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A Starbucks coffee shop in a file image.
A woman reported on her Facebook account that a Latino barista did not want to serve her at a Starbucks coffee shop in San Diego, California, because he did not want to put on a mask despite the fact that in that county its use is mandatory to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Now, the woman faces a hail of criticism for her comment and the employee has received thousands of dollars in tips.
When Lenin Gutiérrez refused to see her, Amber Lynn Gilles took a photo of her and posted a message against the barista on her Facebook account, and even threatened that she would call the police in the future.
Meet lenen from Starbucks who refused to serve me cause I’m not wearing a mask. Next time I will wait for cops and bring a medical exemption.
Posted by Amber Lynn Gilles on Monday, June 22, 2020
“Meet Lenin from Starbucks, who refused to serve me because I’m not wearing a mask. Next time I will wait for the police and bring a medical exemption with me for not using the mask. ”
The post turned against Gilles.
In a few hours it accumulated more than 100,000 negative comments and was shared almost 50,000 times on that social network. Users condemned Gillles, who they nicknamed as ‘Karen’, a nickname generally used to describe an aggressive and impertinent white woman.
A Facebook user wrote: « There is no reason to publicly embarrass a young man who is trying to work his shift like any other day. » Another commented, « I don’t blame the young man behind the counter. They need to follow the rules that are being instructed. »
The debate became even more heated when Gilles replied that « Masks are stupid and so are the people who wear them ».
As the reactions escalated on the social network, many asked how they could tip the barista. It was then that Matt Cowan, a person who described himself as the employee’s acquaintance, decided to open a fund on the GoFundMe website on behalf of Gutiérrez, who until this Monday has raised more than $ 96,600.
« I just wanted to thank you for all the love and support and what everyone is doing is an honor to see all of this happen, but I just wanted to remind everyone to be kind to each other, to love each other and to always remember to wear a mask. » thanked the employee in a video posted on GoFundMe.
In another recording on Facebook, he added that she planned to use the money to pursue her dream of teaching dance to young people, hoping that art would change their lives in the same way that it changed theirs.
He also gave his version of the incident with Gilles: « I was helping customers in, and this lady showed up, she had no mask. I asked ‘Do you have a mask?’ And she said, ‘No, I don’t need one.’ I was going to show her the document that we provide to clients, specifying that masks are mandatory, but before she could, she rejected it: ‘No, I don’t need one.’ , and began to curse.
He added that Gilles called the other customers « sheep » before leaving, but soon after returned to take a photo of him, saying he was going to report him to the company and continued to curse.
I’ve received numerous messages asking for my side of the story. Since this seems to be the most popular thread I decided to post my personal experience here. Thank you all for the love and support.
Posted by Lenin Gutierrez on Wednesday, June 24, 2020
San Diego County requires people to wear face masks in public places.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention « recommend using cloth face covers in public places where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain » because « the virus can spread among people who interact very closely, for example, by talking, cough or sneeze, even if those people have no symptoms. «
But Gilles, who has three children and identifies with the movement against vaccines, He assures that he does not believe that the masks are effective, as reported by the station of the NBC network in San Diego. « It starts with coffee, but it ends with digital certificates and forced vaccinations, » the woman said.
Gilles added that he has been receiving threats since he posted the message, though he has not responded to NBC News’ request for comment on Friday.
Woman Who Shamed Starbucks Barista for Refusing to Serve Her Without Face Mask Speaks Out as Barista’s GoFundMe Grows https://t.co/DwvtJiwAsU
– Artie Ojeda (@ArtieNBCSD) June 26, 2020
Cowan, who started the GoFundMe that has gone viral, explained to NBC News that he launched the page so that his friends could donate to Gutiérrez, whom he found through Facebook. The initial goal was to raise $ 1,000, a figure that he believed was achievable, and he commented that when a single person donated $ 100, he was « delighted ».
« Since I started GoFundMe, Lenin and I have talked every day, » says Cowan, « we have talked by video about everything that is happening. He is really one of the most humble people I have ever met and he is very kind and loving. »
With information from NBC News and The Washington Post