A woman at a farmers' market who berated a business owner for handing out pride flags went viral, resulting in the suspension of the event
The result of a struggle for pride flags in a California farmers market shows how video of bad behavior has a moment online.
Alexander Spatari / Getty Images; @ karli_harward / Twitter
After a video was released in which a farmer's market official approached a seller for the distribution of LGBTQ pride flags, the organization will no longer operate the local market.
"My job is to lead the market and not satisfy your political point of view," the California Farmers' Market Association (CFMA) general manager told business owner Dan Floyd. Gail Hayden later apologized for her comments and actions.
The video and its consequences show a growing movement of people seeking justice online with videos of daily micro-aggression.
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The organization, which runs the farmers market in the small town of Livermore, California, has resigned after an online video from its guide told a seller he couldn't distribute LGBTQ pride flags for rainbows.
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The video continues in the 1930s
In the June 7 video, Gail Hayden, who heads the California Farmers' Market Association (CFMA), tells seller Dan Floyd, owner of Dan Good Cookies, that he must not distribute the miniature flags to customers in the market.
"My job is to lead the market and not satisfy your political point of view," Hayden said to Floyd, adding that it was "worrying" that Floyd did not appear to have read the 30 pages of the CFMA manual in which "Petitions and flyers" are available distributions are prohibited on the market, "said NBC Bay Area.
"I don't care what the flags are for," said Hayden in the video, which has had 58,000 views on Twitter since its release on Monday. "It has nothing to do with anything."
idk if any of you saw that, but this karen ass bitch went off on the owner of Dan Good Cookies at the livermore farmers market for distributing gay pride flags at his booth, and it has my mom and Really pissed me off. He is the cutest guy and everyone should support him
00:16 - June 16, 2020
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738 people talk about it
The city of Livermore has stopped operating the market until further notice as it is looking for a new management company.
Social media users are becoming increasingly comfortable posting videos and images that expose others' bad behavior, leading to fires, expulsions, and other very real consequences. In this case, the CFMA, which did not immediately return Insider's request for a comment, quickly resigned from its position as the organizer of the Livermore market, the Livermore City Hall announced on Tuesday in a Facebook post.
"The event in the market that led to the CFMA's resignation does not reflect Livermore's values of inclusion and respect," the statement said, adding that the flag of pride flies outside of Livermore City Hall. "The City Council believes that a city can best survive against bigotry, intolerance and hatred by leading by example and living our common values."
In an interview with Insider, Hayden said that the incident was "disproportionate" and that the organization was "all-encompassing". Hayden said that she did not need Floyd, who did not immediately return Insider's request for comment, to stop distributing the flags, as only food could be spent in this area to comply with the CFMA's insurance policy. "We were quoted for a musician selling a CD," she recalled. Since Floyd's booth was selling biscuits, he couldn't dispense the other items in the same area. "It's the same across the board," she said.
Amy Pannu, executive director of Livermore Pride, had worked with Floyd to distribute the flags before Hayden appeared to speak, according to a statement by Livermore Pride. Hayden told insiders that Livermore Pride had not properly registered for the event, but the nonprofit said it disagreed.
"This incident is not about the existence of (any) rules and regulations, but a targeted verbal attack on LGBTQ + community members that is justified by citing alleged rules and regulations," said a statement by Organization.
"It's a big misunderstanding because it didn't target anyone because of its sexuality," Hayden told Insider. "It is very unfortunate that this has happened." Hayden added that she and her team are working to learn how to deal with such situations better, and that they have resigned from organizing the Livermore market because of the backlash against the video. "Of course we have to do it better," she said. "I feel really bad that Dan felt like he was looking for him."
Hayden also apologized for her comments and actions in a statement posted on the CFMA website. "While we focused on enforcing market rules, we failed to see the big picture that Dan expresses with its Pride flags," the Tuesday statement said. "The LGBTQ + community deserves a tolerant environment to express and celebrate their identity. We shouldn't have allowed the conversation to escalate and we apologize for the imprecise effects that were made."
The incident is the latest in a long line of "Karen" material that has been recorded and distributed online and often shows white women who are publicly considered inappropriate. In recent weeks, women have been called "Karen" because, among other things, they called the police for black men, accused McDonald's of discrimination, and blocked parking lots.
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