Shopping while Black strikes again!
A New Jersey gift shop employee was suspended and became the subject on an internal investigation after four African-American teenage girls were kicked out of the store for no credible reason. The employee also told the girls “you’re not welcome here.”
The mistreatment happened when the group of 12- and 13-year-olds, who are from Paterson, New Jersey, were targeted because they didn’t have a chaperone while looking for items at Jenkinson’s Aquarium in Point Pleasant Beach on Sunday (Aug. 12). However, white teens were allowed to stay in the store though they also had no chaperone, said the girls, who were on a summer camp day trip to the Jersey Shore.
The girls returned back to the store with their chaperone, Latrice Reed, a 32-year-old counselor, in tow, but were still told to exit the shop by the unidentified employee, NorthJersey.com reported.
Attiyya Barrett, the director of Princess to Queenz summer camp who was with the girls on the trip, then got involved in the matter. Barrett began recording the shop incident after seeing an employee take out their phone to film. The camp director was then hit with a racist verbal jab by the employee who asked the girls to leave the shop.
“You guys love to get your phone out to record,” the worker said to Barrett.
The store employee should apologize, the teens said. The incident stands as another reminder of what can happen to people of color in public places because of racism. It’s clear that racial biases must be confronted and dealt with in order to create better encounters for African Americans.