A white woman unleashed racist insults toward a Black bakery employee in Manhattan who refused to serve her because she was not wearing a mask on Sunday.
Video taken by a bystander shows the woman, who has her hands on a stroller with a toddler in it, and appears to have other children in her custody, trying to order bagels at the Davidovich Bakery at the Essex Market on the Lower East Side. At one point, when a security guard tells the woman that she won’t be served because she’s not wearing a mask, the unidentified woman sneers, “Why? ‘Cause he’s a bitch-ass n—-r, is that why?”
Other customers are heard reacting, and then she adds, “Ooh, that’s what he is,” and insists, “I can call him whatever I want.”
The bakery worker told the Daily News he told her, “Ma’am, you may have forgotten to wear your mask. You must wear a mask,” and when she refused, he said, “I replied, ‘With those answers I will not be able to serve you.’ … Then she said, ‘You are a bitch-ass n-word.’ … She said it a lot.”
“We want to commend our employee on his handling of the sad incident which occurred at the Essex Market,” Davidovich Bakery said in a statement. “As is true with any family, an attack on one member of the family is an attack on all of us. Davidovich is a family-run business and a family. We stand with all our employees for handling this situation of hate and bigotry with professionalism and grace. We intend to make it clear that this customer or anyone who uses racism and any insensitive language, simply is not welcome in our stores.”
While an Essex Market security guard says on the video that she will call the police because the woman is being uncooperative, the NY Post reports that police did not respond to any calls there; the market said that the woman left before police arrived.
An onlooker heard on the video says the woman has claimed to have a medical reason for not wearing the mask. The woman identified herself as Stephanie Denaro, a Trump supporter who does not believe that the coronavirus is real, in an interview with the Daily News.
“I said, ‘You’re a bitch-ass n—-r,’ a term they use,” she told the News. “All of my children have a Black father. That’s a term I’ve heard them use all my life.”
She also told the paper that the attention the video is getting was “actually great, because they’re forcing people in New York City to wear masks. It’s political theater. I don’t believe in COVID-19. It’s a hoax to convince people to use absentee ballots to steal the election from Donald Trump.”
An Instagram account for Stephanie Denaro shows many images of a white woman, maskless, wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat in different areas in the city. The account also includes videos of the woman telling two police officers she did not spit on customers at a store while also saying she has a disability; of people getting off a NYC Transit bus because she is not wearing a mask; and an Amtrak conductor arguing with her and others about wearing masks on the train.