A shopper's angry, racist outburst towards a Latinx woman at a store in Louisville, KY on Tuesday was caught on camera, launching her into viral infamy and earning an immediate response from mall officials.
Renee Buckner, the woman who posted the video to Facebook and YouTube on Tuesday evening, described what took place at the Jefferson Mall in Louisville, where what should have been a simple argument between shoppers turned into something much worse.
"This is what America has come to, openly and proud to be a racist," Buckner wrote, before explaining:
This Hispanic lady was purchasing items and the transaction was almost complete, then her friend brings up some shirts to be added to her purchase instead of getting in line. And this lady went off!!!
In the footage, the customer in question can be heard demanding the Latinx woman "Go back wherever the fuck you come from, lady." She later insisted "you’re probably on welfare. The taxpayers probably paid for all that stuff," before ending her racist rant by polishing that well-worn "speak English" chestnut.
According to Buckner, several other customers in line tried to speak out against the racist abuse, but their reactions weren't caught on camera. I have reached out to Buckner for clarification, and will update this post if and when she replies.
Jefferson Mall confirmed Buckner's footage in a statement made to WAVE News, saying that it happened at a JCPenney on its premises and making clear that the behavior caught on camera would not be tolerated.
We are aware of the video posted online today from inside JCPenney. Jefferson Mall strives to create a comfortable and convenient experience for all of our guests and we absolutely do not condone this type of behavior. We will work with JCPenney to identify this woman and once identified, she will be permanently banned from Jefferson Mall, per our Behavioral Code of Conduct.
According to the mall's code of conduct, obscenity, threats, and any "disturbing of the peace" is explicitly prohibited.
By Wednesday afternoon, JCPenny had condemned the tirade, as well.
"We are deeply disturbed by the incident that took place at our Jefferson Mall store, in which one customer made extremely inappropriate remarks to two other customers while standing in the checkout line," a statement from a company official explained.
"We regret that innocent bystanders – both other customers and a JCPenney associate – were subjected to such discriminatory remarks," the statement continued. "We absolutely do not tolerate this behavior in our stores, and are working with our associates to ensure any future incidents of this nature will be addressed quickly and appropriately."
"In the meantime, JCPenney is asking for the community’s help in identifying the two women who were targeted for such remarks, as we would like to reimburse them for their entire purchase and offer a sincere apology for their experience."