Hardly a day goes by now without a video emerging of some horrendously racist white person accosting a Black person. Part of the trend is clearly the proliferation of smartphones since few public things occur now without being recorded but another key contributing factor is the man in the White House.
When Donald Trump showed that an out-and-out bigot could win a presidential election it emboldened many of those Americans who had been conditioned to obscure their racism in recent years. They saw the most powerful man in the world was racist and decided their own racism was once again socially acceptable. By sharing these videos and condemning the behavior we can prove them wrong.
Today a video has gone viral showing a Black man named Harold Brown, the manager of a store, being harassed with racist language by a white customer who refused to don a mask amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The white man in the clip, who has yet to be identified, allegedly called Brown the N-word and said “So what?” when confronted over this fact. He went on to order Brown to “fetch” him some water and repeatedly called him “boy.”
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The encounter occurred after the white man came into Brown’s store hoping to return an item for cash. The store had no cash on hand at the time and Brown asked the man to put on a mask as required by store policy and state orders.
“He had come in to the store and was told to put on a mask and that just triggered him, and it just went down hill from there. He immediately started being aggressive and cursing, and as he realized he wasn’t going to get his way, that’s when the racial slurs started coming,” said Brown.
The fact that the man had such a vitriolic response to the mask request serves as a reminder that racism and stupidity almost always go hand in hand. There is a nonnegligible portion of this country, most of the Trump supporters, who have convinced themselves that the coronavirus is a hoax and masks are unnecessary.
The Tribune spoke to Brown about the disturbing incident.
“I’m not surprised by it. I’m honestly not even affected by it anymore, but, especially in the time that we’re in right now, it’s just shocking to me that people still go out of their way to implicate themselves when the nation is falling apart for that very reason,” said Brown.
The white man in the clip drove off in a business van from Pro-Cleaners Chimeny and Carpet cleaning which The Tribune reports has led to the business’s Yelp page being inundated with angry feedback. Hopefully, this man is identified soon and held accountable for his actions.
Watch the incident below.
Man yells racial slurs at SLO County store manager after he was asked to wear a mask https://t.co/NUxr56OZyU
— The Tribune (@SLOTribune) June 23, 2020