CEO apologizes after racist rant targeting Asian American family
A San Francisco tech CEO issued an apology this week after he was seen in a viral video yelling racial slurs and expletives at an Asian American family on the Fourth of July.
Raymond Orosa and his family were celebrating his wife's birthday at Bernardus Lodge and Spa's Lucia restaurant when Michael Lofthouse can be seen on camera harassing them, saying, "F— you Asians," "Go back to whatever f— Asian country you're from" and "You don't belong here."
The video begins with the woman who filmed the vulgar encounter asking Lofthouse, sitting one table over, to repeat what he had just said to them. He stares at the camera for a few seconds, then extends his middle finger and said, "This is what I say."
Lofthouse then said, "Trump's gonna f— you," as he stood up to leave, followed by "You f— need to leave! You f— Asian piece of s***." A server then yells at him, "No, you do not talk to our guests like that. Get out of here."
Orosa told CBS News that he thinks Lofthouse's apology is not sincere. In a statement, the restaurant addressed the incident.
"This is an extremely unfortunate situation, however we are proud of our staff at Lucia in keeping with Bernardus Lodge's core values; this incident was handled swiftly and the diner was escorted off property without further escalation."
A message to the tech company where Lofthouse works asking for a statement has not been returned, according to CBS San Francisco, and a message sent to an Instagram account apparently used by Lofthouse was not returned. In addition, his LinkedIn account appears to have been deleted and his Twitter account has been suspended.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a sharp rise in attacks on Asian Americans across the country.
In Midland, Texas, in March, a hate crime attack left a man and his 2-year-old with knife wounds across their faces.
In April, a man in New York poured acid on an Asian American woman.
There have been more than 2,000 reports in the U.S. of discrimination and harassment aimed at Asian Americans since March.
Manju Kulkarni, executive director of the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, said some of the attacks could stem from "racist rhetoric" by those in power.
"Some of that is driven by racist rhetoric from our elected officials," she said. "We know that President Trump has called COVID-19 'Kung Flu,' the 'Wuhan Virus,' the 'China Virus.'"
White House officials have repeatedly defended President Trump's statements while harassment cases have spiked.
Last month in Queens, New York, a South Korean man said he was shoved by a man yelling racial slurs and blaming Asians for the coronavirus.
A bulletin from the FBI earlier this year warned of a rise in hate crime incidents against Asian Americans because of the spread of the coronavirus.
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