Woman goes on ‘racist’ tirade in Chicago store; well-wishers donate thousands to berated manager

Posted at 8:27 PM, Nov 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-28 22:27:07-05

CHICAGO — Video of a woman yelling that she was “discriminated” against for being white and voting for Donald Trump has not only gone viral, but also raised thousands of dollars for the manager involved in the incident.

It all apparently began at a Michaels store in Chicago when the woman was checking out the day before Thanksgiving. Unhappy after being asked about purchasing a reusable bag, she asked to speak with the manager, and the encounter escalated from there, according to WGN.

“I was just discriminated against by two black women!” the woman says in the cellphone video taken by another shopper. During the 10-minute clip, which has been viewed over 270,000 times on YouTube as of Monday evening, the woman continues to address a crowd of onlookers and argue with the Michaels employees.

“You screamed at me from across the store like you were in your own living room, you’re an animal,” she says, looking at one of the employees. “You’re an animal.”

Later, apparently on a call with a 911 dispatcher, the woman asks for them to send police officers.

“I was discriminated against by two black women screaming at me across the store because I refused to buy one of the Michael’s bags, and I wanted a paper bag instead,” she says.

Jessie Grady, who posted the video to YouTube, said that several other people also called police but they didn’t arrive until after the woman had walked away, 45 minutes after the incident began.

“There were a lot of customers who stood up for the manager during this and waited the entire time for the police,” Grady said.

Grady wrote on Facebook that during the incident she stopped filming at one point to speak with the manager, who told her “this happens all the time.”

In a statement, Michaels said:

At Michaels, we do not tolerate discrimination or racism of any kind against our team members or customers. We regret that our customers and team members were affected by this unfortunate incident and are grateful for the leadership of our store team in working to resolve it without further escalation.

Grady later started a GoFundMe campaign to help support the Michaels store manager, “to try to make (the) busy holiday season brighter … for the employee who was the main target of this racist attack,” she wrote.

“She inspired me because despite the hateful words that were being hurled in her direction, she stood in that entranceway calm and unmoving to protect her staff and customers,” Grady wrote on GoFundMe.

The campaign raised more than $9,000 as of Monday evening.