It’s difficult to feel good about the world today when every other story seems to be about a racist tirade. At a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Cafe in Riverside, CA, a man starts his morning off with a cup of coffee and a little harassment towards a fellow customer wearing a traditional Niqab.
“Is this Halloween or something,” the man inquires, referencing the niqab the Muslim woman was wearing.
“I'm a Muslim [woman].”
“I know your religion and I don't want to be killed by you.”
This took place at a cafe in California yesterday. pic.twitter.com/4WAWKcQDh8
— CJ Werleman (@cjwerleman) May 12, 2018
Knowing what was coming next, the woman, identified as Kathleen “Amina” Deady, started filming and pressed the man, asking, “Why would you say that?” It’s a painful scenario to have to watch over and over, but it’s an important one as it further solidifies the ignorance the average American appears to have about the Islamic faith.
When asked what his problem is with her being a Muslim, the man responds in possibly the worst way. “I don’t like your religion. It says ‘kill me,’ and I don’t want to be killed by you, how’s that.” The thing is, that’s not quite what the Quran says, and as the Muslim woman points out when the man admits to being Christian, sections of the Bible are also quite questionable in its views of killing nonbelievers.
Happy to have helped break this story, which revealed a textbook example of how bystanders can stand up to anti-Muslim bigotry. https://t.co/ZPQNDXRDnF
— CJ Werleman (@cjwerleman) May 14, 2018
That’s all besides the point, however, as neither the texts of the Quran or the Bible are reason enough to justify a racist rant against another person. Thankfully, another patron in the coffee shop, Barry Landau, was less enthused about the man’s treatment of Deady.
“Get out of here! Fucking racist,” Landau screams from across the shop.
Finally, an appropriate response to racism and Islamophobia: speaking out and
resisting the bigotry versus consoling the victim after the fact. More of this and less “I’m so sorry that happened to you…” or, “That’s so sad!” Action, not sympathy. https://t.co/XIU2yOiO4q
— Dr. Willie Parker (@DrWillieParker) May 14, 2018
After a brief exchange of expletives between Landau and the unidentified man, the supervisor behind the counter refuses to serve him and he leaves without another word. In a statement following the incident, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf assured that it is “We have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to discrimination of any kind, and have the right to refuse service to any person who makes customers or team members feel endangered in any way.
To our loyal The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® Guests: pic.twitter.com/6PAPQQQlXR
— The Coffee Bean (@TheCoffeeBean) May 15, 2018
Good job to the Supervisor on duty at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf!
— Myrna E (@itsreallymyrna) May 13, 2018
So far, Landau is the only other participant in the incident to be identified. According to NBC’s report on the exchange, there’s another woman unheard on the video yelling at Deady. “These people were attacking essentially a girl that did nothing simply because of what she was wearing,” Landau explains.
While we can take comfort in knowing people like Landau exist, we can’t forget that, while the racist customer may have been silenced, his hate-filled views remained unchanged.
The difference between CRAPBUCKS aka Starbucks and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf isn't only that the coffee at CB&T is better – but that6CB&T doesn't allow or encourage racism from employees or customers. BUY AT COFFEE BEAN & TEA LEAF! https://t.co/PnFINKvuQG
— Will Gotay (@will_gotay) May 16, 2018
H/T: NBC, Twitter