While you were enjoying your Saturday morning, Councilman Kai Hagen (D) has been accused of harassing an innocent man who was shopping while not wearing a face covering.
After confronting the shopper, he sought out a clerk who retrieved the store manager. The store manager had a conversation with Councilman Hagen and then had a brief chat with the customer in question. Both the gentleman and his female companion continued with their shopping.
Instead of leaving because he felt unsafe, Mr. Hagen continued down the isles.
The Councilman admits before exiting the market, the manager approached him to discuss his “harassment” of their customer.
After making no headway in convincing either the store manager or the unmasked stranger to see the situation his way, he decided the next course of action would be to go to Facebook and report what he believed was egregious behavior. The public post included pictures he did not have permission to take.
The Tentacle will not reprint the photographs because they are innocent victims and frankly, showing a woman’s cleavage to shame her companion is repugnant.
The Councilman’s actions speak for themselves. The post in this discussion was deleted after it received over 3,000 negative comments. Below is a transcript of the deleted post. You decide if Mr. Hagen should be censured and/or asked to resign.
“I took these two photos this morning at the [name redacted for their privacy from the Rage Mob] in Thurmont.
I ran into this couple in the produce section. I informed him that he should not be in the store without a mask. He did not look pleased about my comment, and then told me that he couldn’t wear one for medical reasons.
First of all: That is a bogus claim.
Second: Even if it was true, he was there with someone else who was actually doing all the shopping.
I asked more forcefully, after calling him on the medical claim. I also noted he did not have to be in the store at all, since she was doing the actual shopping.
He told me to stop harassing him.
I walked over to the store employee and pointed out that he was not wearing a mask.
She went to get the manager. He went to speak with the man, and brought a mask to give him.
I was not close enough to hear their conversation. But after a minute or two, the manager walked away, while the man held the mask in his hand, still choosing not to wear it.
I spoke with the manager about the matter. He noted that the man told him he had a medical excuse. I said that was bogus, and that he didn’t even have to be in the store.
I asked the manager if he had asked the man to leave. He said no. He went on to note that he didn’t want to risk employees by trying to enforce store policy and the law.
I said that I understood that, but they could ask him to leave, or they could refuse to serve him/them. again [sic] pointing out that he wasn’t even doing the shopping (not that it should matter, if he was).
I noted that the man and people like him were endangering others (other customers…and people in their lives).
The manager noted that everyone else was wearing a mask. I didn’t but should have asked how many customers choosing not to wear a mask would be ok?
I made it clear again that I understood the concern about employees having to enforce the law. And the manager pointedly told me that it wasn’t law, making the distinction, I guess, between an executive order and state legislation?
The man and woman kept shopping. They came down aisles I was in twice more. One of those times we had another exchange. I told him that he didn’t have to be there if he didn’t want to wear the mask. He repeated that I was harassing him. I told him that calmly calling him out, from a distance, abut [sic] the fact that he was ignoring the law, ignoring store guidelines, being an irresponsible citizen, endangering others, and generally behaving in a way that was associated with the resurgence of COVID-19 in many states right now.
We parted, and I didn’t see him again until they were in line to check out. Not sure if the earlier photo had been clear enough, I walked up, said nothing and took another photo…and went back to shopping.
A few minutes later, the manager approached me to chat about me harassing the man.
I said I did take two photos, and I did express my thoughts to the man, but also noted that calm, not-in-his-face comments, and taking two photos, was nothing compared to the man’s behavior, or it [sic] potential impact.
We did talk a little about the broader situation, store policy, overall [Store Name Redacted] policy, etc.
I then also mentioned to him that I had had to ask a young man working the store to wear his mask properly. It was entirely below his chin. And noted that if the store took itt [sic] as seriously as it should, employees would know their ability to work there were [sic] be jeopardized by ignoring the policy.
The same young employee came around a bend a short while later, saw me, pulled up his mask again as he passed me, and then twenty feet later, pulled it down again.
Some will say I am out of line. But in what reasonable COVID-19 universe it is it okay for the man to accompany a woman shopping, without wearing a mask, ignoring the law and store guidelines AND basic human decency, while lying to defend himself, and making no visible efforts at social distancing.
I did tell the manager that I intend to share the photographs and describe the situation. He said he wished I wouldn’t. I said I would do so as accurately and fairly as I could.
Remember, the manager didn’t even ask the man to leave and wait outside.
This is just one person. One incident. But people like him are a significant part of the reason both our public health crisis…and the economic crisis it has led to…as [are] so much worse than they had to be.”
County Executive Gardner (D) also joined in the public condemnation when she advised Councilman Hagen to call the Health Department so they can pay a “visit” to the Thurmont store.
Mrs. Gardner also made a post about face coverings being an act of “love”. “Love your neighbor, Do your part.” “Show you care about yourself and others.” This begs the question, if you don’t wear a face covering you aren’t showing love for your neighbors?
There have been other times in history when groups of people were dehumanized through carefully crafted language. That language emboldened people to perpetrate crimes against humanity for the “common good.” Are we beginning to see it here in Frederick County?
People have been murdered in other states over the mask controversy. We don’t need that beast fed here.
On July 8 a South Bay California security guard shot and KILLED a man who refused to wear a face mask. On May 1 a security guard was shot and killed at a Michigan Family Dollar store by a shopper who didn’t want to wear a mask.
People need to stand down and start respecting that we all have different opinions over the effectiveness of a simple cloth face covering. No one should be harassed because they can’t, or won’t wear one and vice versa. The most effective way to end the potential for violence is for people to respect that others believe something different about the effectiveness of face coverings. Publicly shaming and reporting your neighbors to the “authorities” is not “love” nor is it the American way.
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