I ran to Costco today, squeezing it in between dropping off the sitter after work, and running home to make dinner for the kids, I was in a rush and a little stressed out.
I took Jenna with me, and we ran through the store grabbing what I needed for the weekend. Got in line behind a family, a mom, dad, and a few kids. I noticed the mom wore black from head to toe, only her eyes showing. I don’t see it a lot around here, but I have seen it.
They bought their stuff, and then it was my turn.
We were fast, and ended up walking out of the store close to the same family, one lady between us.
Things always slow down on the way out the door, people tend to line up as they wait for their receipt to be checked. So….I’m waiting. As I get closer to the way out, an employee near the exit stops me. He is standing near those big signs where you can sign up to buy gutters, or siding, or whatever for your house if you want. I think he’s going to try to sell me something maybe….
Instead, he leans in close–and gestures in front of me, “Pretty soon you’re going to have to dress like that.”
I don’t know what he means, “What are you talking about?”
He points to the back of the woman dressed in all black, too far ahead to hear, I hope. “You know, like her…… you’re all gonna have to dress like that, you’ll see.” He has a smile on his face, a kind of smile that expects a smile in return commiseration of what he’s saying. Maybe he wants a high five too.
I look at his face, but I’m so upset I don’t even remember what he looks like. Except he’s white, and bald. And an asshole.
“You know what?…. I married a muslim.”
He immediately says sorry.
I’m not done. “You shouldn’t say things like that…..working here….you should not be saying those things.”
He says “you’re right”. And then just kind of backs away.
The line keeps moving, it’s only been a few seconds. I give my receipt. Get it back. Go out of the store and pack up my car.
I’m angry. Actually shaking. And for some reason I want to cry. I thought about grabbing a manager right at that moment, making that man answer for what he said to someone in charge. I didn’t do it. I thought about calling the store….I’m still thinking about it…… and I believe he knows I’m thinking about it. I hope he’s scared of that call, scared enough to shut his mouth.
The problem with people like him, I believe…. is that no matter what action I take…. if he ends up being fired, or written up, somehow punished for his actions… he will see HIMSELF as a martyr. I know it! He will blame everyone but himself for what ends up happening to him. He will blame the woman in black, and what she represents to him, for his own narrow minded, bigoted, big mouth.
If I don’t do anything…. maybe he will just worry….and maybe he will think twice before he tries to engage a random person in his shitty little jokes.
I don’t know what to do.
Can you imagine…. if he’s comfortable enough to talk to me, a stranger, shopping in his store that way…. how he must be at home? With his friends and family? The hate he is spreading?
Because a woman shopped in his store with her family. She didn’t dress slutty, she instead covered her whole body, which made him uncomfortable. She spent her money to keep him employed…. she didn’t complain, her children weren’t wild or misbehaving. She didn’t steal anything. She didn’t DO ANYTHING. But she’s the target of his hatred, she’s too different for him.
And that asshole thought I would enjoy a good laugh with him about that.
Guess someone should have told her what would have made her more acceptable at Costco…..so the poor guy would have been more comfortable….
God! But do you really think the managers would have done anything about it had you complained? I doubt it very much. Our reputation as Muslims had gone down in the dumps because of those stupid ISIS killers. And to be honest I don’t blame how the world looks at us. Muslims as a whole should stand up and unite against those murderers to put a stop to all this hatred.
I don’t know what the manager, or anyone would have really thought….but someone at work shouldn’t be able to push their bigoted opinions onto people shopping in their store… it’s not like we were talking together at a cookout or something…. I think that’s my biggest issue. Just surprised he would think it was ok to bring me, a stranger shopping there into his personal feelings like that. He is going to think what he wants, but should keep it at home or with his like minded friends.
Sometimes this happens to me with my patients. They become comfortable enough in the room to give me their opinions about political issues. Unsolicited. I think the worst part is they see my white face, in the deep south, and they see someone who is by my mere appearance in agreement with them. I may look like them, but I’m not them. I let them know when they cross the line, too. They can’t make racist or sexist comments without a retort.
I’m sorry that this happened to you, and yet, I’m glad he got to see a reaction like yours. Like you said, I’m sure he spends most of his time with people who hold similar beliefs, or he’s made those comments to people who were too stunned to respond. I’m glad that he got some push back. Ugh.
Also, I still don’t get what he’s even talking about! Does he think that the government is planning to force us to dress this way? Along with being incredibly racist and sexist, it was also just a really creepy and ominous thing to say. You almost want to shower just from hearing it.
I know! I wondered what he was getting at too… I imagine he thinks its some ISIS conspiracy, or maybe if Trump isn’t elected “the Muslims” will win and force us to cover our sinful western bodies. Who knows what’s going on in that mind. But I want no part of it!
Ohhh you’re probably on to something with Trump’s anti-Muslim conspiracy! Where do these people even come up with this stuff? I’d be fascinated by their creativity if I wasn’t so angered by the ignorance.
yep, me too. 😦