Coming up short at the register is already a stressful situation. But for a Black woman on WIC at an Albertsons store in Gresham, Ore., the incident was made worse by a racist white female cashier.
According to The Root, Jacki Carroll, the White woman who offered to help pay for the Black woman’s groceries, says the cashier refused to let her pay $12 to cover the rest of the items.
“[I] said, ‘I will pay,’ and she said, ‘No!’ Very abruptly,” Carroll said in an interview with KATU. “I go, ‘Well I don’t mind, just let her have her stuff.’”
The cashier, named Debbie, then responded, “‘No! You’re not going to do that. She has WIC. She gets her free stuff. That’s why they have babies, so they can keep on getting all of the free stuff.’”
The unidentified Black woman left only with what her aid could cover, but Carroll says the cashier continued her racist and classist rant. Carroll’s daughter, Amanda Arnlund, detailed the ordeal on her Facebook page, writing:
“My mom and I agree that this is exactly what is wrong with the world. Where is the compassion and basic human decency? Everybody around was in shock when this occurred. My mom paid for her own groceries and left the store. She called the store when she got home and spoke with the manager Ron. She thought he was nice, but he said he doesn’t have the autonomy to terminate her. I’m not sure how to feel about this specifically because it doesn’t seem like anything is going to be done. Something needs to be done. We can’t continue to let this happen in the US.”
Albertsons is currently investigating the incident. In a statement, the store chain says they “have a policy and a culture of treating our customers, and each other, with courtesy, dignity, and respect,” but apparently Debbie didn’t get the memo.