A barista in a Southern California Starbucks kept her cool as a Trump-supporting customer went on an anti-mask tirade. The 19-year-old’s handling of the customer’s freakout went viral on TikTok.
In the video, the person in question can be heard yelling “Trump 2020!” and “fuck Black Lives Matter” after she was told by employee Alex Beckom to keep her mask on.
“No, it's not a law. I'll show you the penal code,” the woman yelled. “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.”
She returned to the store after storming out to yell anti-BLM slogans. Beckom said she knew nothing of the woman’s politics and was merely trying to keep everyone safe.
“I don’t know why it’s all about individual rights when you’re still hurting other people and your family. Even the president got [COVID-19]. So I don’t know how it’s turned into a 'them or me' situation when it should be everybody coming together to make sure we don’t all get sick or get hurt,” she said in an interview with NBC San Diego.
Beckom said she’s more than used to stressful situations where she has to keep a level head.
“I’m Black in America so I’ve dealt with these kinds of situations before. So I’m able to stay calm and collected in these kinds of situations because I don’t want to risk my job,” she said.
Starbucks issued a statement saying it supports Beckom and does not welcome the actions of the customer.
"We expect our partners and customers alike to foster a welcoming Third Place environment, and this behavior is not welcome in our stores. Our focus right now is providing support to our partner who demonstrated tremendous composure during a very difficult interaction," a Starbucks spokesperson told ABC San Diego.