HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. – A woman seen in a video telling a California family to “go back to your home country,” has been identified as a Huntington Beach college professor and counselor, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Tony Kao posted the video to Facebook Thursday after the incident, which he said happened while taking a walk with his wife and young daughter in their Long Beach neighborhood.
The video, posted in two parts, shows Kao confronting a woman the Times identifies as Golden West College professor Tarin Olson. The woman’s face can be seen briefly, but she turns away when she realizes she’s being recorded.
“I want you to tell everybody why you told us to go back to our country,” Kao says as she walks away.
“You need to go back to your home country,” the woman can be heard saying.
“And what does that mean?” Kao asks.
“Have your wife turn your phone off,” the woman replies.
“We’re born and raised in the United States and you told me to go back to our country?” Kao says.
As of Tuesday, the video had been seen more than 500,000 times.
“I feel my perspective will be twisted if discussing the skewed video which cut out part of the incident.[…] If you would like to have a full normal interview about the displacement of European-Americans then I gladly am available to enlighten the public.”
The school called Olson’s words “extremely disappointing,” adding that they “do not reflect the values or mission” of the school.
In a statement posted to Facebook, the school said they are reviewing all internal policies and viable options for next steps. “We do not anticipate the faculty member in question to be on campus this week and because this is a personnel matter, additional details may be limited as further review continues,” school officials wrote.
Kao also took to Facebook to thank people who reached out to support his family, and to post this message of clarification:
First, I wanted to express our sadness of experiencing racism first-hand with our baby who was exposed to this at such a young age in public and broad daylight. Second, we wanted to express our surprise that this type of racism can exist in Long Beach of all places in this age and time and to bring awareness it can happen anywhere. And finally, to encourage those that also face similar experiences to speak up and speak out. We have NO intention of seeking out or besmirching the offender’s personal life or career. It is our hope the offender is aware and apologetic for what she has said to us, but all we can do is hope. Although my post was about something negative, the message we want to convey is POSITIVE and that is to be respectful to one another no matter of what race, creed, or color. Please do not use my post to foster more feeling of anger or hatred because frankly there’s already enough of those feelings in this world. Thank you all again for truly caring for our well-being! Please share this post, thank you!