Gennica Cochran’s Anti-Racist Intervention at Bernardus

We all think about it: If we were bystanders witnessing an act of hate or a crime or something menacing, would we have the courage to intervene, or just let it happen? It’s easy to think we’ll all fall into the former camp, but all too rare that we actually do. Gennica Cochran, a server at Lucia, the restaurant at Bernardus Lodge in Carmel Valley, is one of the rare ones. She was working the night of July 4, 2020, when a white visitor from San Francisco started spewing anti-Asian racist comments at a family eating at a table nearby. Before Michael Lofthouse, a former tech CEO, could escalate things further, Cochran stepped in. She firmly but calmly demanded he leave. When he asked, “Who are these fuckers?” Cochran responded coolly: “These are our valued guests.” And she directed him to leave: “Get out of here! Get out of here! You are not allowed here, ever again!” The whole thing was captured on video and Cochran was rightly hailed as a hero; multiple online fundraisers to honor her raised over $15,000. Michael Lofthouse is not allowed at Lucia, ever again, and we all have a real-life example of what it looks like to be an ally for what is right.