Ignorant racist behavior in this day and age is unthinkable and that is not what one expects in a ‘classy’ establishment where customers are often catered to but not at H&M where Frannie Richards was subjected to a humiliating degrading racist treatment according to this article from Pacific Citizen:
Frannie Richards stopped by the
Michigan AvenueH&M on her lunch break hoping to walk out with a dress or a new suit. She never expected to emerge with a different kind of suit - a lawsuit.
The Filipino American nurse is filing a complaint against the corporate clothing behemoth for an alleged racial slur one of its employees made to her in mid-September at an H&M in downtown
. According to Richards, she had just entered the store and was browsing the racks when an employee near her raised his hand and exclaimed loudly, "Mail order bride in the house!" before running over to a fellow employee and bursting into laughter. Chicago
"I was shocked and disgusted," said the 33-year old retired
Air Force reserve staff sergeant in an interview. In her complaint to the U.S. Commission of Human Relations, she stated: "I felt he was implying that I was a whore and couldn't understand why he would say anything so derogatory." Chicago
Richards then approached the employee, a Caucasian male in his late twenties or early thirties, and asked for a fitting room.
"Can you read that sign? It says 'fitting room,'" he allegedly told her, muttering "Ching, chong, chang" as she walked away.
"I was dumbfounded," said Richards, who was born and raised in
. "When he first said it, I couldn't believe it, but even when I went up to him, he wouldn't stop. He just went on and on and on. [...] I'm not naïve about racism, but for him to say it disgusts me. He didn't understand how degrading it was." Chicago
To make matter worse as if to add insult to injury she was given the runaround by the store manager who refused to give her the name of the offending employee. Shocked and devastated she went home but was persuaded by a friend to come back who went along with her acting as a witness.
On her return while she was finally able to get the harasser employees’ name from the other manager it was a complete disappointment. She was told that his harassing subordinate identified as ‘Joseph H’ working as a ‘visual merchandiser’ would first “get a verbal warning, and if it happens again, then, it would be written down." Not exactly a response that will appease one subjected to such degrading racial insults especially after this prior racial incident, to quote:
The incident follows close on the heels of the drowning death of Du Doan, a 62-year-old Vietnamese American fisherman who was pushed off a harbor into
's Chicago Lake Michiganonly weeks earlier. Many local Asian Americans believe his death is tied to anti-Asian sentiment. The man being charged with Doan's murder is a member of a skinhead group (though allegedly an "anti-racist skinhead group") and, according to authorities, is prone to violent behavior.
Doan's death has raised the profile of anti-Asian sentiment in Chicago, said Myron Dean Quon, Richard's representing attorney and legal director of the Asian American Institute.
"There are a lot of anti-Asian incidents in
but people don't know what to do or just suck it up and move on. Ever since [the Doan murder] we've been getting reports of all sorts of incidents," said Quon, asserting the belief that if Richards had been in an H&M in a different city, the scenario might have played out very differently. Chicago
"I have no doubt that if this happened in
or San Francisco or even New York , the response would be different. They might even get beaten up by their coworkers, there are so many Asian Americans [in those cities]," he added. L.A.
While Richards said that it is too late for an apology, she hopes that people will learn from this.
"I want people to know that there is no right place or right time to say any sort of racial comment, especially in a professional atmosphere," she said. "If he came to my hospital and was treated like that by any of the doctors or nurses, we would be terminated."
Indeed and the people should learn from this and should follow Richard’s lead and Filipino-Americans are not taking this racial insult sitting down either according to this article:
A protest in front of the Magnificent Mile H&M department store,
840 N. Michigan Ave., added to the usual throng of shoppers and tourists Saturday.
The demonstrators, including at least eight Northwestern students, were condemning H&M for failing to take action when a salesperson allegedly made racist and sexist comments to a female Filipino-American shopper. Holding signs and shouting coordinated chants, such as "2-4-6-8, H&M discriminates" and "Hey hey ho ho, racist employees have got to go," the protestors marched in a circle on the sidewalk from to
"It was really empowering," said Leizl Rivadelo, a Communication sophomore and member of Kaibigan, NU's Filipino student association. "It was like a giant, well-oiled machine."
It seems that H&M employees operate based on their prejudice and biases be it racial or anti-women as shown in this Vancouver H&M store incident wherein a mother was told to stop nursing her baby as it is against H&M policy and might offend other customers.
I say a call for the boycott of H&M should be resorted to until they come up with measures to make sure that their stores are not populated by bigoted ignorant racist misfits. The racist employee is in a establishment where professional conduct is expected, he and the other racist employee (should have called the attention of the offending associate instead of letting it go) may have a sense of humor but a racial slur is not exactly humorous..... it is illegal and no one should be subjected to a very degrading humiliation based on ones' skin color.
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