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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GAY COUPLE?? The Black Men KICKED OUT OF STARBUCKS . . . Spotted Wearing MATCHING OUTFITS!!

Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson are national heroes – after being wrongfully arrested inside a Philadelphia Starbucks. The two were accused of trespassing while waiting on a business meeting that they had hoped would change their lives. The full charges — trespassing and creating a disturbance — were dropped that night.

Nelson told the Associated Press that he feared for his life. “Anytime I’m encountered by cops, I can honestly say it’s a thought that runs through my mind,” Nelson said. “You never know what’s going to happen.”

MTO News obtained pics showing the two men leaving ‘Good Morning America’ after their interview about being arrested at Starbuck in downtown Philadelphia last week.

And we were surprised by the outfits that the two men chose. Both men wore the same pants and the same sneakers.

The odd choice of outfits immediately has people suggesting that the two men are more than just “business partners” – as they are being described.

Some people on social media are wondering if the two men are actually a gay couple.

Whatever their sexuality, what happened to them was WRONG, and inexcusable.

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Police Commissioner Defends Controversial Arrest of 2 Black Men at a Philadelphia Starbucks in Viral Video!

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Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross is defending the actions of officers seen in a viral video arresting two men at a Starbucks.

The video, which has racked up millions of views since it was posted to Twitter on Thursday, shows Philadelphia police officers arresting two African-American men inside a Starbucks location.

Melissa DePino, who posted the video, wrote, “The police were called because these men hadn’t ordered anything. They were waiting for a friend to show up, who did as they were taken out in handcuffs for doing nothing.”

In the video a man is seen telling an officer that he was meeting the two men there and asking what they did to warrant police being called.

Others off screen are heard saying, “They didn’t do anything.”

Ross said Saturday his officers “did absolutely nothing wrong.”

Ross recorded a statement on Facebook Live in which he explains that Starbucks employees called 911 to report a trespassing complaint.

The employees told officers the two men wanted to use the restroom but were told the facilities are only for paying customers. The Starbucks employees then asked the men to leave, but they refused, Ross says.

Officers responded and asked the men three times to “politely to leave the location because they were being asked to leave by employees because they were trespassing.” When the men again refused to leave, they were arrested “without incident,” Ross says.

The men were taken to a police station and released when it became clear Starbucks didn’t want to press charges.

“They did a service that they were called to do,” Ross says of the officers. “And if you think about it logically, that if a business calls and they say that someone is here that I no longer wish to be in my business, (officers) now have a legal obligation to carry out their duties. And they did just that.”

Ross, who is black, references his own experiences while making his case, saying, “As an African-American male, I am very aware of implicit bias.”

“We are committed to fair and unbiased policing and anything less than that will not be tolerated in this department.”

In statement posted on Twitter, Starbucks apologized “to the two individuals and our customers.”

“We take these matters seriously and clearly have more work to do when it comes to how we handle incidents in our stores.,” the statement reads.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said Starbucks’ apology “is not enough.”

He said he “asked the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations to examine the firm’s polices and procedures, including the extent of, or need for, implicit bias training for its employees.”

Kenney said he’s “heartbroken to see Philadelphia in the headlines for an incident like that,” which he says “appears to exemplify what racial discrimination looks like in 2018.”

“Starbucks should be a place where everyone is treated the same, no matter the color of their skin,” Kenney says.

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Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson responded to public outcry over the arrest of two black men on Saturday from a Philadelphia branch of the coffee shop, calling the incident “reprehensible.”

The arrest, which was captured on video that has since gone viral, sparked accusations of discrimination and racial profiling.

@Starbucks The police were called because these men hadn’t ordered anything. They were waiting for a friend to show up, who did as they were taken out in handcuffs for doing nothing. All the other white ppl are wondering why it’s never happened to us when we do the same thing.

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