Several protest after Confederate flag rugs found in SE Portland - KPTV - FOX 12

Several protest after Confederate flag rugs found in SE Portland store

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Courtesy: Heather Franklin Courtesy: Heather Franklin

A local woman's Facebook video is sparking debate in Portland, even inspiring a protest. The video was taken by a shopper who found Confederate flag rugs for sale at a liquidation store.

Heather Franklin said she was shopping at Everyday Deals Extreme in Southeast Portland when she saw two Confederate flag carpets on display.

“Oh, I felt sick. To me and to most folks, when you see the Confederate flag it's considered a hate flag. It represents slavery, lynching, rape and the worst of the things. To proudly hang it in a store is a threat to our community,” said Franklin.

Franklin said she asked an employee about the rugs while going live on Facebook.

Franklin said she was harassed and bullied by employees when she brought up the carpets during her Facebook live video.

“He was talking about politics and calling me a whiny B-word,” said Franklin.

In Franklin’s video, you can see an employee flip her off and curse at her. Franklin said the employees then followed her outside to her car.

“They continued to stomp towards me and call me names, really harassed me and intimidate me. Again I had two kids I was trying to strap in the car,” said Franklin.

Andrew Toolson, CEO of Everyday Deals Extreme, said the carpets have been thrown out. Toolson also apologized and said one of the employees in the video has been suspended.

“I’m really sorry this happened, it’s not a normal occurrence. I’m sorry she had to go through that. I was sick to my stomach when I saw it. We’re not a racist organization. There’s no place for that here,” said Toolson.

Franklin’s video clearly struck a lot of chords, as dozens showed up to protest outside of the store on Thursday. Many had signs that read, ‘This store is racist” and, “Harassment isn’t a good business model.”

“That is merchandizing of hate and making money off of hate. We’re here to bring the public’s attention to that, and to stop it,” said one protester.

Toolson said inventory at the store is always constantly changing, including this week’s bulk delivery of rugs. He said the customer was mistreated and the carpets were a mistake.

Some also defended the store at Thursday’s rally, saying it has the right to sell the Confederate flag carpets, but many agreed that the employees did not handle the situation appropriately. 

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