Updated: Friday, May 11, 2018, 12:15 p.m. EDT: The Root received the following statement from Christi Graybill, vice president of e-commerce operations with Fuego:
We are deeply sorry for the event that occurred in our Tacoma, WA store on May the 7th.
When the two customers confronted our employees and were understandably upset, our manager asked them to leave the store, and eventually security was called. We regret that the situation was handled this way. Our employees should have immediately owned up to their mistake and apologized. The store manager, who led the discussion with the two customers, has been terminated.
We strive to make each and every customer of our stores feel at home and welcome. We regret that this was not the case in this instance, and we apologize publicly to the two customers involved. We will also make every effort to personally apologize to the women and try to make this right.
In addition, we are scheduling a companywide training initiative as soon as possible to ensure that nothing like this happens in any of our stores in the future.
I recognize that the action of an individual employee should not sully the reputation of an entire organization, and I find it commendable that they immediately fired Maggie the manager. However, someone should ask the executives at Fuego to do one more important thing:
Could they fax this letter to Waffle House?
What happens when a white woman is bothered by the presence of black people? The obvious answer to this question is, of course, she asks to speak to “the manager.”
White women always need to speak to the manager. The main reason God sacrificed his only begotten son was that the archangels who answered prayers were tired of people asking to speak to the manager.
I’m pretty sure that’s in the Bible.
Recently, two black shoppers patronizing a Washington-state clothing store discovered what happens when a white woman is disgusted by the presence of Negroes who have the audacity to try to spend money at a place of business. But what happens if the disgusted white woman is also the manager?
She calls security, of course.
According to a Facebook post, Simone Gamble and a friend were shopping at Fuego, a Tacoma, Wash., clothing store, when one of them stepped inside a dressing room at the business. To Gamble’s surprise, they heard the store manager loudly reading the store’s theft policies.
Gamble, who describes herself as a “Queer, androgynous individual, ” tells it this way:
I was in the dressing room and while in there the [manager] started talking about the procedures for theft. Mind you she was not on the floor when we first arrived to the store. I select dresses then tried them on. I was going to PURCHASE one of the dresses until I heard her speaking directly in front of my dressing room about theft procedures. I then got dressed and went to tell her I wanted to buy one of the dresses and confronted her about her implicit conversation right outside the curtain. She kicked us out of the store when I tried asking her why and she then said all of this:
Gamble posted a video of the pair’s interaction with the store’s
overseer manager: “So if I were discussing something, we talk about that stuff all the time. All the time,” the Fuego woman, who looks like the love child of Rachael Ray and a baked potato, says to Gamble and her friend. When told that she didn’t have to say she was kicking the two out of the store, she responds, referring to one of them, “When she raises her voice, it gets to the point where ... ”
Gamble and the friend inform the manager that they weren’t raising their voices. But the woman is already on the phone speaking to the lord and savior of all raisin infusers: security.
“Yeah, I need security here right now,” Maggie the manager says (not her real name ... but probably her real name) as she waves her hands, shooing the black patrons away as if they were gnats.
When the shoppers think they hear the manager call them “aggressive,” Maggie replies: “‘Uncooperative’ is the word I used—an educated word that sustinctly [phonetic spelling] describes what’s happening right now—uncooperative. I’ve asked you to leave, you have not left.
“Leave!” manager Margaret screams aggressively, raising her voice.
We don’t want to just go and have them tackle us out there,” one of the victims of Madge’s plantation mentality explains. “We need to be able to explain ourselves.”
Maddie “sustinctly” informs the customers that security is coming to escort them out of the store, and they reply that they will wait. As they wait, Margarine tells the shoppers that she is “not discussing this anymore,” because she asked them to leave.
Another store employee, Katherine LynnBeth Shoemaker (again, not her real name), informs the two that they are allowed to do their job, and Katie Lynn gives the customers “the hand.”
When the security officer arrives, Gamble and friend explain that they were in the dressing room when Marge began reading the part of the store policy that tells employees to call the sheriff’s department whenever they suspect theft. The clip ends as two security guards patiently listen as the patrons explain themselves.
After the incident, Gamble wrote: “The mental trauma I’m experiencing can’t be fixed with an apology. The incident that happened can’t be fixed with training employees.” The mistreated shopper added that she was “humiliated and basically felt inhuman in that moment of such hatred.”
Fuego has not responded to The Root’s request for comment.
That’s right, we asked to speak to a manager.