A customer minding her own business Saturday night at a Trader Joe’s in Reston, VA, appears to have been the target of Islamophobic harassment by another woman whom the victim had just allowed to step in front of her in line.
The unprovoked verbal attack is both disgustingly audacious and frighteningly symbolic of the increasing “normalization” of xenophobia and hate in the United States of Donald Trump.
A video of the incident was posted on social media by a friend of the victim, who wishes to remain anonymous. The friend who posted it, comedian Jeremy McLellan, said he had confirmed the incident and wants the perpetrator, whose identity has not yet been determined, to become “famous.” It also was shared on Twitter by writer Yashar Ali.
The video’s backstory, according to McLellan, is as follows:
This woman was in a hurry so my friend (who is a Muslim woman) offered to let her go in front of her in line. That’s when she started talking bad about a different Muslim woman in the store (who was wearing niqab) and asking my friend why she didn’t cover as well. My friend replied it was a choice and the woman didn’t believe her and started talking about FGM and telling her “I wish they didn’t let you in the country.” That’s when my friend started filming.
“Excuse me?” the victim then asked the offending line neighbor, who apparently needed an entire shopping cart for one bag of avocados. “I was born here.”
“Oh, you weeeeere?” [Pause] “Obama’s not in office anymore. We don’t have a Muslim in there anymore.”
Watch and prepare to be both infuriated at the ease with which hateful words come out of this person’s mouth, and enamored by the astounding grace demonstrated by the victim: