A man was spotted wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood while shopping at a supermarket in the San Diego County city of Santee, less than 24 hours after the city implemented a new coronavirus health order requiring everyone to cover their faces when entering a local business, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Pictures taken of the man wearing the white hood while shopping inside a Vons store began circulating on social media over the weekend. At least one photo also shows the man, who appears to be white and middle-aged, standing behind a cart without a hood.
Don’t know which angers me more – the person wearing this or the fact that no one in management @Vons Santee did anything about it. @ADL_SD would be happy to educate your team. San Diego is #NoPlaceForHate pic.twitter.com/jMOzQqpcoi
— Tammy Gillies (@tgilliesADL) May 3, 2020
A corporate spokeswoman for the grocery store told the Los Angeles Times that employees repeatedly asked the shopper to remove the hood or leave the store.
A supervisor approached the man once he was in a checkout line and asked him to take off the hood or leave the store. The man complied and removed the hood, purchased his items and left the store.
“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,” Melissa Hill, a spokeswoman for Vons, told the LA Times.
The incident has prompted outrage from the mayor, the head of the Anti-Defamation League in San Diego and others.
“There was an incident in Santee on Saturday where citizens photographed a male wearing attire that depicted a symbol of hatred,” Santee Mayor John Minto said in a statement.
“The citizens and Vons employees took steps to address the situation. Many thanks to all who stepped forward to curtail this sad reminder of intolerance. Santee, its leaders, and I will not tolerate such behavior,” Minto said.
County Supervisor Dianne Jacobs, who represents Santee and other East County communities, condemned the man’s actions.
“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.”
Tammy Gillies, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League in the San Diego area, tweeted a photo of the man saying “San Diego is #NoPlaceForHate.”
A man grocery shopping with a KKK hood in Santee, California. The city of Santee has a history of racism & people in southern California call it 'Klantee'. This is Trump's America. pic.twitter.com/AYRdnMVnXK
— Stone (@stonecold2050) May 3, 2020