- A video of a Trader Joe’s manager in Salem, Oregon, has gone viral on social media. It has almost four million views on Twitter.
- In the video, the manager – whose name tag reads ‘Karim’ – calmly tells anti-mask protesters not to enter the store.
- Despite further protestation, the manager continues to reject entry to the increasingly irate protesters.
- Oregon’s mask requirements mean that grocery stories are entitled o deny service to those who refuse to wear a mask.
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A video of a Trader Joe’s manager calmly turning away anti-mask protesters has gone viral on social media.
The clip, which now has almost four million views on Twitter alone, shows a manager — whose name tag reads ‘Karim’ — politely and persistently keeping demonstrators from entering the store in Salem, Oregon.
The group of protesters, who are refusing to wear masks to protect themselves and other shoppers from COVID-19, can be heard saying: “We don’t want special treatment, we just want to be honored as shoppers.”
To this, the manager replies: “I don’t want to tell you guys what to do, what to think, what to believe, or anything like that. I would just kindly ask that you guys understand that here at Trader Joe’s, we’re just trying to work.”
He continues: “The difference you guys are trying to make isn’t going to be made with us, it will be made with your government.”
Following further protestation, the manager responds: “I am not here to debate policy. I totally respect your freedom to think whatever you want to think and I truly believe that.”
At this point, the protesters appear to block people from entering and leaving the store.
Then a woman, who can be heard throughout the duration of the video, cites the 1964 Civil Rights Act — a landmark law that outlaws discrimination on the basis of color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
The manager responds to the protester: “With all due respect, you’re manipulating the Constitution.”
The Civil Rights Act does not give people the right to shop without a mask, legal experts told USA today.
On social media, people praised the manager for his “patience” and “grace.”
According to Oregon’s mask requirements, wearing a mask is required in all indoor public spaces. Adults are only exempt if they have a medical condition that makes it hard to breathe or a disability that prevents the wearing of a mask.
Places of public accommodation, such as grocery stores, are entitled by law to deny service to those who refuse to wear a mask.
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