A California accountant who attempted to “publicly shame” an elderly Jewish man for wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat has been fired from her job, the Washington Times reported.
Rebecca Parker Mankey, 46, of Palo Alto, was fired from her accounting job at Gryphon Stringed Instruments yesterday after chasing a man wearing a Make America Great Again cap out of Starbucks and then posting about the confrontation on Facebook: https://t.co/Q3RZjVdc7Q
— Allison Levitsky (@Levitskyyy) April 4, 2019
The incident happened inside a Palo Alto Starbucks on Monday.
Rebecca Parker Mankey proudly shared details about the encounter on Facebook and Twitter, posting photos of the 74-year-old Trump supporter who was minding his own business until she accosted him. She bellowed, “it’s not okay to hate brown people!”
A Twitter user named Amy with the Twitter handle @RightHookUSA captured screenshots of Mankey’s now deleted posts.
“Anybody in Palo Alto know this freak?” Mankey wrote in the Facebook post.
“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 wrote.
Mankey said she yelled at the man and “called the entire Starbucks to order” in an unsuccessful effort to get them to join her in her tirade.
She added that she wanted him to call the police because that way she could find out “where he lived, his wife’s name, and where his kids went to school.”
Then she chased the man out of Starbucks, yelling at him to “get the f*ck out of my town and never come back,” according to the post.
“The part that was really heartbreaking to me was that in a full Starbucks, I was the only person yelling at him,” Mankey lamented. “There were other white people there who should have called him out,” she added. “It is the duty of every white person in America to stand up to this whenever they see it.”
A Facebook commenter wondered why she was being asked to DM Mankey if she saw the MAGA-hat-wearing man. “No one wants to find this guy,” she wrote. “Are we going to start going house to house? WTF?” she wrote.
“I am going to publicly shame him in town and try to get him fired and kicked out of every club he is in,” Mankey wrote in reply.
“I am going to go to his house and march up and down carrying a sign that says he hates black people,”she continued. “I am going to organize protests where he works and make him feel as unsafe as he made every brown person he met today.”
The victim, a 74-year-old man identified only as “Victor,” told KTVU Wednesday that he believes he was a victim of “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”
“This woman came over and not only started screaming at me, she turned to the Starbucks audience and said, ‘Hey everybody come here! This guy’s a racist! This guy hates brown people!’” said Victor, wearing a yarmulke on his head instead of his MAGA hat.
“It’s called Trump derangement syndrome: people acting crazy. If you can’t tell the difference between a hat that says ‘Make America Great Again’ and a Nazi helmet or a Ku Klux Klan hat, I’d say you’re deranged,” he added.
Mankey was quickly fired from Gryphon Stringed Instruments, where she worked as an accountant for the past four years.
The incident created a major headache for the business, with the phone ringing off the hook with “inquiries, caustic comments, and threats,” according to Richard Johnston, the owner of the store. He said he decided to fire Mankey — a friend since grade school — not because of the firestorm, but because her bullying actions were “not indicative of how we conduct ourselves at the shop.”
Johnson added: “We’ve always felt that Gryphon was the equivalent of kind of a musical town square for the community. And we welcome people of all views.”
Gryphon manager Matt Lynch noted that the company’s Yelp page had taken a serious hit after the incident Monday.
“What she said in no way reflects Gryphon or how the company feels,” he said. “It’s a big shock to us.”
Victor, meanwhile lamented, “What’s happened around here is that people get the idea that if you’re for Trump you are an evil person.”
“There is no intelligent dialogue. People watch right-wing websites and left-wing websites,” he said. “There’s no intelligent discussion at all. There used to be some sense of two political parties.”
On a more positive note, most people KTVU spoke with seemed to support Victor’s freedom of speech and expression, whether they agreed with him or not.
“Wear that hat and be proud. You just stand up for what you believe in and I’ll stand up for what I believe in and we can still have a cup of coffee together. Right on,” said one unidentified woman who gave Victor with a hug as they talked on California Avenue.