Man who was berated over his MAGA hat speaks out

starbucks-678x381The Starbucks on California Avenue in Palo Alto and a MAGA hat. Street photo from Google.

 

BY ALLISON LEVITSKY
Daily Post Staff Writer

It’s rare to see someone wearing a Make America Great Again hat on the Peninsula. In fact, it’s so unusual that a longtime Palo Alto resident named Victor — who was harassed at a local Starbucks over his MAGA hat — says he’s never seen anyone else wearing one in town.

But Victor, a 74-year-old retired technical writer who frequents the Starbucks at 361 California Ave., wears his red MAGA hat over his yarmulke just about every day that it doesn’t rain.

Mostly people don’t remark on it, though he sometimes gets a thumbs up. Sometimes passersby tell him he’s brave to wear it, to which Victor responds that one “shouldn’t have to have guts” to wear a hat supporting the president.

Victor said there’s an “atmosphere of fear” in Palo Alto around openly identifying oneself as a conservative or a Trump supporter.

“People have always been allowed to wear a (political) button or shirt,” Victor told the Post. “Now to wear a Trump button is considered a provocation.”

On two occasions strangers have accosted him about the hat, but both seemed “unbalanced,” he told the Post yesterday (April 3).

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Then, on Monday (April 1), 46-year-old Rebecca Parker Mankey approached him at Starbucks, asked him whether he was wearing a Trump hat and then turned to other customers and yelled repeatedly that he was a racist. Mankey didn’t return the Post’s requests for comment.

“I thought she was drunk or on drugs or something,” Victor said. “I’m surprised that the Starbucks manager or someone didn’t call the police with this woman raving in the story like that.”

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Thought it was an April Fools’ joke

For a moment, Victor thought Mankey was pulling an “April Fool kind of stunt,” since the confrontation took place on April 1.

It seemed particularly ironic that Mankey called Victor a Nazi, he said, since he is Jewish.

“I would call that just utterly irrational,” Victor said. “Anyone with a high school education should know about the Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan.”

And Mankey wrote on Facebook it was “really heartbreaking” that she was the only person yelling at Victor.

“She was unhappy that a mob didn’t form in Starbucks,” Victor said. “It’s a credit to the people at Starbucks.”

Mankey posted to Facebook what Victor said was an accurate account of the incident. The post was shared widely among conservatives on social media and made its way to Mankey’s employer, Gryphon Stringed Instruments.

Mankey was fired from her accounting job on Tuesday.

Mankey’s post noted that she wanted to find out “his name, where he lived, his wife’s name and where his kids went to school,” seeming to imply an intent to “dox” him, or publish identifying information about him with malicious intent.

In that way, Victor said the confrontation and its aftermath have been “almost like a fable” or parable.

“Here she is screaming, ‘I’ll destroy you,’ and she gets destroyed,” Victor said. “She doxed herself. I didn’t do anything.”

Says incident reflects division in country

Victor said the incident was indicative of an increasingly divisive political culture in the U.S., where families avoid talking politics at the dinner table and college students protest opposing views rather than listening and discussing the issues.

“When I was in college, you wanted to hear speakers of all different kinds,” Victor said. “America has really changed, and everyone whose head is screwed on right should fight this kind of thing.”

Victor particularly objects to progressives identifying themselves as part of the “resistance” to Trump.

“Trump didn’t come into office by a military coup d’etat,” Victor said. “It doesn’t acknowledge that we have what’s called a two-party system in America.”

Is Trump a racist?

Victor also maintains that Trump has never espoused racist ideas or promoted racist policies.

That includes the time in January 2018 that Trump asked why the U.S. was “having all these people from s***hole countries come here,” referring to Haiti and African nations.

“That’s his opinion. He’s allowed to have his opinion,” Victor said. “These are just ways of talking.”

For Victor, the same goes for Trump’s repeated references to some Mexican immigrants as rapists. In June 2015, for example, Trump said that Mexican immigrants were “bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Victor said that Trump meant that if the U.S. lets in “millions of Mexicans without checking them,” some rapists are bound to cross the border.

“If someone says, ‘Yeah, I want to bring back segregation,’ that may be a racist thing,” Victor said. But Trump’s policies and outlandish comments haven’t met that standard, he argues.

But Victor said he’s happy to discuss the issues with anyone who wants to debate them — civilly.

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DOMESTIC TERRORISM SUSPECT CHARGED WITH 5 FELONIES

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11:52 AM PT— During a DOJ press conference, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Sayoc has been charged with 5 federal crimes — interstate transportation of an explosive, illegal mailing of explosives, threats against former Presidents, threatening interstate communication and assaulting current and former federal officers. If convicted, Sayoc faces up to 58 years in prison.

FBI director Chris Wray said, after the FBI’s initial analysis, “They found a latent fingerprint from one of the envelopes sent to Congresswoman Maxine Waters,” adding that Sayoc’s DNA was also linked to multiple packages delivered. “These are not hoax devices,” Wray said.

NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill later said there might be more packages that have yet to be delivered, and encouraged the public to take caution.

10:43 AM PT — Sayoc was arrested in 2002 for threatening to blow up Florida Power & Light utilities company and said, “It would be worse than September 11th” … according to Miami PD records. He also threatened to harm the employee who was on the phone if they cut off his electricity.

He was charged with phone bomb threats, and eventually sentenced to one year probation.

10:35 AM PT — Sayoc was in handcuffs as heavily armed law enforcement officers took him into custody.

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Also, Chippendales tells us Sayoc was working for a knockoff company … not the real Chippendales.

9:05 AM PT — Our law enforcement sources confirm the suspect’s name is Cesar A. Sayoc, a 56-year-old from Aventura, FL … and he has an extensive criminal history.

We found this image of him wearing a MAGA hat from 2016. We know he attended at least one Trump rally that year.

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In 2014, Sayoc was on probation for battery and grand theft, and requested permission to travel due to his job as a road manager for Chippendales, International Gold Productions and Cesar Palace Royale Burlesque Show.

8:45 AM PT — President Trump just addressed the crowd about the arrest of the suspect.

This close-up image of one side of the van shows images with crosshairs over Hillary Clinton, Michael Moore, CNN’s Van Jones … and many more. There are also several positive images of the President and VP Mike Pence.

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Federal authorities have nabbed a suspect for the rash of explosive devices sent this week to President Trump’s political foes … TMZ has confirmed.

The man was arrested Friday morning in Plantation, FL … and law enforcement swarmed around a vehicle believed to belong to the suspect. The van is covered with political stickers … including images of the President.

Cops had been zeroing in on a postal facility in Opa-locka — just south of Plantation — which they believe the suspect used to ship several of the suspicious packages. The most recent device found there was addressed to New Jersey Senator Cory Booker.

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The wave of packages started arriving on Monday with one sent to liberal philanthropist George Soros … and then on Wednesday … packages intended for Bill and Hillary Clinton and the Obamas were intercepted.

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The attempted attacks continued with packages targeting Robert De Niro, Rep. Maxine Waters, Joe Biden. One sent to former CIA Director John Brennan forced the evacuation of Time Warner Center in NYC.

Originally published 8:07 AM PT

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