Mandatory wearing of face masks is part of the precautionary measures being enforced in many countries to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This policy is yet to be rolled out in every state in the U.S, but California has been strict about it.
Just a day after the mandatory wearing of face masks in public was announced, a San Diego man went to the grocery shop donning a Ku Klux Klan hood, reports say.
The man casually strolled through the aisles of a Von supermarket in Santee, San Diego County City on Saturday even though the store clerk called him out and repeatedly told him to remove the hood or vacate the premises, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
There are images of the man navigating a shopping cart while browsing through the food selections in his white hood which is the exact replica of the ones worn by KKK.
Von supermarket spokeswoman said a supervisor in the store having realised the man did not heed to the advice of the store clerk, approached the hooded man at the checkout and asked him to take off the hood or leave one more time.
The hooded man begrudgingly obliged and took off the hood, paid for his items, and left the store.
“At Vons, fostering an environment of courtesy, dignity and respect is one of our highest priorities, and we work hard to hold everyone in our stores to these standards, including customers.
“This was a disturbing incident for our associates and customers, and we are reviewing with our team how to best handle such inappropriate situations in the future,” Hill told the newspaper
“San Diego is #NoPlaceForHate,” Tammy Gillies, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League in San Diego, said on Twitter.
There was an outrage on social media when the images were shared by other shoppers. Santee Mayor John Minto criticised the man’s actions and stood with the many residents of Santee, who say the man’s actions does not mirror the values of the city.
“Many thanks to all who stepped forward to curtail this sad reminder of intolerance,” Minto said. “Santee, its leaders and I will not tolerate such behavior.”
The city is still scarred by its history of racially motivated incidents that earned the city its infamous nicknames like “Klantee” and “Santucky.”
“So troublesome in so many ways this is still happening in Santee at Vons,” resident Tiam Tellez wrote on Facebook. “Disgusting!”
The shopper’s actions were also condemned by County Supervisor Dianne Jacobs.
“The images I’ve seen are abhorrent,” she said in a statement. “This blatant racism has no place in Santee or any part of San Diego County. It is not who we are. It is not what we stand for and can’t be tolerated.”