It’s not every day that an elderly Jewish man gets called a Nazi, but that’s what happened to one California man who became the victim of an attack by a woman who tried to get an entire crowd to mob him. And now a city official is actually defending the woman.
What was the elderly man’s crime? He was wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat.
On Monday, Rebecca Parker Mankey saw the gentleman, who identified himself as Victor F., going about his daily business in the Silicon Valley city of Palo Alto and took extreme umbrage at his MAGA hat. According to Victor, she started yelling at him, calling him a Nazi, and telling patrons at a nearby Starbucks that “he hates brown people.”
Twice she tried to get the Starbucks patrons to form a mob and verbally harass him, too. They refused.
Mankey was trying to goad Victor into responding so she could go after his whole family, she revealed later on Facebook, writing, "[I] Wanted him to call the police because I wanted to know his name, where he lived, his wife's name, and where kids went to school."
Due to her vicious attack, Mankey got fired Tuesday from her accountant job at the nearby Gryphon Strings music store, according to SFGate.
On Facebook, Gryphon Strings wrote, "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."
But a city official took a different tact. Steven D. Lee is a Palo Alto Human Relations Commissioner and has served on numerous other city commissions. In a lengthy Facebook post on his personal account, he appeared to initially be chiding Mankey for her behavior but ended up defending it far more than he condemned it.
After praising Mankey for resisting the Trump administration, he lightly scolded her for not following Michelle Obama’s advice to “go high” and let herself be pulled down “in the muck” with Trump supporters.
Calling the MAGA hat “a symbol of hate and everything that is wrong with America today,” he appeared the defend Mankey by telling her and others to not “shy away from the fight” and to “resist.”
Telling her to “not resist people” themselves, Lee then proclaimed “we must resist by organizing, protesting,” which is exactly what Mankey was trying to do.
“We must be more engaged, not less, in the political process and with those who disagree with us,” he praised her before suggesting she be a little more civil in confronting people in the streets.
Victor, meanwhile, is continuing to take his daily walks in that part of town and has received praise from some passers-by for having the bravery to stand up for his beliefs.