Progressive Democrat Co-Chair Harasses Jewish Man in MAGA Hat

This is what happens when you take Rep. Maxine Waters' advice to heart.

When the screenshot of Mankey's post first went viral, the first assumption was that it was a hoax. It read like a parody of resistance hysteria. But it's real and spectacularly ugly.

It began when Palo Alto resident Rebecca Parker Mankey attempted to shame an elderly white man wearing a red Make America Great Again hat as he sat in the coffeehouse — an encounter she later wrote about on social media. Calling him a "hater of brown people," Mankey said she yelled at him and addressed Starbucks customers and employees to join her in her effort. She said she left the store but soon returned and continued to yell at him. Mankey said she was "heartbroken" that other white people didn't stand up against the man wearing what has become for some a symbol of hate. She followed him out of the store to the parking lot, where she continued to berate and swear at him.

She called the man "Nazi scum" and threatened to post pictures of him on social media, which she then did, along with her version of the incident on her Facebook page and on Twitter. She asked the public for help finding him — "I want him to have nowhere to hide," she wrote -- a practice called "doxing," or posting personal contact information to encourage threats and harassment.

The man she was calling "Nazi scum" was actually Jewish.

Social media then went in all the usual directions, Mankey was fired from her job, she and her supporters are claiming that she's the one suffering death threats.

Meanwhile, the 74-year-old Palo Alto man in the MAGA hat, who is Jewish, told the Palo Alto Weekly that he is not afraid of the woman. Rather, he said, her actions are an example of the lack of discourse in the country over differing viewpoints. He said he has seen her description of the incident and that it was accurate. (The man's name is being withheld as he did not harass anyone.)

Mankey, who is an appointed member of Palo Alto's North Ventura Coordinated Area Plan Working Group and co-chairs the Bayshore Progressive Democrats, a relatively new progressive club addressing social-justice issues, exhorted people to confront the man if they see him wearing the red cap.

"You do not want to be the person who didn't speak up as we slipped into fascism," she posted.

On Twitter, she said: "I am going to publicly shame him in town and try to get him fired and kicked out of every club he is in. I am going to go to his house march up and down carrying a sign that says he hates black people. I am going to organize protests where he works to make him feel as unsafe as he made every brown person he met today."

That slipping into fascism is quite a slippery slope.

She told him she wanted him to call the police because then she would learn his name and where he lived, his wife's name and where his children had attended school, her Facebook post states.

He was surprised that no one said anything to stop the woman or come to his aid.

"It would've been touching," he said.

That would be a topic for, "What would you do?" But we know that one's not happening.