***Warning, this story contains numerous profanities and vulgarities.***
An allegation of an abhorrent racist incident has been made in relation to a incident at the McDonald’s on Gaetz Avenue south.
Zach Running Coyote, an actor from Rosebud Alberta who is in Red Deer for Bard on Bower, posted a video about the incident, which at press time has over 90,000 views on Facebook.
The video is the result of a post from the previous night by Running Coyote entitled, ‘I hate you Canada for teaching people to treat me this way.’
Running Coyote made the video to clarify the incident, which allegedly took place the night of June 22, due to people saying the racism he experienced wasn’t ‘Canada’s fault.’
Running Coyote’s Story
According to Running Coyote’s account on Facebook, he went to the McDonald’s following a rehearsal to have a meal. While seated, a news story came on the television regarding charges being dropped against an Alberta rancher in an incident in Okotoks where a man was shot in the arm after trespassing.
A man — who Running Coyote described as Caucasian, wearing a black cap and sunglasses, walked out of the bathroom area with his partner, looking at the screen and said, “This is a victory for Canada. If someone comes on to my property now, I’ll f**g shoot em’ dead.”
Running Coyote in his Facebook video said he shook his head as the man walked by which led to the man coming over and saying, “What is your f**g problem? Mind your own f**g business.”
The man, according to Running Coyote, proceeded to go with his partner to order food where he said loud enough for people to hear, “That little f**g know-it-all-Indian better mind his own business.”
Running Coyote said he then stood up, walked over to the individual and said, “If you are going to call me a f**g Indian. Just say it to my face”. The man responded, according to Running Coyote, by saying, “You better f**k off.”
Running Coyote allegedly responded by repeating his original statement, followed by the man repeating his. This happened one more time before Running Coyote went back to sit down.
The individual and his female partner proceeded to order their food and then exited the building while “sneering” at Running Coyote.
Running Coyote followed them outside and yelled at them across the parking lot while they are in their car, “Hey dude, thanks for your opinion. It means a lot to me. That really helps me in my life”.
The man pulled up to Running Coyote in his vehicle and said, ”You know, dude. I am sick of your f**king people mooching off my tax dollars and living off welfare.”
Running Coyote said he responded by saying he has a job and pays taxes, to which the individual asked why is he riding a bicycle then.
“He then says, ‘You’re a poor-ass f**king squaw.’ He then drives out of the parking lot speeding going, [miming racist gesture],” Running Coyote said.
Running Coyote said in an interview that he didn’t want the individual to think he had won the argument and that is why he chose to go outside.
“I wasn’t done, but I didn’t want to say anything else inside of the store because I didn’t want to start a fight inside of the store. I figured if I leave, I wouldn’t get in anymore trouble,” he said.
He added he was to a degree fearful of the individual due to his comments, but was more fearful that no one in the restaurant stood up for him.
Running Coyote alleged he then walked into the McDonald’s to finish his meal but was stopped by the manager, saying he needed to leave due to trying to start a fight in the restaurant.
“I was like, ‘Dude, you saw the whole thing. He called me slurs, I stood up for myself and you are kicking me out?’ ” Running Coyote said.
The manager, according to Running Coyote’s video, said, “I would have kicked him out too.”
Running Coyote questions this statement by the manager, because he saw what happened and served the guy anyway and only asked Running Coyote to leave after the individual was gone.
“I was apologizing profusely, feeling really shitty, but still being told I was just looking for a fight,”
Running Coyote said the manager then allegedly said they would call the police, which led to Running Coyote deciding to leave.
Since posting his original post, Running Coyote has been criticized for saying he hates Canada for this incident.
“That is Canada. That is on this country,” he said in the video. “My statement that I hate Canada is not racist. Canada is not a race. It is not a statement that I hate white people. The statement is that I hate Canada, because I do. Canada really sucks.
“I didn’t start anything. I shook my head at a really stupid thing that a guy said and this is how I am treated.”
Running Coyote said he didn’t make his Facebook posts to debate the meaning of racism and hopes people will stop trying to explain to him what racism is.
“All of you out there that don’t know what racism is — if you aren’t going to be my friend and ally without needing to challenge me, please keep your damned mouth shut. I don’t need your opinion.
“It doesn’t help me, it doesn’t make me feel safer at night biking around this city — I can’t bike around this city anymore. I have to get my cast mates to drive me places because it is not safe.”
He added in an interview that he doesn’t hate any individual and his Christian faith teaches him to forgive individuals.
“I am referring to the system that is Canada. A system that has oppressed my people for generations and a system that continues to oppress my people,” he said.
Running Coyote said this is just the latest of incidents that have happened to him on a daily basis.
“As I was biking home last night, a big truck drove by me and this guy sticks his head out the window and wagging his head around like he has a seizure going on and he sticks his tongue out at me,” he said. “Right after he speeds past, he pulls over and turns around — I high-tailed out of there so fast that I don’t know if he actually came back.
“That kind of thing happens to me on a daily basis but I don’t say anything, I don’t do anything. I don’t assume its racist but after yesterday, I realized that people are terrible and I would like to get out of here in my skin.”
Running Coyote said he hopes people who want to debate and argue with him will consider, “How you have been treated by Canada and whether or not Canada benefits you?
“If it does, maybe you should just keep your opinion to yourself because what happened last night is the definition of white privilege.”
Red Deer McDonald’s Franchise owner Bob Carpenter responded by saying that McDonald’s is a place for everyone.
“As a McDonald’s franchisee, I pride myself on creating and maintaining a diverse and accepting environment for all my guests and employees,” he said in an email statement. “Discrimination of any kind, including racist taunts, is simply not tolerated in my restaurants.”
The statement went on to read that all individuals are asked to leave whenever violent, aggressive or threatening situations occur.
“This is how we maintain a safe and secure space for everyone,” Carpenter said. “While the situation is obviously disappointing on many levels, we have spoken with Zach over the weekend and let him know that he is certainly welcome in my restaurants.
“I am using this situation to reiterate to all my restaurant managers and crew the importance of maintaining a safe and welcoming environment.”