An Albertsons cashier kept a customer from helping a struggling African-American mom pay for her groceries because of her bigotry. Now, the story has gone viral, putting the company, which has already been under fire for other racist incidents, under a spotlight.
Jackie Carroll was at an Albertsons grocery store when the black mom in front of her in line realized she didn’t have enough credit from her Women, Infants, And Children (WIC) benefits to pay her bill.
Like any kind person with the means would have done, Carroll offered to pay the difference, which was just $12. But the cashier, a white woman in her 60s, did not allow Carroll to use her own money as she saw fit.
"[I] said, 'I will pay,' and she said, 'No!' Very abruptly," Carroll told reporters. "Literally, she raised her voice and said, 'No, you don’t need to do that.'"
Repeating that she was willing to help, Carroll once again pressed the cashier — to no avail.
"I go, 'Well I don’t mind, just let her have her stuff,'" Carroll added.
"No,” the cashier allegedly told her. “You’re not going to do that. She has WIC. She gets her free stuff."
After the mom left with only what she could afford, the cashier continued on her bigoted rant.
Carroll said she eventually told the cashier that she should be more compassionate in the future.
After getting home, Carroll contacted the location’s manager to report the issue. Her daughter, Amanda Arlund, took to Facebook to share the heartbreaking story.
In her post, she explained that the cashier told Carroll that she wouldn’t let her pay for the customer before her because she was on a government-backed program that benefits low-income moms.
“[S]he got her free stuff from WIC already, she doesn’t need anybody else paying her way,” the cashier reportedly said.
She then added, “well, that’s what ‘they’ do, they keep on having kids and getting handouts.”
According to Arlund, it was not clear whether the cashier was referring to people on assistance as a whole or African-Americans in particular.
“This woman left, humiliated, without her fruits and vegetables,” the daughter added.
Carroll told reporters she hopes the store finds the customer who was mistreated because of her situation so that they may apologize to her.
In a statement, the store said that they opened an investigation into this matter but that the cashier behind this incident has yet to be reprimanded.
“We sincerely apologize that, in this incident, it appears we did not deliver the customer service that we pride ourselves on," the company said. "While this isolated situation is still under investigation, we are taking this opportunity to remind all of our employees that each and every customer is a welcomed guest in our stores."
In her eye-opening and now-viral Facebook post, Carroll’s daughter said that this incident is the very reason why so many of us lose our hope in humanity.
“My mom and I agree that this is exactly what is wrong with the world. Where is the compassion and basic human decency?” she wrote.
It’s times like this that we are reminded how important it is to remain civil, giving, and kind, no matter how much hatred others show. But most importantly, it reminds us to always stand up for those in need.
There are too many people out there who would rather make a racist and false point by using somebody’s suffering as an example than to actually try to be part of the solution.
Thankfully, Carroll and her daughter shared this story with the whole world. May this serve as an example to others of what not to do in a similar situation.
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Reuters/Fred Prouser