Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Checkout Line

'I shouldn't have let you in front of me,' the Muslim shopper says as she begins filming.
After a long pause, the hurried shopper says: 'I wish they didn't let you in the country'
'Excuse me?' she replies. 'I was born here.'
'Oh you were? Okay,' the shopper with the gray sweater says. 
After another long pause, she resumes the conversation.
'Obama's not in office anymore. We don't have a Muslim in there anymore,' she comments.
'Yeah...I wish he was,' the Muslim shopper says.
'Well, he's gone. He may be in jail too in the future,' the other woman tells her, rolling up her sleeves. 
Incredulously, the Muslim shopper asks: "You look a little crazy, maybe you need to get some help.'
'Oh, I'm fine,' the woman says. 
"No you're not, because you don't just strike up a conversation with people in line talking about stuff like that if you're normal,' the shopper tells her.
'I'm very normal,' the gray-dressed woman insists.
'Looks like it, I can tell,' the Muslim shopper replied before filming stops.
This incident is sadly not unique or obscure. A few years ago, abuse like this a in Reston, Virginia Trader Joe's was more commonly experienced online. The uptick in hate, subtle or in-your-face, was committed primarily from behind a keyboard. Comment sections and forums filled up with all manner of racist, misogynist, homophobic, xenophobic blather was easily found in dark corners of Al Gore's Internet. With the election of The Great Pumpkin, these exchanges have moved out into the light. On street corners. At the workplace. In line at Trader Joe's. 
To quote the Great Orange Twit: "Sad." 
The hardest part of that shopping shame is the end, where the hater says that she's "very normal." In our current climate, it's hard to argue that point. Not normal in a good or  reassuring way. Normal in a horrifying how can this happen in 2017 United States of America kind of way. Maybe it's a good thing that these folks are out in the light. They're easier to spot. And hopefully easier to shame. 

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