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Another Chicago Coffee Shop Rant Goes Viral, But This One Has A Twist

ENGLEWOOD — Another viral video showing a woman ranting at a Chicago coffee shop has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times — but there is a twist. 

It was staged.

The nearly 2½-minute video recorded at Kusanya Cafe in Englewood on Jan. 24 captures what appears to be a customer crying and getting hysterical as she talks about the country under President Donald Trump.

"No, it's not going to be OK," she says.

She worries about the future of the African-American barista behind the counter.

"Don’t you think she deserves free access to safe, affordable health care?" she ask others who appear to be waiting in line.

The rant continues as she gets louder and more frantic.

"She has so many dreams," she says. "I can see them in her eyes. I want them all to come true. As a Clinton supporter that's all I care about is other people's dreams."

And she worries about the future of Muslims.

"I need to take a sip [of coffee] for every Muslim who might have to register under this crazy tangerine," she says in the video, which was shot before Trum announced a ban prohibiting residents of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S.

The video had been shared more than 9,300 times as of Wednesday night.

"She really does seem like a sweet lady who just cares about everything, and I hope she's not labeled crazy because she has a heart dude," one person wrote.

"It's guilt because as passionate as her rant is, there are still all these overtones of condescension and an overt lack of understanding. Being a Clinton supporter doesn't make you a good person nor does it mean your intentions are good and pure. And at the end of it all, you still have a white lady telling a black lady what she should be doing. 'I want what you want...' I'm sure all the barista wanted was for that lady to shut up, stop causing a scene at her job, pay, and leave,'" one commenter wrote.

"Liberals," another person wrote.

"When your white guilt boils over and you can't help but throw your problems and concerns into a random black barista. The black girl face is PRICELESS," someone else wrote.

Kusanya Cafe, 825 W. 69th St. [DNAinfo/Andrea V. Watson]

The woman pretending to have an emotional breakdown is Stephanie Douglass, a South Side resident.

She was working with Chicago writer/director/actor Joe Janes, who has taught improv and writing at the Second City Training Center since 1997. He approached her with the idea to do an improv piece.

"He said he had this idea and wanted to shoot something as if it were a Clinton supporter who was losing it," Douglass said.

The inspiration came after videos of Trump supporters going off in stores went viral, she said, including one in which a woman went on a rant at a Michaels store in Lakeview in November.


The video was shot using audience members and others who attended a monthly "storytelling" event Douglass and a friend host at Kusanya every second Saturday of the month.

Douglass said she was surprised by the comments about the video, including those who thought she was white.

Douglass said she isn't white but comes from a blended Middle Eastern, Asian and Eastern European background and doesn't like to label herself as one ethnicity.

The group didn't have a specific goal in mind when they shot the video, but it's good to see the conversation the video has sparked, she said.

Phil Sipka, executive director of the nonprofit Kusanya Cafe organization, wasn't there for the video shoot, but said he appreciated the video.

"I thought it was funny," he said. "I knew the context. It was a parody."

The barista has been working at Kusanya for almost five months and was a good sport about taking part in the video.

She might have had the best line of all in the production. After Douglass poured her heart out, the barista stopped her.

"Can I ask you a question?" she says. "Was it a vanilla or caramel latte?"