Friday, December 23, 2016
Is Rant Immoral? Racist? Does Shopper Deserve To Be Banned? Is This A Symptom Of What Ordinary Americans Are Feeling?
Mall bans shopper for life after ugly rant caught on video goes viral
A white woman caught on cellphone video leveling a xenophobic tirade at two women identified as Hispanic has been banned for life from the mall where the incident occurred.
The now-viral clip shows the shopper standing in a long line at a JCPenney in Louisville, Kentucky, and complaining after one of the Hispanic women cut in line to add items to her companion’s cart, according to the video poster, the Courier-Journal reported.
“It don’t bother me if I say it, and I don’t care if everybody hears me,” the white woman said. “I think everybody here probably feels the same damn way I do.”
She then added, “Go back to wherever the f*** you come from, lady.”
When an employee behind the counter asked the woman to watch her language, she yelled back, “Hey, tell ’em to go back to where they belong! If they come here to live, then act like everybody else. Get in the back of the line like everybody else does and be somebody. That’s the way I look at it. … Just because you come from another country, it don’t make you nobody.”
Here’s the clip. (Content warning: Strong language):
She wasn’t done.
“You’re probably on welfare, the taxpayers probably paid for all that stuff,” she added before facing others in line. “It’s true! We probably paid for every bit of that stuff, you know that? Probably all the food they get and everything else.”
When one of the women she targeted replied, “I say sorry,” the ranter responded, “That’s OK. Speak English. You’re in America. If you don’t know it, learn it.”
“And I’m sorry that I’m that way,” she added, “but you all need to realize you’re not the only ones around here.”
Renee Buckner, who posted the video on social media, wrote in the description that the portion she captured wasn’t the entire episode and that others told the woman she was out of line, the Courier-Journal said.
Jefferson Mall, which houses the JCPenney in question, said on Facebook that once the woman who issued the tirade is identified, she will be “permanently banned from Jefferson Mall, per our Behavioral Code of Conduct,” the paper added.
In a statement, JCPenney said it wants to reimburse the women target in the video for their purchases and apologize, the Courier-Journal said:
We are deeply disturbed by the incident that took place at our Jefferson Mall store, in which one customer made extremely inappropriate remarks to two other customers while standing in the checkout line. We regret that innocent bystanders — both other customers and a JCPenney associate — were subjected to such discriminatory remarks. We absolutely do not tolerate this behavior in our stores, and are working with our associates to ensure any future incidents of this nature will be addressed quickly and appropriately. In the meantime, JCPenney is asking for the community’s help in identifying the two women who were targeted for such remarks, as we would like to reimburse them for their entire purchase and offer a sincere apology for their experience.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said he’s “sad and disappointed to see conduct like this” and hopes the incident can get conversations going about “basic human values, dignity and respect” during the holidays, the paper reported.
“I personally denounce the intolerant actions of one woman at Jefferson Mall, and also feel that this incident could rise to the level of criminal conduct,” Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell told the Courier-Journal, adding that she targeted women should contact his office if they want to take legal action.
The Rev. Timothy Findley of the Kingdom Fellowship Christian Life Center spoke on Buckner’s behalf and told the paper the incident occurred while she was Christmas shopping Tuesday evening and that Buckner called him right afterward.
“We all shared the same reaction,” Findley told the Courier-Journal, “shock, disappointment, but not surprised.”