Rebecca Mankey is a California music store manager who was fired after she was seen confronting an elderly man wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat at a Palo Alto coffee shop, NBC Bay Area reports.
Mankey, who posted about the incident herself on Facebook under the name Parker Mankey, said she was trying to shame the elderly man and vowed to reveal his personal information so users can harass him online.
Richard Johnson, the co-owner of Gryphon Stringed Instruments, identified Mankey as one of his longtime employees and told NBC that he fired her Tuesday after learning about the incident.
The elderly man, identified by NBC as 74-year-old Victor, said he felt bad that Mankey lost her job.
“I feel bad someone gets fired from their job, but that’s the way it is between her and her job,” Victor said.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Rebecca Mankey Tried to Shame 74-Year-Old Man in MAGA Hat
Rebecca Mankey posted about the incident on Facebook under the user name Parker Mankey. Her account has since been deactivated.
“He will never forget me and will think seriously about wearing that hat in my town again,” she wrote. “I yelled at him. Called the entire Starbucks to order and yelled at him more about how it is not ok to hate brown people. He threatened to call the cops. I left after yelling at him some more.”
“When I walked back by after picking up my lunch, he was still there,” she continued. “I went back in and yelled that I had changed my mind and wanted him to call the police because I wanted to know his name, where he lived, his wife’s name, and where his kids went to school.”
“I called him some more names and told him to call the police,” she wrote. “Then I yelled and asked someone else at Starbucks to call the police. He wouldn’t call the police, so I called him a wimp. He got his stuff together to leave. I followed him to the register while he complained about me. Then chased him out of Starbucks yelling at him to get the f**k out of my town and never come back.”
2. Mankey Urged Others to Harass The Elderly Man
Along with bragging about harassing the elderly man, Mankey complained that others did not yell at him and urged her Facebook friends to harass him as well.
“The part that was really heartbreaking to me was that in a full Starbucks, I was the only person yelling at him,” she wrote. “There were other white people there who should have called him out. It is the duty of every white person in America to stand up to this every time they see it.”
“Don’t be the person who does nothing to protect our brothers and sisters from this hatred,” 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,” she added.
In a later comment, Mankey wrote, “I’m 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 and march up and down carrying a sign that he hates black people. I am going to organize protests where he works and make him feel as unsafe as he made every brown person he met today.”
3. Mankey Lost Her Job After Posting About The Incident
Richard Johnson, the co-owner of Gryphon Stringed Instruments, confirmed that Mankey was his store manager and accountant for four years.
Johnson said he fired Mankey after learning of the incident.
“I think surprised is an understatement,” Johnston told NBC Bay Area. “I think dumbfounded and confused is probably more accurate. Expressing what you believe is not the problem. It’s attacking people for what they believe is the problem.”
“Music has historically been something that has brought people of diverse socio-political backgrounds together,” the company said in a statement. “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.”
4. Mankey Was Forced Out of Democratic Group After The Incident
The Mercury News reported that Mankey was a member of the North Ventura Coordinated Area Plan Working Group and co-chaired the Bayshore Progressive Democrats. On Wednesday, she resigned as the co-chair and member of the Bayshore Progressive Democrats.
“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 group wrote on its Facebook page. “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.”
Steven Lee, a member of Palo Alto’s Human Relations Commission, wrote on Facebook that Mankey was “one of our neighbors, beloved by many in our community for her progressive activism, myself included,” but said she “allowed herself to be pulled down into that muck.”
Lee said that the MAGA hat “at its best represents a distorted and inaccurate view of America, its history, and its place in the world,” but urged his followers to be “civil and vigilant.”
“That is the hardest, most courageous form of resistance — the Resistance of Ghandi, of Dr. King — a Resistance based in empathy and committed not to a duel between our lesser demons but rather a meeting of our better angels,” he wrote.
5. Victor Says He Feels Bad Mankey Lost Her Job
Victor told NBC Bay Area that the woman called him a “Nazi” and would not leave him alone but added that he felt badly that she lost her job.
“This woman comes over, and she says ‘Is that a Trump hat?’ I said, ‘I think it is, yes,'” Victor recalled.
Victor said Mankey turned to the whole Starbucks store and yelled, “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.”
“I feel bad someone gets fired from their job, but that’s the way it is between her and her job,” he added.