The more this
presidency year continues, the more I wonder if we’re actually in the year of Beyoncé 2018.
An elderly grandmother in Charlotte, N.C., was probably left with a similar question after she was told “no” when she asked to use the bathroom at a gas station on her way home from church.
WBTV reports that Evelyn Redic, 89, went to service in the church van on Sunday. The van got a flat tire and so pulled into a gas station on Clanton Road to get it fixed. That was when Redic tried to use the bathroom, only to be turned away and forced to relieve herself on the grass near the station.
“She says she was outraged,” Redic’s granddaughter, Katossa Glover, told the news station. “She said ‘I have never been so embarrassed.’”
Glover shared her grandmother’s story on social media, sparking outrage, with many coming to her grandmother’s defense. Glover pointed out that her grandmother has experienced this type of situation before in her lifetime.
“People are tired of being mistreated,” Glover said, “and a woman who has been here since 1929, who has gone through that, will not experience that in 2018 without the community fighting.”
The incident left the grandmother so shaken that she had to be taken to the hospital to get checked out.
“She is still very weak,” Glover said. “She’s resting.”
County Commissioner Vilma Leake, who represents the area where Redic was made to feel so uncomfortable, went to the gas station to speak to the manager but could only find a clerk.
“The first thing she said was ‘We can’t say anything,’” Leake said.
Leake, frustrated and angry at the incident, was told to call the corporate office, and was still waiting for a response as of last Thursday. She encouraged patrons to not use the business until she got answers.
“She’s a human being and they are human,” Leake said. “That is out of the ordinary to say no to somebody that age.”
Meanwhile, Mecklenburg County officials say that no violations occurred that day, noting that as long as there was a restroom for employees to use, owners could decide who got to use the bathroom. Technically, after Jan. 1, 2019, all new gas stations in North Carolina will be required to have a restroom for customer use.
Regardless of technicalities, Redic’s family thinks that an exception could have been made.
“I think if you are making money here in this community, you need to be taking care of your community,” Glover said, adding that the family will protest the gas station until they get a public apology.