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Racism Should Have Checked Out Already

, , , | Working | July 19, 2013

(I am a customer at the checkout. Both the cashier and I are Caucasian. While I am paying, I notice that a boy, around eight years old, is putting a bag of groceries on the counter.)

Me: “You’re a good boy, helping his mommy.”

(The boy smiles.)

Cashier: “She’s not his mother.”

(The boy’s mother looks at him.)

Mother: “Uh… he is my son.”

Cashier: “You’re white; he’s a half-n*****.”

(The boy gets very upset, and begins to cry.)

Mother: “He IS my son! His father’s in the navy!”

Cashier: “Oh, my God! I am so sorry! Listen, I’ll… uh… give you 25% off; it’s the highest we offer on a Friday. How about that?”

(The mother nods, and I begin to go, when I see the cashier get a leaflet out from under the desk. The mother takes one look at it, and is furious.)

Mother: “Just what the h*** are you suggesting!?”

Cashier: “That’s what Grandma used to tell me.”

Mother: “Well, I can guess she’s a lot older, but you’re really young. How dare you even ask that!”

(I see the leaflet is a helpline for rape crisis and abusive relationships.)

Cashier: “Hey, Grandma told me that black fathers were criminals and white fathers were fools. So, I always see them like that. Not my fault she told me that. In fact, she’ll be here in a minute. I’m taking her to [Clothing store].”

(Right on cue, an old woman, maybe 60 or 70, enters. It turns out to be the cashier’s grandmother.)

Me: “Excuse me, but I think your grandson was just racist towards this woman’s husband.”

Grandma: “Listen [Cashier], what race was he? Because if the guy was Indian, Chinese or Native, I’m not gonna get you any cake tonight.”

Me: “He was black.”

Grandma: “Well, is there any sort of problem with this?”

(I tell the grandmother what the cashier said.)

Grandma: “Well, that’s what happens to those young white women.”

Me: “No, it doesn’t! Saying black men are abusive is COMPLETELY racist!”

(The mother, her son, and I went to the manager. Thankfully, they fired the cashier, and banned the grandma from the store.)

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