My daughter came home with a very funny story. She was in Petsmart and the check out clerk was having difficulty with the cash register. My daughter was patiently waiting when a White woman behind her voiced indignation, not at her own wait but at my daughter’s. She was not to be conciliated even though my daughter assured her she was OK. The woman personalized the delay to my daughter and the underlying narrative of her actions became clear when she pulled my daughter by the arm and cried out, “We’re going to get you some justice!”
Justice?? She called the manager over and as my daughter was assuring the manager she was just fine, she tried to find a hole to hide in. This woman was not letting up. Beyond the delay, she cited the fact that the clerk would not make eye contact with my daughter as the clincher. Apparently, she sensed some racial injustice going on and was not going to let another Black person get shot to death in Petsmart, or some such.
Eventually my daughter extricated herself, apologizing to the clerk who in turn was apologizing for the delay. It was a cringe-worthy moment for my daughter.
But as we stood in the kitchen and laughed, we couldn’t help but refer back to an incident a couple of weeks earlier in a Jimmy John’s restaurant where my daughter had a cup of water in her hand after she and my wife had placed and paid for their order. The manager bustled up to her and snatched the cup from her hand, declaring she hadn’t paid for it. My wife intervened to explain that they had indeed paid but had no receipt since the restaurant practice was to provide the receipt when the food was served rather than when payment was made (big mistake).
The manager was not mollified. The clerk behind the counter did not attest to the fact they had paid, adding to the manager’s suspicions. At one point, another employee, a janitor, I believe, apologized to the two women and said that that wasn’t right. The manager then explained himself by saying they had had problems with people not paying. How many 40 year old and 72 year old women eat and dash at an up-scale mall? No mention of race was made.
Nor was it made when my daughter phoned in a complaint to corporate headquarters. However, the place was rigged with cameras and the corporate person said they would investigate, incl. looking at the security tapes. At that point, they will see the two women are Blackl and may put two and two together. My son knows a regional manager and may call him. Despite promises to follow up, nothing has come of it.
A large percentage of White America will defend the manager against charges of racism, demanding to see tapes of all people entering the establishment to see if the manager indeed singled out the two Black women an impossible demand to meet. Thus they will be satisfied that racism no longer exists in America and if a police officer shoots down an unarmed Black man, it had to do with the Black man smoking a joint two months ago and was thus justified…… or something like that.