A viral post out of Oregon details the humiliating treatment of a Black woman who was short on cash after using her WIC coupons.
Amanda Arnlund, of Gresham, detailed the incident from the point of view of her mother, who was not allowed to give the unidentified woman some money.
According to Arnlund, her mother, Jacki Carroll (above), was waiting in line to check out at Albertson’s when a Black woman didn’t have enough money to pay for her fruits and vegetables after using her WIC coupons (vouchers given through the Women, Infants, and Children federal food program).
When Carroll offered to pay the $12 difference, the white cashier, who she identified as Debbie, said no, reported KATU.
"[I] said, 'I will pay,' and she said, 'No!' Very abruptly," Carroll told KATU. "Literally, she raised her voice and said, 'No, you don’t need to do that.'"
When Carroll offered to help for a second time and asked if the woman had ever been unable to pay before, Debbie then went on to insult the Black customer and make generalizations about WIC users.
“No, but she got her free stuff from WIC already, she doesn’t need anybody else paying her way,” Debbie said, according to Arnlund’s Facebook post.
At one point, Carroll told Debbie that her comments were extremely judgmental, to which Debbie replied: “Well, that’s what ‘they’ do, they keep on having kids and getting handouts.”
In the end, the Black customer left with the items she could afford.
While she checked out, Carroll told the cashier that she should be more compassionate. Immediately upon arriving home, she called the store's manager and told him about the incident.
Carroll is demanding Albertsons issue an apology to the woman, and even offer a store credit. She hopes the store can identify the woman using reference numbers on the receipt or information provided by WIC.
"Everybody needs to help one another," Carroll told KATU. "No, I don’t have to give you money because you don’t have any, that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about showing dignity and respect. If I don’t have any money to give you, that doesn’t mean I have to belittle you or say anything nasty."
Albertsons sent the following statement to KATU:
"At Albertsons, we have a policy and a culture of treating our customers, and each other, with courtesy, dignity and respect. It’s at the core of who we are as a company and member of this community.
"We sincerely apologize that, in this incident, it appears we did not deliver the customer service that we pride ourselves on.
"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."
It remains unclear if Debbie will be punished for her actions.
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