The current political situation in the United States might be contributing to racially-charged, hateful incidents but shoppers and staff members at one Smith’s grocery store in Albuquerque, New Mexico, showed just how people can fight it the right way.
After a female customer accosted a Muslim woman clad in a hijab in an unprovoked episode, other shoppers immediately came to the defense of the Muslim woman.
“I went down the aisle to go get sodas and then all of a sudden I hear somebody starting to yell at her,” Barney Lopez, a witness, told KRQE News 13. “They’re saying things like ‘Get out of our country, you don’t belong here, you’re a terrorist!’”
One store employee even positioned himself between the racist customer and the hijab-clad woman.
“There was even another woman that like went over to the woman in the hijab and put her arm around her and gave her hug and held her while the Smith’s employees came,” Lopez added. He also said Smith’s workers “shuffled the shouting lady out of the store.”
Since the woman who hurled racist insults was still in the parking lot, employees personally escorted the Muslim woman to her car.
“At the end, I felt like really hopeful and proud of the community that everybody banded together,” Lopez said.
There've been more than 400 accounts of racism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia ever since Donald Trump got elected as president. But the incident at Smith’s shows that hate cannot triumph as long as people speak out against it.