Jordan Chan was out with her family in Carmel Valley, California, celebrating an aunt’s birthday over dinner when a man seated alone at another table started harassing them with racist remarks. “Fk you, Asians,” he told them. “Go back to whatever fking Asian country you’re from. You don’t belong here.”
In a video posted by Jordan on Instagram, you see the man flashing his middle finger and telling her family, “Fck you. Trump is gonna fk you. You fkers need to leave. You fking Asian piece of sht.”
The Orosa Chan family were minding their own business, singing the birthday song for Jordan’s Tita Mari at Lucia Restaurant & Bar at the Bernardus Lodge and Spa, when the man started yelling at them.
A waitress came to their defense, telling the man to leave. “Get out. Get out of here. You are not allowed here. You do not talk to our guests like that. They are valued guests. You are not allowed here ever again.”
Jordan wrote, “It is no coincidence that this man has the audacity to showcase such blatant racism on the 4th of July. White supremacy has a notorious habit of masquerading as patriotism! The fact that Donald Trump is our president gives racists a platform and amplifies voices of hate. The surfacing of racists is so prevalent right now, even in such an ethnically/culturally diverse and liberal state like California, because Trump himself uses his position to incite racial tension and to promote aggression towards POC, foreigners, and immigrants. We need change!”
The video, which was also posted by Jordan’s friend on Twitter, went viral, with celebrities including Kelly Clarkson, Soju and Josh Gad sharing it on social media. Netizens quickly got to work to uncover the man’s identity. They soon found him: Michael Lofthouse, CEO of Solid8, a small (like, really small) tech company.
Twitter suspended Lofthouse’s account and has since disabled his other social media accounts.
He issued this apology through the media:
“My behavior in the video is appalling. This was clearly a moment where I lost control and made incredibly hurtful and divisive comments. I would like to deeply apologize to the Chan family. I can only imagine the stress and pain they feel. I was taught to respect people of all races, and I will take the time to reflect on my actions and work to better understand the inequality that so many of those around me face every day.”
In an interview with KGO-TV, the family rejected the apology, saying Lofthouse was just “saving face.”
Lofthouse, who used Trump’s name in his attack against the Orosa Chan family, is actually an immigrant. He moved to the United States from the UK in 2010.
Since his move to the US, Lofthouse has had trouble with the law. He’s had DUIs and his charges include domestic battery, destruction of property and telephone/power line damage.
Lofthouse’s mother Linda Lofthouse has spoken up, telling the Daily Mail that they are “devastated and appalled by his behavior.” She called her son “a loose cannon” and said that Lofthouse has addiction issues. She shared that her other son Richard is married to a woman of Asian descent. Richard has reached out to the Chan family to apologize on behalf of their family.
Meanwhile, waitress Gennica Cochran has gotten a lot of love for standing up for the Orosa Chan family.
People have been tipping her via Venmo and GoFundMe. Cochran, who is a yoga teacher, said in an interview with ABC7 that she had been watching Lofthouse all night. He had sent back food multiple times, she said, and was rude to her manager.
When he started verbally assaulting the Orosa Chan family, she stepped in. “I felt very protective of them… You don’t come in here and say those kinds of things to people. People feel so raw coming out of the quarantine, most of these people, it’s the first time they’ve been out to dinner and then you have someone attacking you. No, no. I don’t have time for this. To have someone hate you just because of the way that you look, that’s beyond me. I don’t understand that. It’s not something I will condone ever again, being silent… If you see something, do something. Stand up against racism and hate.”
To the family, she said, “I love you, I’ve got your back always, I will always speak up for you and please come back to Bernardus, I’d love to buy you a drink.”