Tutaleni I. Asino
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Shopping while black….with an “accent”

29/07/2021 Reflections
Shopping while black….with an “accent”

I’ve enjoyed a small streak of days free from blatant racism (overt is another thing), but that ended today at Lowes. It was supposed to be a simple trip, just going in to buy a refrigerator. While in the appliance area, one of the sales associates walked over and asked if he could help. I asked about the depth of the appliance to see if it would fit into the space we had in mind.

+ “Sorry, what did you say?”

Repeated the question again and to ask if they had one under 30inches.

+ “I’m sorry, I can’t hear you with your accent.”

* ‘Excuse me?’

+ “I can’t understand you, your accent is too thick for me.”

* ‘Oh, ok, I guess we just won’t buy from you because our accents are too thick.’

+ “Well, I’m the only one who works in this section, so….”

* ‘Then I guess I’ll not be buying from Lowes; I’ll go where someone can understand my accent.’

“Fine,” as the guy walks away.

I had to look around to make sure I was not on some hidden camera show or something because it has been a while since someone was that brazen with their discrimination. Accent had nothing to do with it; I am fairly sure that if I came in using sign language, this individual would have complained my hands were too dark to be seen given the lighting in the room. I informed the manager of what happened and i am not sure what will be the outcome of it.

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