The world wanted to reward her for acting against racism, but she just said that she did “what needed to be done.”
Lucia Restaurant & Bar, a fine dining establishment in Carmel Valley, California, recently saw a distressing incident of racism take place. Fortunately, it was followed by a faith-reaffirming act of support from a server named Gennica Cochran.
The incident took place on July 4th. The racist customer was a Silicon Valley CEO named Michael Lofthouse. The target of his vitriol was the Orosa Chan family: a family of Asian-Americans simply eating their dinner and trying to celebrate a birthday in the family.
What sparked his verbal attack? The family was singing happy birthday to Mari Orosa.
A young member of the family, Jordan Chan, wrote about the harassment on Instagram:
We were celebrating my tita’s birthday, literally just singing happy birthday to her and taking pictures, when this white supremacist starts yelling disgusting racist remarks at us.Jordan Chan
When Lofthouse began his tirade, Cochran felt a need to act:
I felt very protective of them. You don’t come in here and say those kinds of things to people. Especially people feel so raw coming out of quarantine. Most of these people this is the first time that they’ve been out to dinner and then you have someone attacking them it was just no, no, I don’t have time for this.Gennica Cochran
When the world heard the story and watched Cochran kick Lofthouse out of the restaurant in Jordan Chan’s video, people were in turn inspired to act. They wanted to reward Cochran for her actions.
Three GoFundMe accounts have been set up as Cochran’s own person tip jar, accessible globally. The biggest—‘A Big Tip for an Everyday Hero’—has more than $84,000 in tips. ‘Tips for Gennica Standing Up To Racist Kevin’ has almost $15,000, and ‘Give Gennica a tip! Say no to racists!’ has more than $7000.
That’s a lot of well-deserved tips for a moment of resolve and action! Gennica believes the money will let her focus on her yoga teaching career, but she also wants to make a plan for how she might be able to donate the tips to other servers.
Cochran wanted to send two messages to everyone encountering this story. One, she would like you to be nice to those who have the demanding job of serving you in restaurants, and two:
If you see something do something. Stand up against racism and hatred in any form any time you can.Gennica Cochran
Watch Cochran stand up to Lofthouse in the upsetting video posted to Instagram by Jordan Chan:
Featured image source: ABC7 News