On August 23, Stockton resident Jeremy Thornton posted about the Bolivar encounter on Facebook, accompanied by a roughly 1 1/2-minute video.
He explained that the unidentified woman, now dubbed “Taco Bell Karen,” was upset because she believed she was “shorted some tacos,” writing:
Our crazy experience at Taco Bell in Bolivar, MO. I was very impressed how the young employees handled themselves! This lady was obviously on something! Warning! Very foul and offensive language!
The Bolivar police department also did a fine job shortly after. All because she thought that she was shorted some tacos. (She wasn’t)
In the video, the woman is seen repeatedly harassing restaurant staff while demanding more food. At one point, she hurls a racial slur and other insults toward one of the employees behind the cash register, the footage shows.
She also invokes the “Manson” family in another threat.
“Taco Bell Karen” eventually leaves on her own accord — but not before threatening to bring back her husband, the video captures.
Thornton, whose post has amassed over 700 comments, said he “was very impressed” with how the “young employees handled themselves,” according to his post.
Taco Bell told The New York Post that the chain “does not tolerate any kind of harassment or discrimination.”
“The franchisee who operates this location confirmed that no one was injured, and we are proud of the team members present who handled the difficult situation with such patience,” the company said to the newspaper.
Here’s what you need to know about “Taco Bell Karen”:
The Woman Refers to Herself as the Daughter of Charles Manson
Throughout the video, “Taco Bell Karen” repeatedly threatens an employee, shouting, “I will f*** you up” and “give me my goddamn food, you little p****.”
She then calls the worker a racial slur in her fit of rage, exclaiming, “You ain’t good enough for a real job, you little punk.”
Staff members continue to remain calm and attempt to de-escalate the situation, but the woman becomes more and more hostile.
On her way out of the restaurant, after pushing and throwing numerous items off the checkout counter, the woman claims she is “Charlie f****** Manson’s daughter.”
Many Have Taken to Social Media to Condemn the Woman’s Behavior
Racist woman in Missouri calls Taco Bell employees the n-word & has a meltdown pic.twitter.com/u1uPshh4zJ
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) September 7, 2020
As footage of the Taco Bell encounter began to circulate online, many took to Twitter and other platforms to share their opinions on the woman’s behavior.
On September 7, the clip was reposted by the popular Twitter account Fifty Shades of Whey with the caption: “Racist woman in Missouri calls Taco Bell employees the n-word & has a meltdown.”
The tweet has garnered over half a million views and invoked a wide range of reactions.
While some users criticized the woman’s racist rant, others questioned why bystanders didn’t do more to intervene.
Below are some of the responses:
I personally would do #3. I can’t watch anyone being bullied. Don’t care how big or “high” they maybe.
— F A R A H | CA (@TurkCaliBougie) September 7, 2020
So deeply scary. I am relieved this woman taped it because that is some serious threatening by this psychopath. Can you imagine how frightened the staff must have been? GOD I hope she gets arrested for this.
— heyraeseattle Ⓥ (@HeyRaeSeattle) September 7, 2020
If I were a customer I would have picked up that tray she threw and beat her with it. It would have been a melee. I don't have time for that shit.
— Shane A Swank (@swank_shane) September 7, 2020
This video has everything: violence, threats to life and limb, racial slurs, mild homophobia… what it doesn’t have: her teeth. pic.twitter.com/poagznvaPU
— Aron (@AronMarks2) September 7, 2020
Did anyone call the cops. Get her license plate? There' video! Those poor kids having to put up w/ppl like her.
— 🏜Chrisby🌊🐘🇺🇸😷🆘️ (@AstiJesse) September 8, 2020
The woman was quickly dubbed “Taco Bell Karen,” joining the growing list of pandemic-era Karens who will go down in infamy.
The term “Karen” emerged as an insult for “white women being immortalized on the viral videos in which they are unwittingly starring,” Newsone wrote. In a June article exploring the term “Karen” for The Conversation, Robin Queen, a professor at the University of Michigan, wrote that “Karen” is “the label for an officious, entitled, white woman.”