A viral video of a racist Walmart employee is making its rounds on social media. The footage shows an elderly lady, wearing a Walmart name badge, berating a group of young black men.
In the video, Mary, the Walmart employee, accuses the group of customers of being miscreants because they were just browsing and did not have items in their possession.
The video started making its rounds in 2013 after it was posted on YouTube and then on Reddit, where it has reached nearly a million views. A group of six black customers entered the store that night. They were wearing backpacks when they entered and were approached by management. The group was told that store policy forbade backpacks and other such items from being worn in the store. The two individuals that were wearing the backpacks complied with the request and took them to the car, before returning to the store to browse.
Four of the individuals remained in the store. Mary, an employee at the Walmart, approached the four and asked if she could assist them, in a rude tone. One of the individuals started recording the interaction when her rude tone carried hints of racial profiling within. One of the individuals asked to speak to a manager, setting Mary off on a tirade.
Even after the manager arrived, Mary did not hold back. The customers were mostly calm but shocked by the interaction and how they were being treated.
Mary’s manager asked her multiple times to walk away from the situation. At that point, she turned her rage toward the manager, according to REBRN.
“If you don’t stand up, you got superiors to answer to, take care of him”
Mary does eventually walk away, but not before yelling out that she will break their camera if they follow her and continue to record.
“Follow me again, mister, and I will break your camera.”
She then, as the men stood in their spot and marveled at her outrage, accused them of following her.
“He is following me! Look where he is at.”
Although the group did start to get upset and raise their voice, they were mostly calm after being accused of potential thievery and mischief because of the color of their skin. One man, on a scooter, calmly explained to the manager that he has worked with the public for a while and immediately recognized the interaction as racial profiling.
The manager was apologetic to the group and calmly provided the phone number they could call to report the incident. She advised that although it is an automated system, the complaint would get back to the store manager and would be handled accordingly.
Walmart has been in the news for racial incidents in the past. In 2010, a New Jersey Walmart was victimized by a customer that accessed the intercom system and demanded all black customers to leave the store.
“Attention, Wal-Mart shoppers, all Blacks need to leave the store.”
That incident was immediately followed by an apology over the intercom by the store manager and a call to the police, according to Essence.
Mary’s interaction with the customers was not reflective of how Walmart expects its customers to be treated, nor is it how the store expects the employees to act toward customers, even if they are caught acting mischievously.
Walmart did not release a public statement about Mary or how the situation was handled internally.
Do you feel that the customers reacted to Mary’s tirade appropriately, or should they have just walked away and sought out another manager? Did the manager handle the situation appropriately?
[Photo Courtesy: Facebook]