It was an unpleasant experience for Smith’s shoppers in Albuquerque Wednesday morning, particularly for a woman wearing a hijab, when another customer accosted her.
Barney Lopez was in the store at Coal and Yale when it happened around 9:30 a.m. He remembers walking in and passing the woman with the head scarf as she was checking out.
“I went down the aisle to go get sodas and then all of a sudden I hear somebody starting to yell at her,” he recalls, “And they’re saying things like ‘Get out of our country, you don’t belong here, you’re a terrorist!’”
At that point, Lopez says, practically everyone in the store stopped what they were doing and ran to the defense of the woman in hijab.
Lopez snapped a picture, albeit a bit shaky, of the person screaming at the woman in the hijab. The lady is wearing a hat and sunglasses. A Smith’s employee appears to stand in the way to keep her back.
“There was even another woman that like went over to the woman in the hijab and put her arm around her and gave her hug and held her while the Smith’s employees came,” he says.
Employees shuffled the shouting lady out of the store, but Lopez says the screaming woman waited in the parking lot for the woman in the hijab to come out.
“So all the Smith’s employees gathered around this woman and escorted her to her car and helped her load her groceries,” he recalled.
This is how we have to react. Right now, racists are fully empowered to yell and scream and beat and kill people of color. The way we stop them is to stand up collectively and fight for those we see oppressed. That’s what people did in Albuquerque yesterday. The only way this could have been improved upon is that someone took down the license plate of the racists who did this so she could be investigated by the police.