Another coffee shop confrontation caught on smartphone video is causing a stir on social media — only this time it involves man angered by a woman who identifies her herself as a Muslim.
A barista at a coffee shop in Riverside, Calif., refused to serve a man after he appears to insult the woman, who was wearing a black niqab, a headscarf that covers most of the face except her eyes.
In a video seen 1.6 million times on Twitter by Monday night, the man turns to the woman and asks, “Is it Halloween or something?” When she replies, “Do you know I am a Muslim?” and inquires whether he has a problem with it, he says, “I don’t like your religion, how’s that?” and adds, “I don’t want to be killed by you.”
The incident took place Friday at a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf shop in Riverside, east of Los Angeles, KTLA-TV reports.
In the confrontation, the woman, in a loud voice, then seeks to engage the man in a discussion about religion, asking him whether he has read the Koran or the Bible, and mentions the teachings of Jesus. The man dismisses her, saying “I don’t have any kind of conversation with idiots.”
She says, “You are committing hate speech against me” as another customer is heard shouting at the man from across the room, invoking the f-word and calling him a racist. A barista behind the counter who identifies herself as the supervisor said she isn’t serving the man because he’s being disruptive and “being very racist.”
He then leaves.
This latest video, posted to YouTube, comes a month after Starbucks became embroiled in a controversy over racism at a Philadelphia location. In that incident, also videotaped, a manager called police after two black men came to wait for a friend, but didn’t order anything. One was denied permission to use the restroom.
Police arrested the pair for trespassing, but Starbucks didn’t press charges and both the coffee giant and police later apologized. Starbucks plans to hold a chainwide day of training May 29 to educate employees on issues involving racial sensitivity and profiling.