One teenager became the victim of racist insults after his one tiny mistake of littering. After the incident went viral, his sister is speaking out about the support they’ve received.
According to 10 News, 14-year-old Barry Henry was called the N-word by a woman when he threw his gum wrapper on the ground. The incident went down when he was walking from church with his grandmother and cousin on Sunday in Florida.
“I thought she was going to attack us,” he said. “The lady was telling me, ‘Just pick it up,’ real loud and just yelling and everything, crazy.”
The whole incident was recorded and posted to Facebook where the woman can be heard yelling, “Nuh uh, don’t even act like that. Pick it up. Find it. Get down on your knees and find it. Get down on your knees and find it.”
At one point the woman calls the teen a “ni**er” and continues, “That’s how you are. All y’all (unintelligible) f**king ni**ers. Walking around here acting like something.”
The footage was initially posted to Facebook on Sunday by Henry’s sister Deysha Adriana. She wrote:
“Actual footage of a woman talking to my 14 year old brother and cousin in this manner, near Williams Park in St. Pete today, because he dropped a gum wrapper on the ground, he was going to pick it up until she started calling him out of his name. Almost 2020 and we still are dealing with being spoken to in this manner over what exactly? A gum wrapper. Tasteless.”
The video received over 233,000 views and over 5,000 shares. A St. Petersburg City Council member, Steve Kornell, even shared the video asking to help identify the teen so he can be honored at this week’s council meeting. The mayor of St. Petersburg, Rick Kriseman, also called the woman’s actions “deeply disappointing and disturbing, a wholly unacceptable verbal attack that I would hate to witness anywhere, but especially here in our Sunshine City.”
After the backlash against the woman and after Deysha and her brother received massive support, Deysha posted an update:
“My family would like to first thank those who have expressed their genuine concern towards my younger brother in regards to the below video. The point of this post is/was to continue to raise awareness regarding inappropriate behavior, and racism in our city, country, and world. Please note that we are not a confrontational family, and we are not looking for vengeance towards this woman, nor are we looking to fight racism, with racism.”
Meanwhile, the teen’s mother, Tykeshia Henry-Burch, said that even though she was “shocked” and “mad,” they will continue to pray for the racist woman and “hope that she gets the help that she needs because she does need help.”