A Texas man accused a Trader Joe’s of ‘holding me hostage and against my will’ and then barged into the store after he initially was refused entry along with his two children because they weren’t wearing masks.
‘You’re violating the law. You’re harassing me and discriminating against me because of my disability,’ the man who has been dubbed a ‘Male Karen’ is heard saying in a viral video clip earlier this week.
‘I have a civil right to shop in places that are open to the public,’ the man is heard telling the Trader Joe’s employees near McKinney, Texas.
The man claimed that due to a medical condition he was exempt from having to wear a mask. The store agreed to allow him inside but on condition that one of his two children is masked.
A Texas shopper has been dubbed a ‘male Karen’ on social media after viral video shows him berating Trader Joe’s employees at a McKinney, Texas location over the store’s mask mandate
The incident took place earlier this week at a Trader Joe’s location near McKinney, Texas
The man went on a tirade after Trader Joe’s employees told him that he could enter the store maskless but that he could not have more than one maskless child come with him
The man, whose social media handle is @davenewworld_2, cited the Americans with Disability Acts, claiming that the law allows him an exemption from wearing the face covering.
His Twitter and Instagram accounts have since been deactivated.
‘I don’t get this anywhere else I go in Texas,’ the man says.
‘And it is reprehensible behavior to make a child feel they should be wearing a mask when there’s nothing wrong with them.’
‘Would you turn someone away from their race or religion, or their beliefs, or anything else like that?’
As he is arguing with the employees, he then asks: ‘Could you sell cocaine in here as a private business?’
The man then barges into the Trader Joe’s with his two children.
‘You always stand for truth, you understand me,” he tells his kids.
The man, whose social media handle is @davenewworld_2, cited the Americans with Disability Acts, claiming that the law allows him an exemption from wearing the face covering. His Twitter and Instagram accounts have since been deactivated
‘You’re doing nothing wrong.’
A Trader Joe’s employee then approaches the man in the produce section, where he tells the worker: ‘This is ridiculous for me to be doing this in front of my children.’
‘I am so offended right now.’
The man then picks up cucumbers and maple syrup and heads to the checkout aisle.
During the entire time he continues on his rant.
‘Newsflash for everyone, nobody’s vote counts anymore,’ the man says.
‘So are we all going to stand together or not?’
He adds: ‘Everybody wants two weeks to flatten the curve? Now we’re gonna take COVID swabs in our butts?’
The man goes back outside and says that his grandmother ‘had to run from the Nazis.’
After Trader Joe’s employees told the man he could not enter, the man barged into the store on his own. The image above shows one of the store’s employees
On social media, reaction to the man’s outburst was largely negative.
‘Such a beta! I’d be embarrassed if I was his kids,’ wrote one Instagram user.
Another user commented: ‘Why are they even checking him out I hate this. But I get it they probably just wanted him out as soon as possible….’
‘It triggers me when they compare having to wear a mask to Nazi concentration camps,’ wrote one Instagram user.
‘As if you can even compare the two…They have a need to be oppressed so badly. It’s shameful.’
Another Instagram user commented: ‘The corporate of these business put these rules in place I don’t understand what this accomplishes.
‘Arguing with a worker just to get your way is so frivolous and pointless.
‘If you really need to go shopping just wear a mask for 15 minutes. This is all about power and ego.’
Earlier this week, Texas became the largest state to lift its mask mandate.
Governor Greg Abbott made the announcement on Tuesday as the state’s COVID-19 death toll exceeded 43,000 people.
The announcement in Texas rattled doctors and big city leaders who said they are now bracing for another deadly resurgence.
One hospital executive in Houston said he told his staff they would need more personnel and ventilators.
Federal health officials this week urgently warned states to not let their guard down, warning that the pandemic is far from over.
Abbott, a Republican, has faced sustained criticism from his party in America’s biggest red state over the statewide mask mandate — which was imposed eight months ago — as well as business occupancy limits that Texas will also scuttle next week.
The mask order was only ever lightly enforced, even during the worst outbreaks of the pandemic.
‘Removing statewide mandates does not end personal responsibility,’ said Abbott, speaking from the crowded dining room of a restaurant in Lubbock, surrounded by several people not wearing masks.
‘It’s just that now state mandates are no longer needed,’ he said.
The repeals take effect March 10.
Retailers and other businesses will still be allowed to impose capacity limits and other restrictions on their own.
Last week, Trader Joe’s was threatened with a boycott after an employee revealed he was fired for sending a letter to the grocery chain’s CEO demanding stricter mask requirements for customers.
Ben Bonnema shared his story in a Twitter thread last Friday, claiming that he was sacked from a Trader Joe’s location on New York City’s Upper West Side because he doesn’t ‘share the company’s values’.
Bonnema posted a photo of the letter he sent CEO Dan Bane, in which he recommended five changes to improve safety amid the pandemic, including implementing a ‘three strike policy’ to ban customers who repeatedly flout mask rules.
‘We put our lives on the line every day by showing up to work,’ he wrote. ‘Please, show up for us by adopting these policies.’
Last week, Ben Bonnema (pictured) said he was fired from a Trader Joe’s location in New York City after he sent a letter to the grocery chain’s CEO demanding stricter mask requirements for customers
Bonnema’s tweets quickly went viral and sparked calls to boycott Trader Joe’s more than 500 locations nationwide.
In his letter Bonnema asked that no one be allowed inside stores without a mask for any reason – noting that the company already offers to shop for customers with a medical condition that precludes them from wearing one.
In explaining his three strikes policy for removing ‘uncooperative’ people, he described how he was recently ‘shouted and sworn at by a customer who would not wear a mask above his nose’.
Bonnema’s other three recommendations involved improving air quality in stores by installing a more advanced filtration system, increasing Air Change per Hour and limiting store capacity based on CO2 levels.
He cited recent articles and studies about air filtration to drive home his point that more could be done to protect workers.
The letter was signed by Bonnema and another employee at the Upper West Side store, whose name was redacted in the version posted on Twitter.
Bonnema shared his story in a Twitter thread last Friday, claiming that he was sacked because he was told he doesn’t ‘share the company’s values’
Bonnema posted a photo of the letter he sent CEO Dan Bane, in which he recommended five changes to improve safety amid the pandemic, including implementing a ‘three strike policy’ to ban customers who repeatedly flout mask rules
‘We put our lives on the line every day by showing up to work,’ Bonnema wrote. ‘Please, show up for us by adopting these policies.’ Pictured: Maskless customers crowd a Trader Joe’s store in Miami Beach, Florida, during the coronavirus pandemic
In a subsequent tweet Bonnema shared the termination letter he received.
‘In a recent email, you suggest adopting a ‘3 strike’ policy against customers and a policy enforcing the same accommodation for every customer with a medical condition that precludes them from wearing a mask,’ the letter read.
‘These suggestions are not in line with our core Values. In addition, you state that Trader Joe’s is not ‘showing up for us’ without adopting your policies.
‘It is clear that you do not understand our Values. As a result, we are no longer comfortable having you work for Trader Joe’s.’