It’s bad news when you manage to get fired and become a national symbol of hate for berating a man wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap and calling him a Nazi. It’s even worse news when said “Nazi” says that he’s Jewish.
Mind you, Rebecca Mankey would have lost her job anyway. Not only did she verbally assail the man, identified by NBC News as Victor, at a Palo Alto, California Starbucks, she bragged about it on Facebook.
“Anybody in Palo Alto know this freak? He was sitting in Starbucks. I think he lives in Palo Alto. He will never forget me and will think seriously about wearing that hat in my town ever again,” Mankey said in a Facebook post on Monday along with pictures of Victor, an elderly man with a MAGA cap on.
“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,” she posted.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, she says she screamed phrases at him such as, “It is not okay to hate brown people,” eventually getting him to leave.
She said she told him, with an expletive, to get “out of my town and never come back.”
“He will never forget me and will think seriously about wearing that hat in my town ever again,” she wrote.
Perhaps the most disturbing element was that Mankey called Victor “Nazi scum.”
“This woman comes over, and she says ‘Is that a Trump hat?’ I said, ‘I think it is, yes,'” Victor told NBC News. He then said she turned to other customers and said, “Hey, everybody. Come over here. Let’s get this guy! He’s a hater! I’m calling him out! He hates brown people. He’s a Nazi.”
Victor, on the other hand, says he’s Jewish.
A comment on the post says that she was going to find the man’s job and “make him feel as unsafe as he made every brown person he met today.”
Well, she’ll have plenty of time to do that. Mankey, the accountant and chief financial officer of Gryphon Stringed Instruments — a firm that deals with repairing, renting and selling vintage string instruments — was asked to hand in her resignation over the incident.
Richard Johnston, the company co-founder, says he’s known Mankey since before he was in kindergarten. But according to him, he was “dumbfounded and confused” by the incident.
“We’ve known she was passionately liberal and progressive, but that’s different,” Johnston said. “It was the way in which she went about attacking someone for a hat in which she found offensive that we just can’t tolerate.”
Mankey was also a co-chair and officer of the Bayshore Progressive Democrats, although she’s also resigned from that role. In an unsurprising fashion, the group seemed to lay some of the blame at Victor’s feet.
“Parker felt strongly that she wanted to use her privilege as a white woman to stand up for those who are living in fear because of the hateful atmosphere fostered by Trump,” the Bayshore Progressive Democrats said on Facebook. “Unfortunately the manner in which she chose to stand up against a slogan that stands for racism led to an even stronger hateful response that has endangered her and her family.”
I’m just spitballing here, but perhaps this wasn’t the time to cast this as a white woman using her privilege “to stand up against a slogan that stands for racism” when what she did is literally chase a man out of a public space using hateful language because his political beliefs clashed with hers.
Notice that there were very few people you could find who said that her beliefs were wrong, merely that she was overzealous. She could privately think that he was “Nazi scum” for wearing a hat and that may have been fine, but chasing him out of a Starbucks was over the line.
Victor has said he feels sorry that Mankey lost her job. He seems to be the only one with a modicum of empathy in this story — and that empathy feels horribly unearned. Welcome to California in 2019, conservatives.
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