Why TikTok Lost It Over A Mexican Restaurant Karen

From the March Jack in the Box drive-thru incident in California to the IHOP straw scandal in Orlando (also in March), there's no shortage of so-called "Karens" making fools of themselves in public. A similar episode occurred in 2019 at the former Tampico Mexican Restaurant in Parkersburg, West Virginia, involving a woman who became upset after hearing the manager speaking to another employee in Spanish, per NBC News.

The altercation was filmed by hostess Miranda Castillo and shared on social media, igniting a hailstorm of criticism toward the "racist Karen," per the New York Post. For more than two minutes, she spewed one racist remark after another toward the manager, Sergio Budar, a U.S. citizen from Mexico. At one point, she told him to get out of her "f***ing country," drawing a "wow" response from bystanders.

The video was shared on TikTok and has generated more than 21,000 comments since it was posted in January.

The woman told the manager to speak English

Moments before the recording begins, the so-called Karen apparently heard manager Sergio Budar conversing with his business partner in Spanish, according to Virginia's WHSV. She then started speaking to them angrily, prompting Budar to approach her table to ask if there was a problem. That's when the hostess began filming.

When the clip begins, the customer tells Budar, "When you're in America, you need to speak English," even as he informs her that he is a U.S. citizen. What the woman apparently fails to realize is that while English is the most commonly spoken language in the U.S., according to the United States Census Bureau, it is not the official language of the country. The U.S. doesn't have an official language. At one point, a chef at the restaurant steps in to intervene and defend his manager, per NBC News. Eventually, Budar asks the customer to leave, which she does — while insisting she's not racist. 

A quick scan of the 21,000 TikTok comments doesn't show many (if any) in the customer's favor. "She better be speaking Japanese when she's in Japan," one person wrote. "Kudos to the man who is fighting for his boss," another commented.