A couple years back, newly appointed leader of Christmas in the Park Jason Minsky raised hackles by calling the cops on a flock of food trucks that set up shop without permission outside the holiday fair. This season, the nonprofit’s decision to ditch a few longtime vendors has drawn charges of racism. Abraham Teferi, Kassim Kadiro and Hewan Ayele have been circulating an online petition against what they call Minsky’s “blatant discrimination” by excluding them from the food vendor lineup this year. “It’s because we are black,” Teferi told Fly, hinting at legal action. “That’s not true at all,” countered Minsky, who added that some vendors didn’t make the cut because the nonprofit board wanted more sophisticated fare than hot links and funnel cakes, which Teferi, Kariro and Ayele have been selling at the annual event for nearly three decades. The seven food vendors who were chosen represent a diverse range of ethnicities, including African American, Minsky said. Last week, Mayor Sam Liccardo and Vice Mayor Rose Herrera met with the jilted vendors, Minsky and San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP president Jethroe Moore. The city sided with Minsky and offered the trio of erstwhile cooks a spot outside the Christmas fair, which they declined. Discriminatory or not, Moore said, event organizers should have been more mindful of how their action came across. “As a black man, that’s not something you want to hear: that you have to stay outside the gate,” he said. “There ought to be a higher standard of cultural sensitivity.” Instead of denying the application outright, Moore added, there could have been a chance to negotiate a new menu with small business owners who helped cultivate the event in its early years. Regardless of the dispute, Moore said, Christmas in the Park should try harder as a nonprofit to diversify its leadership.