A white woman now dubbed “Bagel Karen” spewed a racist rant at a Manhattan bakery employee on Sunday (March 21) after he asked her to wear a mask. The woman, who New York Daily News identified as 38-year-old Stephanie Denaro, called the Black employee a “bitch ass n***er” in a now-viral video.
In the clip, Denaro is seen at the counter of Davidovich Bakery at Essex Market with her children. The woman is not wearing a mask and, after a security guard intervenes, continues to argue with the staff about why she should not have to wear one.
“She said she has medical problems. You don’t have to serve her if you don’t want to,” the security guard says to the employee. In an Instagram post, Denaro claimed to suffer from asthma and bronchitis and said she should be exempt from the mask-wearing policy.
The employee repeats that he won't serve the woman without her mask on and the security guard asks her to leave.
“Why? ‘Cause he’s a bitch ass n***er?” Denaro says, resulting in a shocked reaction from the crowd.
“Oooh. That’s what he is. A bitch ass n-word. I just said it. You heard it,” she continues.
The security guard then says she is going to call the police.
In the aftermath of the incident, Denaro took to what seems to be her new Instagram account to defend her actions.
“I STAND BY WHAT I SAID!!!!” she captioned a photo of the American flag. “You mistreat me with my children. You infringed on my freedoms. I have freedom of speech. I can SAY WHAT I FEEL. Leave me alone and stop attacking me for saying my opinion. Do you know what the 1st amendment is? FREEDOM OF SPEECH. I don’t see you all getting mad about the others that uses [sic] that word? Go focus on more important problems like Chicago’s murder rate... Stop telling me how to live my life.”
Elsewhere on her Instagram and during an interview with NY Daily News, Denaro also expressed her support for Donald Trump and claimed COVID-19 is a “hoax.” She also said her children’s father is Black and claimed she “can’t be racist if I have Black children.”
Later, she posted her alleged ancestry results and claimed to be a “young Black woman.”
“All of you hating on me for no reason! News flash!!!! I AM BLACK!!!!!” she wrote. “My skin color does not look dark but my ancestry results came back as me being black! So do not be mad at me no more. Leave me alone!!! As a young black woman I love all of you!!”
Speaking with NY Daily News, Denaro said “it’s actually great” that the video of her verbally accosting the Bakery employee has gone viral.
“They’re forcing people in New York City to wear masks. It’s political theater,” she said. “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.”
Denaro also claimed to be a New York City public school teacher, but Daily News writes this has yet to be confirmed by the state’s Department of Education.
See the initial video and her subsequent posts below.