LOWER EAST SIDE, Manhattan — A maskless woman caught on video calling a Black Manhattan bakery employee a racial slur for refusing her service over the store’s mask policy defended her actions Wednesday because she’s “from a generation that grew up on hip-hop and rap music.”
Stephanie Denaro came under fire over video of her Sunday encounter at Davidovich Bakery on the Lower East Side. Denaro, an avid Trump supporter and 38-year-old mother to biracial children, said no one would make a big deal of her use of the N-word if she were Black.
The now-viral video shows Vic, a Black employee on the receiving end of the racist tirade from a white customer.
“She said, ‘Are you not going to serve me because you’re a b—-h a– N-word,’” Vic said. (Vic did not want to share his last name with PIX11 News.)
He kept his cool throughout the incident, though. That was clear to his superiors at work.
“The lesson of this is, there’s two different types of very different behavior that you’re watching: one of them is a role model, one of them is how you should avoid,” said Marc Fintz, vice president of the bakery. “It’s very clear who the role model is.”
Vic says he still wonders why Denaro thought it was ok to say those things – especially in front of her children.
She defended herself to PIX11 News Wednesday night, saying she did not say the racial slur, but rather a form of the word that Denaro said “people of all different ethnicities and races use.”
“Is it ok if their father [uses that word] when he’s talking about people he knows?” she asked. Their father is Black, she said. “It doesn’t matter that the children are hearing it.”
Denaro said she was put in a bad position because of the mask policy, even though she was aware of it before she went inside.
“I’ve been to that location many times, and sometimes, the security guards have argued with me about masks,” she said.
She doubled-down though on her choice not to wear one in the store.
“If someone is trying to tell me what to do as an American, I have the right to defend myself,” Denaro said.
While Denaro spent most of the interview defending her use of the word, saying “it’s not a racist slur that it’s portrayed to be,” and that “if a Black woman was using that same phrase that I used, nobody would be making a big deal about it,” she did say she would have handled the situation differently if given the chance.
“I wouldn’t say it publicly in the way that I did,” Denaro said.