A black family fired an independent contractor they had hired for a job after he drove to their home with a giant Confederate flag affixed to his truck.
Allison and Zeke Brown of Atlanta, Georgia hired the man, whose name is Michael, to replace the brakes on their golf cart. When he arrived at their home on Saturday, an enormous rebel flag was attached to his truck.
“Hi, you know what, I do apologize, I know you’ve come from a very long way, but we’re going to use someone else,” Allison, 40, a radiation therapist, tells Michael, as captured in a video on her Ring app.
“She’s upset with the flag,” explains Zeke, 48.
“No, I’m beyond upset with the flag,” corrects Allison.
Michael offers to remove the flag, but Allison says, “No, you don’t need to take it down. You can continue to believe what you need to believe, sir. But no, I cannot pay you for your services. Thank you, have a good day.”
Thousands watched the Ring footage and noted Allison’s decorum, much like Craig Brooks, a Holiday Inn Express employee in Austin, Texas, whose polite rejection, “It’s above me now,” to a customer who called him the n-word, went viral last month.
Initially unaware of Michael’s arrival, Allison was cleaning out her closet when Zeke walked into their bedroom and said, “God is testing me.”
Allison tells Yahoo Lifestyle, “When my husband told me about the flag, I said, ‘Let me handle this,’” adding that their college-aged son fled the house, anticipating his mother’s reaction.
“I didn’t want to be the ‘angry black woman’ but I wanted him to learn and feel that bottom-line loss,” she says. “You don’t go to Germany and wave the Nazi flag. It’s the same thing.”
Zeke, a manager at a health care tech company, tells Yahoo Lifestyle that over the course of three days, he chatted with the man about work logistics over Facebook messenger. “He hadn’t been disrespectful prior, so seeing the flag did not fit my preconceptions,” he says. “The flag was absurd — I had to walk back into the house to calm myself down.”
After Michael left, he messaged Zeke saying, “I didn’t know the flag offended y’all.”
In screenshots of the conversation on Facebook Messenger shared with Yahoo Lifestyle, Zeke replied, “Yes, it is extremely offensive to anyone of color. I understand it is part of American history, but that flag stood for a time in history where people such as myself had a very bad way of life...Micheal, I hope this small interaction causes you to do a little research on how several Americans feel about the Confederacy. I know it’s part of history, so is Nazi Germany...”
Zeke tells Yahoo Lifestyle that he hoped the firing would be educational. “I thought, ‘Maybe there is hope for someone like him or an opportunity to save him from this way of thinking,” he says. “And I wanted that flag off my property — as one of the few black families in our subdivision, what would the neighbors think of a Confederate symbol in our driveway?”
Michael tells Yahoo Lifestyle that he is a “redneck” and that the flag is for the Fourth of July. “My little siblings bought it from a flea market,” he says. “I don’t support slavery and neither do my siblings. But I am not going to take it down when my siblings asked me to fly it. If [the family] wants to take offense, they can.”
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