Liberal news outlets are rushing to play the race card in an incident where a security guard at an Oakland, California Whole Foods store beat a customer unconscious–yet the police have not even finished their investigation.
A single eyewitness, Zoe Marks, posted graphic images on her Facebook account, along with a poetic description of the bloody altercation between a customer and a store security guard: “He was trying to buy groceries with his EBT card and ended up in a stretcher.”
Before all the facts are known (such as if the security guard was white or black, for instance, or if the altercation was over the customer’s use of an EBT card or something else), several news outlets have gone ahead with headlines like:
- Black Man Brutalized by Security Guard at Whole Foods for Trying to Buy Food (Yahoo News)
- Whole Foods security guard fired after ‘beating up black customer trying to pay with food stamps card’ (The Independent)
- Whole Foods security guard fired ‘after bloody bust up with black customer’ (The Mirror)
A Youtube video posted by user Zennie62 titled “Whole Foods Oakland Beating Of Black Man Racist #OakMtg #BlackLivesMatter” appears to jump straight to the conclusion that the beating was racially motivated.
Certainly, a man was violently assaulted by a store guard, and that in itself is news, but there aren’t yet enough facts to support a conclusion that this was a crime motivated by race or the use of food stamps at Whole Foods, which is not known for low prices or big discounts.
One widely known fact is that Oakland is a violent city, consumed with crime and gang problems. And it’s no secret that the natural foods chain appeals to liberals–in fact a study gauged that the most liberal Americans shop at Whole Foods.
So why are some media and online sites portraying this as being about a black man with an EBT card?
Marks’ Facebook post focused on her observation that the guard carried a weapon. “In Oakland less than four hours and I just saw a young man violently assaulted by an armed security guard at Whole Foods.”
She also posted bloody pictures of the customer, after the altercation (warning: the photos are extremely graphic), which she described as the man was “slammed repeatedly against concrete pillars, put in a choke hold, restrained, and suffocated until he was thrown face-down on the pavement unconscious” by the guard.
Marks then criticized the guard for locking the store doors without explaining why he might have done that (possibly for her own safety?). “The guard locked him out of the store despite the fact he was immobile. Not a single employee called the paramedics.” How would she know that?
She told the Bay Area News on Friday that the customer wasn’t shouting at anyone, and in her opinion he must not have been a threat.
“He wasn’t violent or disruptive,” Marks said. “There was no threat from him to any of the customers or employees.”
Marks could not possibly have known whether that man was a threat or not–yet her words were taken at face value by an eager press ready to make this about race and an EBT card.
Whole Foods responded quickly to the fracas.
“Whole Foods Market considers the safety and security of all team members, customers and members of our community a top priority,” Whole Foods spokeswoman Beth Krauss wrote in an email. “While we move swiftly to gather the facts, we want to make it clear that Whole Foods Market takes a zero tolerance approach to violence.”
The Daily Mail reported that the guard has since been fired.
The left is sure to try to get the maximum mileage from this story that they can. And to be sure, it is news worth reporting–but until the facts are completely known, perhaps its best to dispense with the sensational headlines and racial commentary on this one.