A Bed-Stuy coffee shop was the subject of a minuscule—and ridiculous—protest this week. At around 9:30 a.m. Thursday, a man was seen standing outside Burly Coffee expressing his objection to the establishment's "Black Lives Matter" signage. As video that surfaced on Reddit shows, the man was filmed holding up his camera phone while arguing with a barista and several bystanders.
"This is the most racist thing out there," he is heard saying, referring to the BLM sign displayed in the coffee shop's window. "I'm not a racist...This is offensive and I want you to take off this sign."
An employee questions why the man—later identified as Abraham "Avrumy" Knofler—was so offended by the sign, and attempts to explain why the message is so important.
"It's not saying that all lives don't matter, it's just saying that Black lives matter because they haven't mattered in this country ever," the staff member says.
Rohan Singh, the man who filmed the viral video, told the Gothamist it's unclear what exactly sparked the confrontation, as Knofler also complained about the coffee shop's mask policy.
"No mask, no service. You need to go," the employee tells Knofler.
"Why do I need a mask?" he fired back. "The pandemic is a hoax. Only sheep like you wear the mask, because you've been told whatever you've been told, but you don't use your head, because you're stupid."
Knofler also began chanting "all lives matter," which was the basis for his one-man demonstration.
"I was making a protest—all lives matter," he told the Gothamist. "They don't have to take [the sign] down, I just wanted to defend all lives matter."
As pointed out by Gothamist, Knofler's since-deleted Twitter page included a number of pro-Trump tweets.
Burly Coffee has released a statement on the incident via Instagram, reiterating the business' support for the BLM movement, while also applauding its staff for "standing up to the blinding hate."
"Unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident with this person and our priority continues to be the safety and well-being of our staff," the statement read in part. "We are overwhelmed by the generous support of our staff via our Venmo Tip Jar. The baristas that experienced this hatred will receive the tips directly. Burly will be making a contribution to @bedstuystrong in support of the community we love and are thankful to be a part of."