October 20, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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A man wears what looks like a KKK white cap on his way to the grocery store

Man wears what appears to be KKK white hood to supermarket
But a customer at a southern California grocery store chose to wear what appeared to be the Ku Klux Klan hood during a shopping trip and ignored requests from staff to remove it, according to the supermarket.

Now, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incident and can file criminal charges.

Customers were photographed by buyers at the Vons grocery store in Santee last weekend. Picture of the person bagging fruit in the product department while wearing a white hood, face completely covered except for two holes around the eyes, distributed by regional director of the San Diego Anti-Defamation League Tammy Gillies.

In a statement to CNN, Vons said employees had asked customers to remove the hood, but customers ignored the request until they arrived at the checkout area.

“This is a disturbing incident for our partners and customers, and we are reviewing with our team how best to deal with such inappropriate situations in the future,” Vons said in a statement.

It is unclear whether customers are allowed to inspect food ingredients or finally remove the hood.

Santee Vons where the incident took place did not respond to CNN’s repeated calls for comment.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said deputies were not called to the store at the time of the incident. But detectives are “investigating the matter” now and will file criminal charges if necessary, the department said in a statement.

Customers are afraid to approach

Alisa Wentzel’s customer told CNN she saw the shopper, who she believed was a man, as soon as she entered the shop. He was waiting at the cashier, he said, wearing a hood.

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At first he could not believe what he was seeing, he told CNN.

Wentzel moves between the aisles to sneak a picture of himself and keep his distance.

“Management should have done something, but I don’t see anyone talking to him,” he said. “He just stood in line.”

By the time he finished shopping at the checkout lane himself about 30 minutes later, the man was in line waiting for a cashier, still wearing his hood, he said.

“I only remember feeling very broken hearted, so desperate and then also really upset because this would happen in the community where I raised my family,” he said. “I’m just very surprised and don’t believe it. I still feel that way.”

Santee’s reputation for racial intolerance

The white veil is one of the clearest symbols of the Ku Klux Klan, the white supremacy hate group, and is considered a symbol of hatred. The clan wore a veil to disguise their identity when committing acts of violence against black Americans.
While hate groups are becoming less common in the 21st century, Americans continue to use group symbols. A clear recruitment leaflet for the group was found last year at a Texas high school. An Alabama newspaper published an editorial for the return of the KKK. A police officer in Michigan was fired after his KKK memorabilia was discovered.
Santee has been associated with white supremacy activities for years, so the city earned the nickname “Klantee,” according to a 2001 Los Angeles Times article. Wentzel said the term was still used.
This is a reputation that the city is trying to forget, even employing marketing companies to enhance its brand, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The city condemns this last example of racial intolerance.

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“Many thanks to all who stepped forward to reduce this sad reminder of intolerance,” Santee Mayor John Minto said in a statement on behalf of the Santee City Council. “Santee and its citizens are great, and these individual actions do not represent us as beautiful people and cities.”