'Starbucks Karen': Woman yells at barista, makes vulgar comments when told to wear a mask

Posted at 10:31 AM, Oct 20, 2020

SANTEE, Calif. — Cellphone video shows how ugly things can get when restaurant and retail workers are tasked with enforcing mask mandates.

On Sunday afternoon at a Starbucks in Santee, 19-year-old barista Alex Beckom says a female customer in a blue top pulled down her "Trump 2020" mask to ask a question. The customer briefly pulled her mask back up at Beckom's request but later got agitated and took it off again.

That's when another customer said he started recording.

"I'm not going listen to anything you say to me when you talk to me like that," the angry customer said.

"Okay, that's fine, but next time when you come in, I'm going to need you to keep your mask on," Beckom told the woman.

Beckom said she made that comment to protect her coworkers in the future.

Moments later, the customer served up a different motive.

"And I know it's because you're discriminating against me because I'm a Trump supporter. F*** Black Lives Matter," the customer said.

Beckom says she never brought up politics.

"If she thinks she's being discriminated against, that's on her. I never brought up anything about politics...I wasn't even angry. I was just like, "Why is this happening?" Beckom said.

The customer became even more upset when Beckom reminded her to wear her mask if she comes in again.

"No, it's not a law. I'll show you the penal code. It's a hoax. I don't have to wear a mask. I'm not going to wear a mask. This is America, and I don't have to do what you say. Trump 2020 ... F*** you," the customer yelled as she left the coffee shop.

The customer wasn't quite done. She briefly returned to yell, "F*** Black Lives Matter."

In Beckom's words, this is her first experience with a difficult customer in three years as a barista. She posted the video on social media and racked up about two million views in a single day.

"I think it's important to show this type of behavior shouldn't be normalized and shouldn't be acceptable ... As this behavior continues, the cycle continues, and we need to get this cycle to stop," Beckom said.

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help Beckom with her college education and to help her co-workers at Starbucks. Earlier this year, a GoFundMe set up in support of another Southern California Starbucks employee who confronted an angry maskless customer brought in more than $100,000.

This story was originally published by Michael Chen on KGTV in San Diego.