A woman named “California Karen” is being ripped off online after she racially abused a DJ who filmed her abusive staff at a Santa Barbara restaurant.
A now-viral video of her bizarre remarks about a man she declared “one in four black people in Santa Barbara” — originally uploaded by the recipient of her tirade — has racked up more than 10,000 views and international headlines as of Tuesday afternoon.
“Sooo that just happened @sb_boathouse Santa Barbra needs to do better. I almost lost my s–t,” wrote Ian Soleimani, a 39-year-old African American DJ who works in the clip’s caption.
In footage of the incident, which took place at the Hendry’s Beach Boathouse, the unnamed woman is first seen attacking a restaurant manager over an unpaid check.
The altercation was sparked after the unidentified woman allegedly tried to pay her bill with PayPal after her credit card was declined, according to a thread on Reddit, where the video first went viral. The restaurant then confiscated her ID and demanded that she come back the next day with a viable payment method, causing the customer to run haywire.
“But it was paid, ma’am, and you refused the payment,” the woman in sunglasses stuttered in the clip. Things heated up after she noticed Soleimani filming her and bombarded him with racist comments.
“Excuse me. Hello, one in four black people in Santa Barbara,” the diner fumed. “Oh, now I’m a racist, horrible person, sorry just because you’re an obnoxious guy. It’s not yours, of course.” It’s your fault you’re black. Just disgusting.”
The fourth wall breaker continued, “I’m against obnoxious people, to be clear, not black people.”
Elsewhere in the clip, she asked Soleimani what he was doing, to which he replied, “Making a video of it. This is absolutely ridiculous.”
“Are you going to send it to the FBI after that?” the woman sneered in response. “I could get psychotic pretty soon. I’ll probably, I’ll probably get very violent pretty soon, I’m glad you’re here.”
Soleimani, impressively keeping his cool, responded, “Cool, go ahead.”
At that moment, the outspoken girl fired off another offensive salvo: “Don’t you have any fish to catch, African American?” she raged. “Wouldn’t you like to get on the boat and do some African American fishing?”
After chatting back and forth with the manager for a while, the disaffected patron continued her attack on the cameraman, saying, “And this man who thinks he’s Mother Teresa of the Santa Barbarans everywhere who want a pretentious breakfast is now.” he here.
“Thank God he’s playing his role with the three black guys in Santa Barbara — apparently for Oprah,” she added. (By the way: Oprah Winfrey is a resident of Santa Barbara’s upscale neighborhood of Montecito, along with A-listers like expat royals Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, and comedian Larry David.)
The clip ended with the manager returning the woman’s ID and preventing her from ever returning to the restaurant.
Needless to say, the woman’s racially charged meltdown sparked a backlash on Instagram with one commenter writing, “This is so upsetting on so many levels! Wtf. You handled this so well Ian!” Meanwhile, one commenter on Reddit wrote, “WTF is African American fishing.”
“Crazy but unfortunately not surprising,” lamented one Instagram commenter, while another advised Soleimani to “find that Karen and send this video to her place of work.” Interestingly, while the dork’s identity has yet to be confirmed, one Reddit user claimed that the restaurant manager’s husband told them that her real name was Karen and that she was from Florida.
Many were shocked that such a racist incident could happen in progressive Santa Barbara. “What the hell?! NOT SB…no way,” said one stunned poster.
However, Soleimani claims this is not an isolated case.
“People have been thrown out of the boathouse a couple of times [racially] unfortunately motivated comments about myself,” the DJ told the Daily Dot. “I’ve lived here since 2003 and it happens all the time. This person just got caught. People think it doesn’t exist, let alone here, and it certainly does.”
In a similar racist incident in the local area, an angry New York City man was caught on camera launching a racist tirade against an Asian NYPD officer at protests in Washington Square Park in 2021.