A coffee house employee recently cut up a musician’s Confederate hat in Bethel, Connecticut stirring outrage.
Stan Weston, who was performing during an open mike night at Molten Java, recalled the incident to NewsTimes:
It was open mike night, and I was playing the banjo, so I didn’t think much about wearing the hat. It’s just an old family heirloom. I wasn’t wearing it as any kind of racial symbol. I just recently found it among some of the grandfather’s old stuff.
According to Weston, an old acquaintance walked off with the hat, which included the symbol for the pro-slavery Confederate forces.
Moments later, a coffee house employee walked on stage and cut the hat to pieces. The moment was filmed by Facebook user Mariah Vaughan.
Weston said he was shocked by the violence:
I used to go to Molten Java when I was younger, and it was always a very inclusive place. People weren’t brandishing weapons back then. I was just shocked that someone took such a violent approach.
Police spokesman Capt. Steven Pugne said the cops were called, but there were no arrests after the employee apologized and paid Weston $20 for the hat.
Wendy Cahill, who owns the coffee house, stated:
What she did was wrong. If they had a verbal conversation about the hat, I would have supported her. The sentiment I agree with, but not her actions. Everyone is welcome here but they have to be willing to engage in civil discourse.
Weston wanted to press charges, but said the police would not take it that far: “They told me the case was closed and there was nothing more they could do.”