Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wal-Mart, Racism and Being Available!

Yesterday, I decided to take a trip to Wal-Mart to get some Saline Drops for my three month old- she has a cold. I grabbed a few extra things, because let's face it, you can't just go in Wal-Mart to get only what you initially went in there for. Well, after I was done shopping, I walked to the self-checkout line and waited patiently for my turn. After the young lady in front of me finished, I proceeded to check out. While I was scanning my neon pink fingernail polish, the self-checkout overseer walked up to ask if I needed any assistance.

"No thanks", I replied. It was only five seconds after that I sent a hand jester his way to assure him that I did actually need his help. The scanner was not picking up the barcode from the polish, so I wasn't sure what I should do next. He showed me how to key in the numbers.

"Thanks so much", I said.
"Your welcome", he smiled.

When I finished and ask I proceeded to walk off, I smiled and waved a simple thanks to the man who helped me. He then stopped me and said, "Ma'am, I just want to say thank you."

With a slight look of confusion I replied, "Thank You?"
He looked at me and said, "Yes. Just yesterday I was doing my normal job- assisting those on this aisle. You know, it's my responsibility to ask everyone if they need assistance."

"Uh huh", I shook my head.
He continued. "Well, there was an African American young lady who was on her [cell] phone and scanning her items. I asked if she needed help and she said with the roll of her eyes and a smack of her teeth, 'No, I don't need your help'. Then, she told her friend on the phone, 'This white man acting like I'm about to steal something out of here...asking if I need help.' [I was standing right there hurt that she thought I was being a racist]"

I shook my head shocked and appalled at that young ladies behavior. As an African American woman, I was embarrassed. Embarrassed that for some reason some black people think it's "okay" to be so ignant (yes, ignant and not ignorant) with white people. I mean, have we really left the 60s?

After he shared what happened with me, I apologized to him and told him how I'm so sorry to hear that he experienced that. It was truly terrible and apparently really hurtful to him.

Here's a middle aged white man who, to me, was as sweet as a button. He asked if I needed help and I didn't get the slightest inclination that he was being racist or was accusing me of stealing...and I had a big grandmama purse on my shoulders. I could have easily been picked out as a potential thief.

This is what really just amazed me about this entire situation. God specifically placed me there to encourage that gentleman today. Before I went to Wal-Mart, I was talking with a very good friend of mine who came to my house for a visit. While she kept an eye on my kids, I ran an errand to Wal-Mart to get the Saline drops. Before I left, I texted my sister (who I was texting with prior) and told her I was headed to Wal-Mart. Immediately following that text, I got a Yahoo email alert on my Palm Pre from a Wal-Mart advertisement. It was at that moment that I knew this wasn't going to be an ordinary trip. God was showing me signs that something unusual was going to happen there. When I recognized that, I responded, 'Okay Lord'. And then left out of the door to head to the store.

This was a very heartbreaking and honestly frustrating thing to hear. I could see the sincerity in that gentleman's eyes. He was hurt from being falsely accused. I wanted to give him a hug.

I'm baffled at the anger that so many people have for no apparent reason. Racism clearly has not dissipated. We are living in very serious times of hatred and those of us who profess to be Christians really need to listen to the Holy Spirit and be available to God. We need to be the light in the midst of all of the darkness that is soaring around this country/ this nation. We need to be praying that we could be those people who are anointed by the Holy Spirit to exemplify love, peace and healing to those who are hurting and who need us.

Matthew 5:14-16
" 14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven"

Be Available. Be Different. Be an open vessel that God can use to help break the racial barriers we face everyday. Remember, racism does not always come in forms we think they do. It's not always about someone being bluntly called out of their name. This example I wrote today is a clear case of racism; of how it's just that easy to have hatred towards the opposite race just because of false accusations. Don't be that way. Instead, I encourage you to be a light in the midst of this dark world. Let people see Christ in you.

I pray this blog has encouraged or inspired you in your walk with Christ today. Be encouraged and know that God is there with you every step of the way, if you would just yield yourself to Him. I pray you have a wonderful weekend; abounding in God's grace.

Prayers and Blessings,
Kennisha Hill| Purchase my new book for $10.00. Visit my website today! | Thrive in Your Marriage!


Wanza Leftwich, The Gospel Writer said...

It's sad that the girl was on the defense which so many are these days due to past experiences. It was nice to know that you were there to comfort the man.

Surprisingly, most Christians would have behaved the same way. We must remember to show God like principles and not act ignant to people. Each situation is different and we should be available as the Lord leads.

MOMSWEB said...

"Be Available. Be Different." Excellent word; I truly enjoyed this post.
Have a joyful weekend.

quietspirit said...

I feel sorry for people who imagine things like this and what they imagine is not what has happened.

Faith Imagined said...

That is awesome you recognized that God had a task for you (not even knowing what it was) and you told Him "Okay Lord". Yes, i want to "Be Available!"

Don said...

I don't know what possessed me to click onto your blog and read this post today. But I must say, I leave fully inspired. Thanks. And I'm sure you change that individual's heart by your making a difference.