After my immigration appointment (which went great by the way) my momma and I went to Walmart.
We had to buy meds & milk and all the stores around here are really not affordable so, Walmart is the place to shop. The closest Walmart is a city over from where I live right now. This is about 20 minutes away from Oakland. No, I won’t say the city even though I am tempted to just because this little gem of an experience makes me want all hell to break lose on them. But I won’t. Reigning in the anger.
We got what we needed and we were going to leave until I saw… sales racks! Yes, tons of sales racks in the women’s clothing section. I have been needing new clothes and thrift store shopping can only take me so far. So, hell yeah, I hit them up. I hit them up real hard because the prices were amazing. I’m talking 9 dollars highest, 3 dollars lowest.
While we were checking out the clothes my mom pointed out that two employees were watching us and following us around. I hadn’t even noticed because I was so enthralled with the clothes. Once my mom pointed it out, I couldn’t help but see them whisper, look us up and down, look in our cart, all while pretending to do something by moving around sales clothes which were all in their right place to begin with. Where we went, they were sure to follow.
This shit irritated me. It went from irritating to really pissing me off because we weren’t the only shoppers. But, we were the only non-white shoppers at the sales rack. I said, fuck it in my head and headed for the dressing room. As I was dressing I kept hearing people ask my mom if she needed help, why she was standing there, was she sure she didn’t need help? She kept repeating “I’m waiting for my daughter.” I could hear her anger rising. Her accent becomes more sharp when she’s pissed. She was getting there.
Once we were heading to the check out stand, I saw one of the employees who followed us run up (no, really, she literally ran from the women’s section to the cash register) to the cashier and pulled her aside. She whispered to her. I asked, “Is there a problem?” I was ignored.
When the cashier began ringing up my purchase right after the other employee left, I asked her, “Was there a problem?” She simply replied, “That was the manager.” I then said, “Okay. But is there a problem?” She ignored me. She just began ringing up my things.
When she began on the clothes, all hell broke loose. She started making faces as if in disbelief and then taking the tag and picking at the sale sticker as if to see if the sticker was REALLY put on there by a price gun, not me. I asked her, “What are you doing? Is there a problem?” She ignored me.
She kept doing this and the rage inside of me kept growing. I said several things including, “Are you kidding me?! If you don’t believe these clothes are for sale, you can go to the back and see the racks full of the very same dresses & shirts for sale.”
She looked scared. She looked like I was pulling a gun on her.
Yet, she somehow found the confidence to say, “Well, all those clothes came out to 68.72…. Somehow.”
It only got worse when my mom’s clothes and items were rung up. She acted as if the shoes (which were also on sale) were not the really on sale. She said “No, I have to check the shoes on the inside to see if they are the same.” When my mom asked her if there was a problem because she was acting confused.
She held up a hanger with 2 sports bras. She said real loud, “Why are there two bra’s on this hanger?! Did you add one?” I was raging by now. There was a giant 2 PACK emblem on the hanger/carton tag thing.
"Are you fucking serious? It says its a 2 pack. I don’t know what your manager told you but this isn’t acceptable." She went right back to being quiet as a mouse.
After all this shit I wanted to talk to a manager. I got someone else to bring one that wasn’t the one that followed us around. I told this manager everything that happened. People that walked by were staring. Some pretending to be enthralled by the gold fish crackers display.
Halfway through the manager looked at me exasperated and said, “Don’t take it personal.”
I said, “Excuse me???”
"Don’t take it personal. Perhaps, you were doing something that was suspicious behavior."
"By suspicious, do you fucking mean being brown, speaking Spanish and laughing while shopping a sales rack?!"
"If I were you I wouldn’t take it personal."
To this I said
"No. Don’t even say that. You aren’t me. And you sure as hell won’t ever understand what this shit is like. It isn’t okay. Fuck this bullshit. It is everything that is personal."
FUCK NOT BEING ABLE TO SHOP IN PEACE WITH MY MOTHER.
FUCK YOUR RACIST ASSUMPTIONS THAT I MUST BE STEALING BECAUSE I AM BROWN AND SPEAKING SPANISH.
FUCK RACIST TRASH.
FUCK THIS BEING IN THE BAY AREA. YES, THIS SHIT STILL HAPPENS.