The Air Force is investigating Ramstein, Germany-based Senior Airman Elizabeth Baker after she called someone of Asian descent a racial slur on the Facebook group Yokota Talk.
In a post on Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page, Baker replied condescendingly to someone who only wanted advice from Americans living in Japan.
“We don’t understand why you’re here,” she wrote in the comment section.
Things began to escalate when a fellow netizen tried to give the person actual advice.
However, Baker continued to call Elizabeth Faraone, the spouse of a German-Japanese-American Air Force member, “ching chong” three times.
Baker then tried to make a half-assed apology in a message to Faraone, who did not accept it.
She even tried to apologize in the comment section.
The incident caught the attention of Lt. Col. Joel Harper, a public affairs chief for the Ramstein 86th Airlift Wing, calling the heated exchange in the Facebook group “troubling,” according to Stars and Stripes.
“We will take appropriate action after reviewing the details of what happened. There is no place in our Air Force for this — we are on it,” he wrote in a post to the group.
Faraone said in an email to Stars and Stripes that she was not bothered by the incident at first, but she began to worry the more she read more into it.
“However, I read deeper into the context of the message itself and it got me very concerned, almost frightened, that there are active duty service members stationed in Japan that show racial prejudice against local nationals,” she said.
Baker also made a public post on the Yokota Talk group page where she, once again, apologized for her behavior.
In another private conversation, she blamed alcohol for what she did.
“At the time that I used those slurs against you I was in no shape to be on social media,” Baker wrote, according to Air Force Times. “I was intoxicated and I had no grasp on how ignorant and racist what I said was. I thought I was just being rude.”
Capt. Nate Roesler, public affairs chief for Yokota’s 374th Airlift Wing, said that Baker worked there until mid-2017.
“The 374th Airlift Wing does not condone acts or words of a discriminatory nature,” he told Stars and Stripes. “That type of behavior is clearly wrong and detracts from our ability to accomplish our mission.”