This latest installment of our Real Racism series concerns a Black woman who was refused service at a Portland, Oregon bakery.
I am intentionally, at least for this moment, not mentioning which person, or persons, performed the racism. First read about the incident, via this excerpt from an article at ABC News – Portland. Then we’ll discuss:
,,,”Back To Eden Bakery” says that according to its own surveillance video, a black woman named “Lillian”, who is well known in the area as a “professional equity activist”, entered at 9:06 p.m., after the bakery’s closing time. Employees had also turned off the “Open” sign, but several customers (all white) who had already ordered were still inside. Two other white women who went to the bakery two minutes before “Lillian”, and were also informed that the business was closed for the night
The bakery says “Lillian” left the store briefly and began recording video.
The bakery’s statement says that even though it does not consider the employees to be racist and that they were following the business’s protocol of closing at 9 p.m., they were fired because “sometimes impact outweighs intent.” The bakery also says in the statement that the way the employees went about denying the woman service, “lacked sensitivity and understanding of the racial implications at work.”
In the statement “Back To Eden” says the employees were fired because the woman and the “clamoring public” demanded they be fired.
In one statement, the bakery admitted that the employees did not necessarily do anything wrong, “this is more about how a black woman was made to feel” at the business.
Okay, there’s the incident. Now, who is/are the racist(s)?
-The two employees who refused a Black woman service past closing time, after also refusing service to two White women for the same reason?
-The Black woman for invoking racism based on the reason described above?
-The store ownership, which fired two employees for doing nothing other then enforcing their own store policy?
-The city of Portland, Oregon for having so many residents working so hard to “prove” they are not racist, that they come out the other side?
-Some combination of the above?
Personally, the only non-racism I see – thus the only victims of this pathetic fiasco – are the two employees. They did exactly what they were supposed to have done. These people no longer have jobs, for the “crime” of closing the bakery at closing time.
That’s my take. What’s yours?
Real racism. It comes in all forms from all sources. No group is immune to it or from it. Certainly not a minority woman looking for an aggrievement, or a bakery ownership so scared of that aggrievement that it fires employees for doing nothing wrong, or a city that has created the atmosphere which scared the bakery into doing so.