What goes around, comes around.
Palo Alto resident Rebecca Parker Mankey learned that the hard way recently when she attacked an old man wearing a MAGA hat at her local Starbucks.
The Crazy Californian called the man a “Nazi” (ironic, because the man is actually Jewish) and tried to rouse others in the coffee shop to shame him too, but to her “shock” received no back up.
Apparently, she really thought she could strike up a “Starbucks ‘smash the fash’ bully session” against the poor man….
Just imagine what she would do if a Trump supporter walked into her place of work. It would be a PR nightmare for the company she was employed at.
Good thing the music store she worked at had the good sense to fire her, and it’s our suspicion that Rebecca is going to be hard pressed to find another job after her public freak-out over an old man with differing political views from her.
The story has prompted an explosion of responses on Twitter:
SF Gate had the following to say:
A woman who said she confronted a man for wearing a red "Make America Great Again" hat inside a Palo Alto Starbucks was fired from her job at a nearby music store.
On Monday, Rebecca Parker Mankey took pictures of a man wearing a MAGA hat, and wrote in a Facebook post that she "called the entire Starbucks to order and yelled at him."
"He will never forget me and will think seriously about wearing that hat in my town ever again," she wrote. "If you see him in this hat, please confront him. You do not want to be the person who didn't speak up as we slipped into fascism."
Her Facebook post was widely shared and derided by conservatives, and her account has since been deactivated.
A day later, Palo Alto music store Gryphon Strings announced that Mankey had lost her job.
"Gryphon does not believe anyone should be harassed or subject to hate speech no matter their beliefs," the store wrote in a Tuesday Facebook post. "Music has historically been something that has brought people of diverse socio-political backgrounds together."
The Washington Times also commented:
A California music shop accountant has been fired after she berated an elderly Jewish man wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat inside a Palo Alto Starbucks this week.
Rebecca Parker Mankey detailed the encounter on Facebook and Twitter on Monday, posting photos of the 74-year-old President Trump supporter and labeling him a “hater of brown people,” the Palo Alto Weekly reported. Ms. Mankey said she yelled at the man and tried — unsuccessfully — to get other Starbucks customers to join in on her tirade. She said she berated the man all the way to his car and then vowed to give him “nowhere to hide,” the Weekly reported.
“I am going to publicly shame him in town and try to get him fired and kicked out of every club he is in,” Ms. Mankey wrote, according to a screenshot posted by a woman named Amy with the Twitter handle @RightHookUSA, who vowed to inform Ms. Mankey’s husband’s employers of her behavior.
Palo Alto Online went into detail about the attack and the response of the Trump supporter that was publicly bullied, who is not apologizing for wearing his MAGA hat and still frequents the same coffee shop:
It began when Palo Alto resident Rebecca Parker Mankey attempted to shame an elderly white man wearing a red Make America Great Again hat as he sat in the coffeehouse — an encounter she later wrote about on social media. Calling him a "hater of brown people," Mankey said she yelled at him and addressed Starbucks customers and employees to join her in her effort. She said she left the store but soon returned and continued to yell at him. Mankey said she was "heartbroken" that other white people didn't stand up against the man sporting a slogan that was popularized by Donald Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign. She followed him out of the store to the parking lot, where she continued to berate and swear at him.
She called the man "Nazi scum" and threatened to post pictures of him on social media, which she then did, along with her version of the incident on her Facebook page and on Twitter. She asked the public for help finding him — "I want him to have nowhere to hide," she wrote -- a practice called "doxing," or posting personal contact information to encourage threats and harassment.
The incident has had repercussions not only for Mankey, who said on Tuesday she's received death threats and was fired from her job as an accountant, but also for her former employer, Gryphon Stringed Instruments. Staff at the store said they were inundated with angry phone calls and emails Monday and Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the 74-year-old Palo Alto man in the MAGA hat, who is Jewish, told the Palo Alto Weekly that he is not afraid of the woman. Rather, he said, her actions are an example of the lack of discourse in the country over differing viewpoints. He said he has seen her description of the incident and that it was accurate. (The man's name is being withheld as he did not harass anyone.)
Mankey, who is an appointed member of Palo Alto's North Ventura Coordinated Area Plan Working Group and co-chairs the Bayshore Progressive Democrats, a relatively new progressive club addressing social-justice issues, exhorted people to confront the man if they see him wearing the red cap.
"You do not want to be the person who didn't speak up as we slipped into fascism," she posted.
On Twitter, she said: "I am going to publicly shame him in town and try to get him fired and kicked out of every club he is in. I am going to go to his house march up and down carrying a sign that says he hates black people. I am going to organize protests where he works to make him feel as unsafe as he made every brown person he met today."
The postings drew criticism on right-wing and other websites, with comments coming from far away. A woman from the Midwest with the Twitter handle @RightHookUSA responded by contacting Mankey's husband's employer and the Palo Alto Police Department.
"I was extremely disturbed when I learned that an elderly man was being humiliated and harassed in public by a vicious bully," the woman, named Amy, said in an email to the Weekly. "I hope and pray that this incident leads to greater tolerance and respect among all Americans, instead of greater hatred and rage."
She declined to provide her last name because she said she received hateful messages for supporting the man.
Matt Lynch, retail manager at Gryphon Stringed Instruments, said the store has also been caught up in the politically fueled maelstrom. The business received many emails and phone calls Monday and Tuesday about Mankey's comments. People from all over the world have been posting negative Yelp reviews about the store — people who have never been customers, he added.
"It's been a tough day," he said, wearily. "What she said in no way reflects Gryphon or how the company feels." He added that "100 percent" of the calls have been against what Mankey said.
Mankey had worked for the company for four years. She is no longer employed there, he said.
"It's a big shock to us," he said.
In a statement posted on the Gryphon Facebook page, the company said:
"Gryphon does not believe anyone should be harassed or subject to hate speech no matter their beliefs. Music has historically been something that has brought people of diverse socio-political backgrounds together.
"We would like to make it clear that the opinions expressed and actions taken by the employee are not indicative of how we conduct ourselves at the shop and we hope we can continue to serve our customers across the country respectfully and universally as we have done for nearly 50 years."
Still exercising his free speech
The man in the MAGA hat told the Weekly that he goes to Starbucks every day. When Mankey, whom he did not know, approached and began questioning him about his hat, he thought she was going to talk to him about politics, a common occurrence, but instead, she lit into him right away.
He said he was not really cognizant that she had called him a "hater of brown people" or that she likened him to a Nazi. She was "raving," he said, and he wasn't focused on her words.
She told him she wanted him to call the police because then she would learn his name and where he lived, his wife's name and where his children had attended school, her Facebook post states.
He was surprised that no one said anything to stop the woman or come to his aid.
"It would've been touching," he said.
He wears the MAGA hat regularly, he said, but he never sees anyone else wearing one. Almost everyone who approaches him tells him they want to wear the hats but are worried about repercussions.
"There's a fear in the air," he said of people who support Trump. "I hope this doesn't start a trend of people getting in your face."
He denied that the hat, which for some people has come to symbolize hatred, racism and division, represents those ideas.
"Let me ask you: The phrase Make America Great — is there anything negative in it? In the 1952 election, people wore 'I Like Ike' buttons, but no one saw it as a threat," he said.
"Saying that a hat is pro-Trump or pro-American is absurd. There has always been a picture of the president and the postmaster in the post office. Are we saying now that putting a picture of this president up is considered a provocation?
"What's happened around here is that people get the idea that if you're for Trump you are an evil person," he said.
He bemoaned the loss of civil discourse over politics and says no one has approached him to have a reasonable debate.
"There is no intelligent dialogue. People watch right-wing websites and left-wing websites," he said of people gravitating to extremes. "There's no intelligent discussion at all. There used to be some sense of two political parties."
He said he would continue to wear his MAGA hat in public as an exercise of his freedom of speech — "until North Korea (or another totalitarian regime) takes over our government."
And he will continue to go out for his coffee.
"I'm joking, but I hope the next time at Starbucks there will be 30 people wearing red hats and like in the movies, they'll give me a slow clap."
What an admirable, wise, strong old man. We have to congratulate him on being unshakable and standing up for himself and his freedom.
Check out this awesome video interview with the man by his local news station: