Barista's Mask Request Draws BLM Tirade

White customer berates Black employee at Starbucks, who says she's used to it
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2020 5:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – A California barista has explained how she was able to keep her cool while enduring a profane tirade from a customer. "I'm Black in America, so I’ve dealt with these kinds of situations before," said Alex Beckom, 19. "So I am able to stay calm and collected in these types of situations because I don't want to risk my job." Beckom, who works at a Starbucks in Santee, near San Diego, had asked a customer to keep her face covered; her Trump 2020 mask was pulled below her face. A video captured the encounter, reports NBC, which posted the video here. It begins in the middle of a conversation, with the white customer calmly telling the barista: "When you talk to me like that, I know it's because you're discriminating against me because I'm a Trump supporter. F--- Black Lives Matter. I need a straw."

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The customer thanked Beckom for the straw, per the Los Angeles Times, but became upset when she was asked again to keep her mask on during her next visit. The customer grew louder, saying: "It's not a law. It's a hoax. I don't have to wear a mask." As she was leaving the store, she yelled, "Trump 2020," and the barista told her to have a nice day. The customer came back inside to holler, "F— Black Lives Matter." Saying its employee "demonstrated tremendous composure during a very difficult interaction," Starbucks said the woman's behavior "is not welcome in our stores." Beckom later posted a video on TikTok in which she says she's working her way through college with the Starbucks job. She started a GoFundMe page, she says, to help her coworkers as well as her. "We all deal with this kind of stuff," she says. (Read more Starbucks stories.)

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