A viral video shows an anti-mask man dubbed a “Karen” filming himself having a meltdown after being legally denied service at a Trader Joe’s in Texas. He’s told only one of his children could go in without a mask, but he barges in anyway while citing misinformation.
The video was posted by popular Twitter and Instagram user @davenewworld_2. In the clip, the anti-masker has apparently already been denied entry by a masked employee. The business only allows individual family members with mask exceptions into the McKinney-area Trader Joe’s, but the man was accompanied by two children.
The employee tells him he can’t go inside the store with more than one unmasked child. But the man objects.
“You’re violating the law. You’re harassing me and discriminating against me because of my disability,” the man says before citing the well-worn monologue about the Americans with Disability Acts often used by so-called Karens.
The reality is that Trader Joe’s has the right to deny entry to customers as long as the business has accommodations for people with disabilities or mask exceptions. The store has its own mask mandate, and the employee has masks for use on hand.
“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?” he continues. He then says that Trader Joe’s, a private business, is public land—before immediately contradicting himself.
“Could you sell cocaine in here as a private business?” he says. In an argument with another employee, he falsely claims that he’s being “held hostage” outside of the Trader Joe’s store.
He then barges into the store, still unmasked, and stops to lecture his small children. “You always stand for truth, you understand me,” he says. “You’re doing nothing wrong.”
An employee approaches him in the produce area where he proceeds to throw a temper tantrum that leaves him nearly breathless.
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Eventually, after he’s picked up cucumbers and maple syrup and reached the checkout aisle, he launches into a conspiratorial speech: “Newsflash for everyone, nobody’s vote counts anymore,” the man says. “So are we all going to stand together or not?”
He continues: “Everybody wants two weeks to flatten the curve? Now we’re gonna take COVID swabs in our butts?” As he returns outside, the man says his grandmother “had to run from the Nazis.” It’s unclear how the anecdote relates to mask mandates at grocery stores.
On Twitter, people were exhausted watching the video and exhausted on behalf of the Trader Joe’s employees.
User @ScoutGreen1 tweeted, “I feel so bad for the employees that have to put up with this spoiled rotten behaviour.”
Following the news of Texas dropping its statewide mask mandate while fully re-opening businesses, more explosive versions of these incidents should be expected. Private businesses maintain the right to impose their own mask requirements.
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