Protest Message Claims Arab Man Refused to Sell Gas to Uniformed Soldier
OutlineA boycott message going viral via social media claims that an Arabic worker at a Michigan gas station refused to sell gas to a uniformed U.S. Army reservist.
Brief AnalysisThe circulating message has caused a great deal of outrage and even threats against the gas station and its staff. However, the man who supposedly refused service to the soldier maintains that the furore is the result of a miscommunication. The man says that the station was out of the type of gas that the soldier requested and he was not refused service because he was in uniform. The man, who acknowledges that he has a strong accent, claims that the soldier may have simply misunderstood him.
ARAB MAN REFUSES TO SELL GAS TO U.S. SOLDIER IN UNIFORM
BOYCOTT EAST HOLLY MOBIL
Hey Mobile Oil -What have YOU got to say about this?
Detailed AnalysisThis protest message, which is circulating virally via social media, calls for a boycott of a Holly, Michigan gas station. According to the message, an Arabic man working at the station refused to serve gas to a US soldier in uniform in an apparent act of discrimination.
The message has generated outrage and the gas station has received threatening phone calls and messages. Reports indicate that, at one point, a group of protesters carrying American flags and weapons approached the station, although they quickly left without incident.
But the man at the centre of the controversy maintains that the incident was a miscommunication and that he simply meant to convey to the soldier that they did not have the type of gas that he requested. An article about the incident on Inquisitr News notes:
Nick Ghalib, the manager of the Mobil, spoke with Inquisitr in a phone interview. Nick was the Mobil employee that was originally accused of the bigoted comment. Nick told Inquisitr that there was no more premium or mid-grade gas available. Those types of gasoline were sold out by noon that day. Only regular gas was available. Nick says he tried to explain that to the man, but the reservist just left quickly. Nick recognizes that he has a strong accent, but wants to make it known that neither he, nor the Mobil gas station discriminates against anyone. He said that everyone is welcome at the Holly, Mobil.That version of events has been backed up by the manager of a store located inside the gas station. The manager added the following in a comment to a Facebook thread on the issue:
Recently there has been a viscous post going around stating we have denied a service member of gas. Correction. We ran out of gas! We wave the American flag everyday! We let recruiters sit at our tables and recruit new members anytime need be. I am the manager of the Tubbys located inside of the gas station I am here over sixty hours a week and I can say this did not happen! Our manager here is nothing but sweet he would deny nothing to anybody if we have the supply for it. We have been getting threatening phone calls for the past few days and we are being slandered all over Facebook for nothing.The protest quickly escalated after the soldier's wife posted a message decrying what she believed was an act of discrimination against her husband. In the post, she claims that the man told her husband that 'we do not serve gas here'.
She has also reportedly received threats over her posts and has now either removed her Facebook profile or made it inaccessible to public view.
In a final post, she expressed shock that her message had got out like it did and that people were being threatened as a result and she had therefore deleted it. She noted that, while her husband did feel that he was discriminated against, he was upset with her for posting the message.
So, it seems that what was probably just a rather simple misunderstanding has escalated into an online 'event' with both parties being needlessly and unfairly threatened. It certainly illustrates the sometimes unexpectedly powerful and uncontrollable nature of social media.
Sadly, such ill-conceived protest messages can lead to even more bigotry, hatred, and discrimination and certainly serve no good purpose.
© Depositphotos.com/ grandeduc
Last updated: September 2, 2014
First published: September 2, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen