The founder of a new San Francisco startup went viral after making racist remarks to an Asian family at a Carmel Valley restaurant.
The man, identified by social media users as Solid8 founder Michael Lofthouse, yelled insults at the family and told them to “go back to whatever [expletive] Asian country where you are from.
“Trump is going to screw you over,” he said.
The video was taken by Jordan Chan, who was dining with his family at Bernardus Lodge and Spa’s Lucia restaurant.
“We were celebrating my aunt’s birthday, literally just singing happy birthday and taking photos of her, when this white supremacist starts yelling nasty racist comments at us,” she wrote on Instagram.
In the video, a Lucia employee told Lofthouse that he needed to leave: “You don’t talk to our guests like that,” he said.
The video went viral on social media after Chan’s friend posted it on Twitter. It was retweeted by country music singer Kelly Clarkson, who thanked the employee “for talking and throwing this crap out.”
Social media users quickly identified the diner as Michael Lofthouse, who commented on Chan’s Instagram post and then deleted it. Some are calling for a boycott of their cloud services company Solid8.
Lofthouse told ABC7 News in a statement that his “behavior on the video is terrible.”
“This was clearly a time when I lost control and made incredibly hurtful and divisive comments,” Lofthouse said. “I would like to deeply apologize to the Chan family. I can only imagine the stress and pain they feel. They taught me 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 many of those around me face every day. “
Raymond Orosa, Chan’s uncle, told the news station that Lofthouse was “just saving face.”
“I think he really meant what he said and what he did,” said Orosa. “I don’t believe her words because her actions speak louder than the words she says.”
Lofthouse and Solid8 did not respond to this news organization’s request for comment, and Lofthouse did not respond to ABC7’s question about their role in Solid8.
Lofthouse’s company is based in the Bay Area. Meanwhile, a British company with an almost identical name, Solid8 Consulting Ltd., has been receiving hate mails from people who believe Lofthouse is the CEO of that company.
“It appears that my company, Solid8 Consulting Ltd, is being incorrectly targeted for racism and hatred,” says owner Emma Jones in a statement on the company’s website, adding: “We would never tolerate this type of behavior.”
In her Instagram post, Chan also urged people to vote this November, connecting what happened to her and her family with a broader wave of racist and anti-Asian sentiment that emerged amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In California alone, more than 800 anti-American hate incidents have been reported in the past few months.
“The appearance 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 promote aggression against POCs, foreigners, and immigrants “Chan wrote. “We need a change!”