“You can continue to believe what you need to believe, sir,” the wife told him. “But no, I cannot pay you for your services. Thank you, have a good day.”
By David Moye, The Huffington Post
A Black couple’s encounter with a white man they hired to fix their golf cart is going viral for the polite way they handled an awkward situation.
On Saturday, Atlanta couple Allison and Zeke Brown hired a contractor, identified as “Michael,” to fix the brakes of their golf cart. Things quickly became awkward when he showed up with a Confederate flag flying from his SUV.
Considering the racist history associated with the flag, the Browns didn’t feel comfortable with the situation.
“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, a 40-year-old radiation therapist, told the contractor in a video captured on her Ring app. Her husband then chimed in to explain that the flag was the issue.
Zeke told Yahoo Lifestyle that Michael had not been disrespectful during their previous conversation, so when he saw the flag flying in his own driveway, he was taken aback.
“The flag was absurd — I had to walk back into the house to calm myself down,” he said.
Allison said she was angry, but felt she had to do whatever it took to avoid escalating things.
“I didn’t want to be the ‘angry Black woman’ but I wanted him to learn and feel that bottom-line loss,” she told Yahoo. “You don’t go to Germany and wave the Nazi flag. It’s the same thing.”
Although Michael apparently thought removing the flag would solve the matter, Allison quickly corrected him.
“No, you don’t need to take it down,” she can be heard saying in the video. “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.”
Michael seemed surprised at the Browns’ reaction. He even messaged Zeke after leaving their home, saying, “I didn’t know the flag offended y’all.”
Zeke responded in great detail about why the flag was so offensive:
“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…”
However, anyone hoping for some kind of teachable moment is sure to be disappointed.
Yahoo reached out to Michael, who said he is a “redneck” but doesn’t support slavery. He added that his siblings bought the flag for the Fourth of July and, as such, he feels obligated to drive around with it.
“I am not going to take it down when my siblings asked me to fly it,” he said. “If [the family] wants to take offense, they can.”
Still, people on social media praised the Browns for their grace under the circumstances.
For Allison, turning away the Confederate flag-loving contractor was a no-brainer.
“We can control where we spend our money and we can control where our family dollar goes,” she told Inside Edition. “And it will not go to someone who is promoting such hate.”
This article originally appeared in the Huffington Post.