Tue. Jun 6th, 2023

American Barber Shop employees

Employees of a business called the American Barbershop allegedly hurled racist insults at a group of mostly Latino protesters who had gathered on Friday, August 15, 2014 to held a vigil last night at Plaza Santa Ana, against police brutality.

A number of employees of this business were reportedly caught on video and in photos saying racial slurs and giving the middle finger to the crowd and members of the press.  Members of the Santa Ana Police Department were there at the time acting as personal security to the East End businesses.

SADP protects the East End

The Vigil was in solidarity with the communities in Ferguson, MO and in Anaheim that are standing up against police brutality and the protesters were also standing against the the latest gang injunction that was recently imposed on a Santa Ana neighborhood.   The protesters were also making a stand against the militarization of the SAPD as well.

The pending video apparently shows the employees throwing cans of empty bottles of suavecito at the protesters..calling them lazy and wetbacks.  We will post the video as soon as it becomes available.  But that could be awhile as the video was shot by a videographer using actual film, not on a cell phone.

Anti police brutality protest in Santa Ana

The American Barbershop responded to this fracas on their Facebook page.  Here is the response verbatim but we had to obscure the curse words they posted:

August 15 around 8:45 there was a large protest in Downtown Santa Ana . American Barbershop was fully staffed with 12 barbers and a full clientele including Moms with their young children. George Mendoza the owner was across the street talking to the restaurant owner of Boldo when he noticed the protesters walking towards his barbershop .

That is when several girls noticed George across the street and instead of continuing their protest , stopped and began yelling “F*ck American Barbershop , and your restaurant!, Why did you open in Santa Ana ? Is it cause you couldn’t afford Laguna Beach? F*ck you and your hipster haircuts!! ” At this point George felt like the protest was targeting his businesses and he also felt that his business was in danger.  

George ran across the street and was immediately surrounded by several masked men that began to aggressively yell at him from about 1 foot away from his face.  They first asked ” Do you support Santa Ana PD ? ” George answered “Of course I do , they take care of my business ” The masked men then aggressively told George ” You are a F*cking Coward , we know who you are and we are coming back to f*ck you up and your barbers !”

By this time all the barbers were outside trying to protect George.  Naturally tempers escalated and the barbers yelled back “take off your masks you f*cken cowards.” As upset as you can imagine the barbers were. NOBODY CALLED THE PROTESTERS WETBACKS!!

Today several people have been Yelping, writing that the barbers called them wetbacks while the protesters were having a peaceful protest. That is a lie. We are a 95 percent Mexican staffed shop and 95 percent of our clients are Mexican. Obviously these Yelp Reviews are fake and this is a personal attack on American Barbershop .

So you tell me was this a peaceful protest ? Did they accomplish what they set out to do ? Or did they get a little side tracked with their hatred ??  I assure you , charges against this group will be filed and Yelped will be contacted for defamation of business .

So what really happened?  Who is lying?  I guess we will know when the video comes out.

In the meantime please take a few minutes to report this incident to the Orange County Human Relations Commission at this link.  You can also email them at this link.  They conducted a formal investigation when former Santa Ana Councilwoman Claudia Alvarez used a Hitler analogy when referring to the man who developed the East End.  So they ought to take an interest in finding out what is happening now in the same area.

The pictures in this post are courtesy of SAPD – Stop Abusing People’s Derechos.

UPDATE: The OC Weekly has weighed in on this controversy with an article by Gabriel San Roman.  Here are a few excerpts:

“It’s hard to say who started it,” says activist “Amaru” from OC A-Cafe, an anarchist collective that sets up in public spaces to give away free books, clothes, and food. “The barbers were outside their shop when the march passed by.”

Amaru, who declined to give his real name, wasn’t going to bother with the shouting match, but changed his mind when he heard “wetback” come from the barber side of the street. “They’re Mexican, so it was weird, but they’re hipster Mexicans, I guess,” he says.

One-star reviews and threats of a boycott over the incident are flooding American Barbershop’s Facebook and Yelp pages. Those comments are enraging owner George Mendoza, who was initially across the street during the confrontation, but rushed to his business once he saw protesters approaching it.

“These people are a bunch of dumbshit, f*cking ignorant people!” Mendoza continued, referring to the protesters. He claims they promised to “f*ck” him and his shop up. “It makes me embarrassed for my own people.”

Protesters had a different take. Amaru claimed someone menaced him with a skateboard. “I got chased right in front of the cops,” he says. “They just watched.”

Another protester says men decked in bow ties and suspenders went after him and his friends. “We were walking away from the march,” says Jordan Brocious. “Six of them ran through the parking structure to catch up to us looking for a fight.”

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

39 thoughts on “Gentrifiers and Latinos protesting against police brutality face off in DTSA”
  1. Wow! This is disgusting. Mostly latino barbers thinking that they are better and superior to other latinos and the masses of human beings that have legitimate gripes about the state of our world.
    I always thought the owner of that place was a descent guy so I hope that he was not the main instigator of such ignorance.

  2. Then again, I hope the protesters were not so ignorant as to be waving Mexico flags or anti-american propaganda. I bet some of them were.

      1. Also Editor, you should not place Mirna Velasquez’ picture next to the Mike gonzalez guy’s portrait because Mirna is a classy gal and have heard the exact opposite about Mike.

  3. This will be intresting to see the council candidates pander for Latino votes while pandering to the monied powers that pull their strings (ie. The Gentrifiers).

    Man, where is Greg Diamond and company when Santa Ana needs him!

  4. That’s funny because they don’t use Suavecito. I have seen no video and it would have already been up by now. Why are they protesting? I have not seen any police brutality in SNA. I have seen gang murders, even a couple that have involved younger individuals. Why have we not seen a protest against gangs in Santa Ana?

    1. So you missed it when a cop recently ticketed a guy for riding a bike?

      And you clearly missed the half dozen or so police shootings in the past year or so?

      As for the protest I think we made it clear what it was about but you clearly chose not to read it.

      What about the young lady who was kicked to death in DTSA outside a hipster bar? Or the fellow who was shot at two in the morning a couple years ago after hanging out at Proof? Their deaths are on the gentrifiers!

      1. Sad? What is sad is how you and yours have gone all in with making DTSA a debauched playground for people that don’t live here. What a mess and now the body count is piling up.

    2. I too have wondered when the “Casa Bonita” activists would rally against gang violence. I wondered when Adam Elmerhark, and Joe Dunn from the comfort of their Floral Park homes would march on the streets protesting violence,

      I am told if such a protest was organized, the Lomeli girls woud fly back fromtheir European vacations, Raquel would rise from her cosmetic surgery and MARCH TO STOP THE VIOLENCE! Dan C. would provide PR and Prevatt be the Long Beach representative.

      Oh wait, that was Henry Gattis, Fr. Christopher Smith, Andy Sevdra and actual Santa Ana residents who marched against the violence in 94. I wonder how much “SAM” and “ARTURO” and “ALFREDO” have donated to Thom Linnerts golf tourney????

      These are FAT CATS with thier rich bitch daughters, crying. Benavides is cheifly responsible for this uprising in violence, if you can’t save a marriage HOW DO SAVE A CITY?

  5. No video? Then show the pictures of the barbershop employees throwing empty bottles of suevecito and giving the middle finger to the protesters. I am not saying it didn’t happen. Just find it strange that you have pictures of them standing around but not of what the article says they did. If true, then we must boycott this barbershop.

    1. We provided a link to the source of the pictures. I am sure more will be posted soon. This story is far from over.

      And if George Collins shot the video then it will come out eventually but as I said he is very slow as an editor.

  6. Since this video is the “key” evidence to convince people that this really happened, you would think the video would be posted the same time as the article. Now we have to wait a week or two? Interesting. Makes me believe there will be some trick editing going on.

    1. The guy who shot this uses real video cameras and film. This won’t be a phone video. That’s why he takes so long. I’m hoping that some cell phone videos will emerge in the interim.

  7. What I don’t understand is how Michele Martinez, Roman Reyna and David Benavides can afford at any of those spots, none of them appear to have paying jobs!

  8. Most of gentrified Santa Ana is entirely over priced and overhyped. But with restaurant over- saturation (You all know it is happening!) At least some will force to compete by lowering prices to keep consumers. That’s why I am enjoying the $3.00 ale at C4 Deli right now. F$$$ the overpriced drama.

    1. The Orange Circle residents were concerned with over saturation of restaurants in the area, yet they keep building. Good luck getting into Haven, Gabbi’s, or Francoli without a reservation, especially on the week-end. Even parking is hard to come by. Those that fill a need will prosper. Those that don’t simply won’t.

        1. Sorry you have to take your “family” to Denny’s. Most people that have a good job can afford these places. Definitely not expensive.

          1. We can afford these overpriced restaurants but would rather not waste our money on them.

            And they have awful ratings on Yelp. Check out what they have to say about Playground here. Or Chapter One here. Or Little Sparrow here.

  9. I like the way downtown Santa Ana is being resurrected. Used to rent an apartment across from The Gypsy Den and enjoyed many meals and walks in the area. Couldn’t have done that not too many years ago. I say, keep up the makeover. It gives all of us who live in the area some real local choices without having to resort to taking our money out of our community.

  10. Maybe so, but the moves are positive and we should be pleased with the progress made so far. As the effort continues, it makes sense that a broader palate of offerings will come, including those designed for families.

  11. Thank you for the link, but that isn’t really what I was hoping for. I want to know what you mean by using the term, not what Wiki says or anyone else. I just want my comments here to remain relevant, but again, thank you for the link. What does “hipster” mean to you?

  12. Well, if hipsters or anyone else has money the gentrified shops and restaurants will cater to them and be glad to take their money from them, regardless of the customer’s narcissism, if any. As for anyone believing they are better than anyone else.. that is nothing but being judgmental, and who cares what a judgmental person has to say about anything?. I mean, labeling another amorphous group of strangers as “narcissists and egomaniacs (thinking they are better than everyone else) is pretty judgmental and places the label-maker smack dab in the middle of narcissism and egomania.

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