'Everyday hero' Gennica Cochran quickly and forcefully confronted a racist in her restaurant.
via Cosmic Toro / Instagram

There is no playbook for how to deal with someone going on a racist rant in public. But the way server Gennica Cochran handled a bigot demeaning a table of Asian customers is something we can all applaud.

She was working as a server at a Camel Valley restaurant near San Francisco when Michael Lofthouse, CEO of tech firm Solid8, began harassing an Asian family celebrating a birthday.

Lofthouse had been belligerent all night, changing his seat and repeatedly sending back food.

After going on an expletive-laden racist rant at the family for singing "Happy Birthday," Jordan Chan, pulled out his cellphone, began recording Lofthouse, asking him to, "Say that again."



Karen Kicked Out Of Fancy Carmel Valley Restaurant For Being A Racist Dbag To Asian Customer! www.youtube.com

For a few moments Lofthouse was silent, knowing that he was being filmed, but then flipped off the camera, got up from his table and said, "Trump's going to fuck you!"

Cochran then stepped in, confidently shouting, "You need to leave right now. Get out, you are not allowed here, get out now. You do not talk to our guests like that, they are valued guests, you are not allowed here ever again!"

As Lofthouse put his jacket to leave he called the family "Asian pieces of shit."

Cochran pointed her finger directly at Lofthouse and said, "You are not allowed here ever again."

The video is a perfect example of someone having absolutely zero tolerance for racist behavior. She doesn't feel the need to be gentle about her disgust with the grinning, smug Lofthouse.

Nope, she put her foot down, pointed at him and told him his actions will not be tolerated and that he needs to go immediately. Cochran was even a bit surprised with herself after seeing the video.

"To hear the emotion coming out of my voice, to see my mannerisms, it was unbelievable. It was just something that came over me and I just did what needed to be done," she told ABC News. "I did what anybody else should or would do in that situation."

The server says her strength came from the compassion she felt for the family.

"I felt very protective of them," she said. "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."

The incident put her in touch with her mamma bear instincts.

"I'm not a mother, but I felt almost maternal," she said. "Right, like this is my family and I will take care of them and I will do whatever I can to protect these people. To have someone hate you just because of the way that you look, that's beyond me. I don't understand it."

After the incident, Lofthouse apologized for his behavior.

"My behavior in the video is appalling. This was clearly a moment where 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," he added.

Chan isn't buying the apology and blames Donald Trump for inciting his racist tirade. "He's just saving face. I think he really meant what he said and what he did," Chan told The Washington Post.

"The fact that Donald Trump is our president … gives racists a platform and amplifies voices of hate," she wrote. "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."

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump has routinely called the virus the "China Virus" and the "Kung-Flu."

Cochran's behavior in the face of disgusting racism that night is a perfect display of the power of direct action. Her handling of the situation has won her tens of thousands of dollars in donations.

A GoFundMe campaign entitled, "A Bg Tip for an everyday Hero" started by Jeremy Stephens, a complete stranger inspired by her actions, has already earned her $41,000 in "tips."

The server and yoga instructor believes that her actions on that day instilled an attitude she will hold to forever. "It's not something that I will condone ever again, being silent," she said.

After seeing how she handled the situation, there's no doubt she's inspired countless others to take the same stance.

Courtesy of Tiffany Obi
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With the COVID-19 pandemic upending her community, Brooklyn-based singer Tiffany Obi turned to healing those who had lost loved ones the way she knew best — through music.

Obi quickly ran into one glaring issue as she began performing solo at memorials. Many of the venues where she performed didn't have the proper equipment for her to play a recorded song to accompany her singing. Often called on to perform the day before a service, Obi couldn't find any pianists to play with her on such short notice.

As she looked at the empty piano at a recent performance, Obi's had a revelation.

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Using the coding skills she gained at Pursuit — a rigorous, four-year intensive program that trains adults from underserved backgrounds and no prior experience in programming — Obi turned this market gap into the very first app she created.

She worked alongside four other Pursuit Fellows to build In Tune, an app that connects musicians in close proximity to foster opportunities for collaboration.

When she learned about and applied to Pursuit, Obi was eager to be a part of Pursuit's vision to empower their Fellows to build successful careers in tech. Pursuit's Fellows are representative of the community they want to build: 50% women, 70% Black or Latinx, 40% immigrant, 60% non-Bachelor's degree holders, and more than 50% are public assistance recipients.

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I remember being baffled so many people were so convinced of Clinton's evil schemes that they genuinely saw the documented serial liar and cheat that she was running against as the lesser of two evils. I mean, sure, if you believe that a career politician had spent years being paid off by powerful people and was trafficking children to suck their blood in her free time, just about anything looks like a better alternative.

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It's been four years and Hillary Clinton has been found guilty of exactly none of the criminal activity she was being accused of. Trump spent every campaign rally leading chants of "Lock her up!" under the guise that she was going to go to jail after the election. He's been president for nearly four years now, and where is Clinton? Not in jail—she's comfy at home, occasionally trolling Trump on Twitter and doing podcasts.

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Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

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When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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So when you mix jokes with racism, the result is that racism becomes something light and fun, as opposed to the horrendous bane that it really is.

The harm done with racist humor isn't just the emotional hurt they can cause. When a group of white people shares jokes at the expense of a marginalized or oppressed racial group, the power of white supremacy is actually reinforced—not only because of the "punching down" nature of such humor, but because of the group dynamics that work in favor of maintaining the status quo.

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With the election quickly approaching, the importance of voting and sending in your ballot on time is essential. But there is another way you can vote everyday - by being intentional with each dollar you spend. Support companies and products that uphold your values and help create a more sustainable world. An easy move is swapping out everyday items that are often thrown away after one use or improperly disposed of.

Package Free Shop has created products to help fight climate change one cotton swab at a time! Founded by Lauren Singer, otherwise known as, "the girl with the jar" (she initially went viral for fitting 8 years of all of the waste she's created in one mason jar). Package Free is an ecosystem of brands on a mission to make the world less trashy.

Here are eight of our favorite everyday swaps:

1. Friendsheep Dryer Balls - Replace traditional dryer sheets with these dryer balls that are made without chemicals and conserve energy. Not only do these also reduce dry time by 20% but they're so cute and come in an assortment of patterns!

Package Free Shop

2. Last Swab - Replacement for single use plastic cotton swabs. Nearly 25.5 billion single use swabs are produced and discarded every year in the U.S., but not this one. It lasts up to 1,000 uses as it's able to be cleaned with soap and water. It also comes in a biodegradable, corn based case so you can use it on the go!

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