Update #2: A police officer showed up at the Holly, Michigan Mobil gas station, according to a spokesperson who also informed Inquisitr that the protesters left without the police even asking them to leave or questioning them in any way. As before, as new details emerge, Inquisitr will report on this developing story. At this time, the woman who posted the original status update accusing discrimination based on her husband’s military uniform has issued an updated statement, but her Facebook account is not available for contact. Her name is being withheld in this story for her safety based on journalistic judgement. It will be released only with her permission or following any future police statement.
Update #1: Protesters at the Holly, Michigan Mobile arrived carrying American flags and weapons. A source at the Mobile station tells Inquisitr that a few of the protesters are either holding weapons or carrying them in their holsters. Michigan is a traditional “open carry” state, according to the Wall Street Journal. Police are headed to the scene. A resident supplied Inquisitr with the photo of the protest along the street in front of the Mobil station. The cause of the protest appears to be a misunderstanding that was posted as a Facebook rant.
A Holly, Michigan Mobil gas station is receiving threats after a misunderstanding was blown out of proportion by social media. When a woman posted to Facebook her perspective of an encounter that her husband, who is a reservist for the U.S. Military, had at a Mobil gas station while in uniform, social media users were quick to share the status update. The woman claimed that her husband was denied gas at a gas station by the clerk, who she said was Arabic. She presumed the refusal was in protest to her husband’s uniform. Quickly, a boycott was created by eager social media users without looking into the facts.
According to the Mobil station, the reservist was “refused gas,” because the Mobil gas station was out of the type of gas the man wanted.
The presumptions led to threats against the Mobil station. 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.
Diana Clark Davis of Holly, Michigan wrote on a Facebook group for people who grew up in Holly, “I looked at the original poster’s page and that article has had nearly 8,000 shares just off her page so far.” When the reservist’s wife took down the status, Facebook users then jumped to the conclusion that Facebook took down the post. At that point social media users began sharing the screen-grab of the status in place of the status itself.
Safi Gonzalez, the manager of the Tubby’s that is located within the Mobil gas station told Inquisitr in an online interview, “The original poster Samantha has even called our local police and stated she is sorry and did not get the entire story.” Safi added her opinion of the original post that started the Facebook fury, “I honestly just think it was miscommunication. I don’t think she intentionally lied. I think her husband came home, stated he couldn’t get gas not realizing we were out [because] of the dialect that was used and she got angry.”
Safi explained that the original poster, who’s full name has been withheld due to the volatile nature of the situation, has also been getting threats. She allegedly deleted her account as a result. Safi requested that the threats stop, “We do not want her getting threats what so ever. We do not condone hostility towards anybody, nor are we even angry at her as anyone would be upset if what she said had actually happened.” Safi doesn’t believe that the original poster was consciously prejudice, she feels that it was just a mix-up. The mix-up sheds light on fears that are rampant in the U.S. amid the reports of ISIS sleeper cells.
The reservist’s wife wrote on Facebook that she was aware that the Mobil was getting threatening calls. She updated her account before closing it down or taking it off public visibility:
“i am honestly shocked that it got out like it didnt and i am aware these people are getting threatening calls i have delete what post i could because i do not want anyone hurt what so ever. my husband was very upset with me for even saying anything because he does not like social media for that reason. i posted my post out of anger b.c. to many men and women do get denied service and that’s what my husband felt happened to him when the man said we don’t serve gas here.”
In the meantime, the Mobil station in Holly, Michigan is already getting negative reviews on Google based on the Facebook post. Nick said that the Mobil station has been getting many calls, including calls from the media. “We keep telling them the same thing,” he said reiterating that everyone is welcome at the Mobil station in Holly, Michigan and that they do not discriminate against U.S. military.
Protesters arrived at the Mobil station just before 3PM Monday afternoon.
Inquisitr will update this developing story as new details are made available about the situation at the Mobil in Holly, Michigan.