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Woman Confronts Store About Confederate Rugs (Video)

Woman Confronts Store About Confederate Rugs (Video) Promo Image

A woman got in an argument with clerks when she asked about Confederate flag rugs on sale in their Oregon store (video below).

The footage shows what happened in May when 33-year-old Heather Franklin asked employees of Portland's Everyday Deals Extreme, a discount liquidation store, about a rug with a Confederate flag on it, according to The Oregonian. The employees reacted with hostility to Franklin, who had her children with her during the confrontation.

"You don't care about having hate flags on your wall?" asks Franklin in the clip.

"How's that a hate symbol?" asked a man in the footage. "Read your history."

"Bye b***h," said a man who identified himself as an employee at the store. "Get your kids out of here."

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"Look at this liberal," the first man says.

"Yeah, look at this liberal whiny b***h here," replies the employee. Hillary supporter? Bernie supporter? Which one did you vote for that lost? Is that why you're in a bad mood?"

Franklin, who said that she goes to the store up to twice a week, then left the store, and footage shows her and the two men yelling at each other from across the parking lot.

According to Franklin, the men were also approaching her in the lot.

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"I felt like they were going to come and physically hurt me," said the mom.

The CEO of Everyday Deals, Andrew Toolson, said he ensured the rugs were taken off the sales floor and that he did not approve of his employees' behavior. Toolson said that Everyday Deals is "as far from a racist organization" as possible.

"I was sick to my stomach when I saw that video," said Toolson. "I've talked to those employees. They've handled it very poorly."

"We receive thousands of different products," explained Toolson. One load included the rugs with the Confederate flag on them, he said. "We've contacted the rug supplier and said: 'Please don't send us those.'"

Toolson added that he had put the employees involved in the incident on indefinite leave and said he'd like to apologize to Franklin.

"I just want everyone to know that's not who we are and what we represent here at all," said the CEO.

Franklin said she would not be shopping at the store in the future, adding: "It seems that store is full of terrible people."

"I think it's our duty to stand up when things are wrong, regardless if they're going to respond the way I want them to," said Franklin, according to KATU. "I'm not going to not say something."

"People complain about all kinds of things," she added. "You can complain about the music in the store of the lights in the store, you wouldn't expect people to attack you. But complaining about a symbol of hate in a store, the response is anger toward that person for even bringing it up."

Dozens attended a demonstration at the store later that week to protest Franklin's treatment.

"When a mother and her children are harassed and intimidated in our neighborhood, it will not just be business as usual," read the event's Facebook page.

The protest reportedly drew approximately 25 protestors and a counter-protesting group that was about half as large.

"To me, the Confederate flag has a lot of meaning behind it," said protester Maralana Milne. "And there are a lot of people that are dismissing the meaning behind it, like after the Civil War racism was over, we were all on the same scale and there was no more racism."

"I would like the see racism dismantled," added Milne. "But racism has not gone away. And people are going to hear about it over and over and over again because it is not going away."

Sources: The Oregonian (2), KATU / Featured Image: Tory/Flickr / Embedded Images: Richard Elzey/Flickr, Edward Stojakovic/Flickr

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