I had a quiet Christmas, a wonderful stretch of peace.
I did not have the pleasure of spending the holidays at home this year, so I attempted to make the most of the day on my own.
Which I did, I had a great day.
As the later afternoon became the evening, I realized I needed some supplies, the grocery store was closed for the holiday, so I ventured to the Family Dollar down the street to obtain some resources.
I enter the store, and go about my business.
After picking up several items(that I was holding in my hands)a snarling employee approaches me, and is staring at me with such intensity, that I really thought he was going to bum rush me.
I wasn’t sure if he was going to swing on me, that is the atmosphere his behavior created.
He then starts circling me, and when I say circling, I mean 3 times in close proxmity.
I mean analogous to two dogs meeting for the first time, it was as if he wanted to sniff my backside.
I come to realize he suspects that I am shoplifting(how he came to that conclusion I will never know) and starts inquiring about pockets.
I empty them, and out tumbles my wallet, my phone, and my keys, which I show to him.
I look at him at, and ask him if he is serious right now, he then launches into a diatribe about his mangerial position, and the store is closing in 10 minutes.
“Get the fuck out”
He also starts advancing towards me again.
I grab my stuff, and head for the checkout with this raving lunatic screaming at my back with other customers still attempting to shop.
I was unsettled, but took comfort in knowing that I was just shopping, a fact that clearly will appear on the video footage.
As I am waiting in line, the employee goes behind the counter, and starts screaming at me in front of the other employees, bellowing that he does not have to tell me his name, and shouting at other customers to get to the register.
I ignored him, I found his actions to be bigoted, and threatening.
I also thought it was the most disgusting example of customer service I have ever seen in my life.
The scene was a spectacle as bystanders watched in amazment.
At that point, I realized that his rage episode had got me off track, I still had one more item I wanted to grab.
I go back to the candy section, and grab some gummy worms, which was my fourth choice, but I didn’t feel like I could comfortably look for something better, I felt like I was going to be attacked if I stayed in the store much longer.
The second I headed for the section, the same employee jumps from behind the counter, and follows me into the store.
I ignored him, but his presence was looming over me.
I grabbed the worms, checked out, and the manager was outside waiting for me, he apologized, but it was too late.
If I had been a 5 foot 7 white woman, there is no way in the world I would have been assaulted while I was attempting to shop.
Unfortunately I am a 6 foot 8 black man, my very appearance predisposes me to circumstances such as these.
Loss prevention is a serious concept, as is the rule of law, both of which I respect to the bottom of my heart.
Never been in trouble a day in my life, and I stay away from people that cause trouble.
I am a law abiding citizen, an honest American, and the manner in which I was discriminated against at the Family Dollar took me back to the 60’s.
Luckily, there is tape of this incident, a lawyer tells me once the cops see the tape(which they will tommorow) a civil case against the establishment will be viable, and we will seek retribution from a company that would allow one of it’s employees to behave with such impunity.
This is America, discrimination and assault are illegal, and the Family Dollar is about to find that out.
My Christmas will roll on, but it’s sickening to think that situations such as these happen everyday.
The key is hold people accountable, and I am going to dedicate my life to making sure Family Dollar understands the importance of treating everyone equally.