Woman loses job after 'appalling' racism caught in TikTok video

·News Reporter
·3-min read

A woman has been filmed in a vile racist rant against an Uber driver on TikTok.

Driver Outhay Chokbengboun, 46, from Charlotte, in the US state of North Carolina, filmed the abuse from a passenger at a petrol station last Saturday and shared video of it on the popular social media app.

It’s not clear why Mr Chokbengboun has pulled over or why he’s being abused but it was reported he was driving three people. When they put in the wrong address he told them to correct it, leading to the woman’s rant.

In the video, a male acquaintance tries to calm the woman and tells her to walk away. He repeatedly apologises to Mr Chokbengboun.

Stella Thomas is filmed at a petrol station in Charlotte, North Carolina.
A woman goes on a racist, anti-Asian rant against Uber driver Outhay Chokbengboun. Source: TikTok/ Outhay Chokbengboun

Mr Chokbengboun claims he was called a “c****” and says he’s going to call the police.

The woman, named Stella, tells the Uber driver to “go f***” himself and to “go back to Asia”.

“This little Asian-American. No I'm not afraid,” she says.

“Please take her away before I call 9/11,” Mr Chokbengboun tells the man.

The male friend manages to move Stella away and continues to apologise to the Uber driver.

“I work all day, and you guys give me the wrong s*** here,” Mr Chokbengboun says.

Stella Thomas is filmed at a petrol station in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Ms Thomas has since been booted from Uber. Source: TikTok/ Outhay Chokbengboun

Woman booted from Uber app

The woman, identified by Queen City Nerve as Stella Thomas, has been suspended from her job at design company AB Ludvig Svensson.

The company told the publication it “strongly” objects to the type of behaviour Ms Thomas exhibited in the video.

She has since resigned.

Uber told WSOC-TV that Ms Stella’s behaviour was “appalling” and it has removed her access to the app.

Anti-Asian hate crimes increase in the US

Anti-Asian hate crimes have been on the rise in the US since the beginning of the Covid pandemic.

A study by California State University’s Center for Study of Hate and Extremism found anti-Asian hate crimes rose 149 per cent from 2019 to 2020. However, the figure could is thought to be much higher.

The study found in New York, for example, the percentage of anti-Asian hate crimes increased 833 per cent.

According to the New York Times, to charge a person with a hate crime in the state, prosecutors need to show the victim was targeted specifically because of race.

Cameron Hunt and his father Calvin Hunt stand outside the 360 W 43rd Street building with signs of support in Midtown Manhattan in New York City.
Two men show support for New York's Asian community in Midtown Manhattan. Source: Getty Images

The publication cited some criticisms of the law including a 23-year-old man from Yemen who stabbed a Chinese man in Manhattan.

The perpetrator of the attack was not charged with a hate crime as prosecutors could not find evidence it was racially motivated. The incident prompted anger from New York’s Asian-American leaders who protested.

Such is the concern over the treatment of Asian people during the pandemic, the United Nations issued a report in August citing a “serious concern over the rising wave of racist and xenophobic attacks and other incidents against Asian-American communities and individuals”.

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