On Saturday, Michael Lofthouse, CEO of the San Francisco-based cloud computing firm Solid8, launched a racist, threatening rant against an Asian family sitting near him at a restaurant.
What set him off was as innocuous as his comments were vile: The Washington Post reports that Lofthouse became enraged after the family sang “Happy Birthday” to their daughter. Video footage of the scene — be warned that it’s full of racist language — shows Lofthouse cursing at the family until a server from the restaurant kicks him out.
During his outburst, Lofthouse invoked President Trump’s name. According to the family who experienced Lofthouse’s wrath, that’s a sign that Trump’s repeated racist comments and anti-immigrant stance is emboldening racists to act out.
“The surfacing of racists is so prevalent right now,” Jordan Chan, a member of the family who filmed the scene, wrote in an Instagram post, “even in such an ethnically/culturally diverse and liberal state like California, because Trump HIMSELF uses his position to incite racial tension.”
Lofthouse has since issued an apology to San Francisco’s KGO-TV, saying he “was taught to respect people of all races, and [he] will reflect on [his] actions and work to better understand the inequality that so many of those around [him] face every day.”
But Lofthouse’s victims aren’t buying it.
“He’s just saving face. I think he really meant what he said and what he did,” Raymond Orosa, another of the family members, told KGO-TV. “I don’t believe his words because his actions speak louder than the words he’s saying.”
READ MORE: Tech CEO apologizes for racist tirade against Asian American family caught on video [The Washington Post]
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