Popular Bethel coffeeshop finds rainbow flag burned; community responds with kindness
Members of the Bethel community are
showing their support for a coffeehouse that was recently
vandalized in a potential act of hate.
Police are investigating after
someone took a rainbow flag from the front of Molton Java, burned it and
left it at the door. They say they are taking the incident seriously and are
combing through security camera footage to find the culprit.
The charred rainbow flag left at the door of Molton Java.
The coffeeshop, which prides itself
on its welcoming environment, is the “heartbeat” of Bethel, as one customer put
“It’s not just a coffeehouse. It’s a
place for people to gather from all walks of life,” says state Rep.
Raghib Allie-Brennan (D-2nd District). "You always think it can’t happen
here, but it can. I think it’s a real opportunity for us to have a conversation
about kindness and inclusion.”
Allie-Brennan, a member of the gay
community himself, says whoever did this doesn't speak for Bethel as a whole.
That has been evident by the community's response.
According to workers, customers have
been dropping off rainbow flags ever since the incident occurred. Barista
Marissa Amundsen says customers also ordered flags online.
“It’s too bad we can’t all hug it out
right now, but that’s coming too,” she says.
On Tuesday morning, Suzanne Hall-Fritsch placed a lawn sign outside the coffeeshop that says: "Hate has no home here."
"Now it’s here, and it warms my heart because hate has no home here at Molten Java or in Bethel," she says.