom, 19, is serving a female customer who had a Trump 2020 mask on her chin but not on her face. The video shows the woman, who is unidentified, saying to Beckom that the barista is discriminating against her “because I’m a Trump supporter.”
“F--- Black Lives Matter,” the woman says.
The woman then asks for a straw and sugar packets, which Beckom cheerfully hands her and the woman thanks her.
When Beckom again asks the woman to keep her mask on the next time she comes to the store, the woman again becomes agitated, saying wearing a mask is “not the law” and that COVID-19 is “a hoax.”
“This is America and I don’t have to do what you say,” the woman says as she’s leaving. “Trump 2020.”
The barista tells her to have a nice day.
After she leaves, she stops, turns around, and comes back into the Starbucks.
“F--- Black Lives Matter,” she says again before finally leaving.
In a follow-up video on TikTok, Beckom says she’s a college student working her way through school and that she set up a GoFundMe to help her and her Starbucks co-workers.
“We all deal with this kind of stuff,” Beckom says in the video. “They deserve it, too.”
A Starbucks employee at the store, which appears from the video to be the one at 9802 North Magnolia Avenue, referred all questions to Starbucks’ corporate media relations.
Jory Mendes, a Starbucks spokesman, told the Union-Tribune late Monday commended Beckom for keeping cool during a “difficult” moment.
“We expect our partners and customers alike to foster a welcoming environment, and this behavior is certainly not welcome in our stores,” Mendes said when reached by phone. “Our focus right now is providing support to our partner who demonstrated tremendous composure during a very difficult interaction.”
Beckom did not return a request for comment, but told NBC 7 these incidents happen daily at her Starbucks store.
“I’m Black in America so I’ve dealt with these kinds of situations before,” Beckom told the news station. “I’m able to stay calm and collected in these kinds of situations because I don’t want to risk my job.”
NBC 7 also interviewed Beckom in June when she said members of the vigilante Defend East County group hurled racial slurs at her after a Santee Black Lives Matter march.
Two other racist incidents in Santee in May made news nationwide.
In the first, a man wore a Ku Klux Klan hood to a Santee Vons. In the second, a couple wore swastikas on their facemasks in what they said was a protest against public health orders, though a review of the man’s social media activity revealed a stream of anti-Semitic comments.
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