If this were not so real and tragic, it would be too funny. In a climate where the Trump Effect of stoking fear of 'the other' this gut reaction of senseless, irrational fear will continue.
CVS Employee hid from black customers
Why would CVS employees feel that two otherwise regular black guys asking for sliced cheese in the store would harm them? This story is pathetic and is a clear illustration of the Trump Effect. It is true that many white Americans are unjustifiably scared of black men because of stereotypes and misrepresentation by the news. But this particular story seals the case.
Two black men, roommates Rick Berry and Philip Blackwell, entered a CVS store. Berry asked the employee if they had sliced cheese. The employee told him they did not carry slice cheese. Berry said the employees then vanished.
Berry and Blackwell stated that they walked around the store for 30 minutes or so with nobody around. A customer with a toothache in CVS before Berry and Blackwell could find no one either. All the other client wanted was Orajel.
Berry said that eventually police showed up. The police officers and the customers walked the store and found the employees hiding. Berry said the cops were laughing at the incident with them when the story took another turn. The officers got a call. They told the three customers that they had to leave or else they would get arrested for trespassing.
Reporter Jonathan Costen from ABC8 WRIC called CVS. He said they were apologetic for what happened to the men and would speak to the employee to determine what happened.
This is the type of mistakes that people make when living in a society that encourages Americans to fear other Americans. This election cycle exacerbated this fear. To be clear, no one race has a propensity for crime over the other. Because of the manner in which the media reports crime and the police documents and arrest for crimes, data to the blind unobjective eye is severely skewed. The Trump Effect as well compounds people's fear. One hopes that exposing stories like these will mitigate the damage and help move us forward.