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The Racist Incident in a Viral TikTok ‘Ruined’ In-N-Out for Bay Area College Student

Written by Olivia Cruz MayedaPublished Dec. 28, 2022 • 7:00pm
Screenshots from a video posted to TikTok by user @arinekim that captured her and a friend being harassed with racist and homophobic slurs at a Bay Area In-N-Out

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Like many Californians, Berkeley-born college student Arine Kim’s go-to spot for a late-night bite is In-N-Out Burger. She even has an elaborate, personalized order that includes extra toasted buns, fried mustard and chopped chiles. 

On Christmas Eve, Kim and her friend Elliot Ha were recording a TikTok of them trying secret menu items at a San Ramon In-N-Out when a white man approached their table. In their video, which now has over 16 million views, he can be heard berating them with racist and homophobic comments.

“You’re Kim Jong Un’s boyfriend, huh?” he asked, after learning Ha is Korean.  

“Normally, I could spit in your face—that’s some Filipino shit,” continued the man, later identified by the San Ramon Police Department as 40-year-old Denver resident Jordan Douglas Krah. “You want some Filipino shit?”

On Monday, San Ramon police officers arrested Krah for violating California’s hate crimes law

Lt. Tami Williams told The Standard the department will meet with the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office this week to request that charges be filed. 

As a kid, Kim hated being Korean after people yelled racial slurs at her on the streets of San Francisco and at her elementary school.

“I thought, ‘If I wasn’t Korean, I wouldn’t hear these kinds of things,’” she explained.

Kim is no stranger to anti-Asian racism in the Bay Area, although she’d never feared for her life until now. 

While she was recording that night at In-N-Out, Krah said he would be waiting for them, Kim told The Standard. 

As he watched them from outside the restaurant, Kim realized that In-N-Out would close soon, and they’d have to go. 

“We could actually die right now,” she thought to herself.

Krah eventually left, but four days later, Kim remained shaken. She’s left her parents’ house only once, to file the police report with Ha and stop by In-N-Out for a redemptive meal. Now, she says she won’t be going back to one anytime soon.

“This happens to people of color everywhere, all the time, and people don’t believe them,” she said. “I just happened to be recording.”

Kim is glad Krah is being held accountable, but says he hopes he gets the help he needs.

“I want to understand where he’s coming from,” she said. “Like, what drives him to say these kinds of things to people that are just chilling in In-N-Out?”

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