The United States Postal Service is investigating after a man said he saw a postal worker in Cambridge this week shout at another man to leave the country, calling it “Trump land.”
Yarden Katz, a fellow in the department of systems biology at Harvard Medical School, said in a telephone interview that he was at a Shell gas station at the corner of Webster and Cambridge streets around 1 p.m. Wednesday when the postal worker told an unidentified person, who looked to be of Hispanic descent, to “Go back to your country.”
Katz said the worker, whom he described as a white male with a beard, then said, “This is Trump land. You ain’t getting your check no more.”
“It’s incredibly alarming,” said Katz, who shared on Twitter a picture of the complaint he filed with the USPS. “Just one day after the election and you see this kind of stuff. It’s very disturbing. I would not have expected to see it in Cambridge — and so visibly.”
Katz said he did not know what provoked the situation, because when he pulled up to the gas station the two men were already interacting.
Steve Doherty, a spokesman with the USPS, said the agency received a copy of Katz’s tweet on Thursday. The incident is being investigated by the customer service manager at the Cambridge post office, he said.
“Appropriate action will be taken based on the outcome of that investigation,” he said in a statement. “The Postal Service does not tolerate or condone behavior of the type described in this tweet.”
In his letter to the USPS, Katz included the seven-digit code that was written on the side of the postal worker’s vehicle.
According to Katz’s account of the incident, the unidentified man went into the gas station after the worker’s initial comments, and was accosted again when he came back out.
“This guy seemed totally empowered to do it,” Katz told the Globe. “It wasn’t hush hush. He was visibly yelling at this guy.”
The alleged altercation is similar to other racist treatment that minorities have faced since Republican president-elect Donald J. Trump’s Tuesday victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.Steve Annear can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.