I've started documenting violence and uncivil behavior that seem to be a direct result of the Trump Effect; a vile and uncharacteristically violent, rude, irresponsible, and crude form of speech and acts made vogue by Donald Trump and his campaign.
Unhinged woman, a classic instantiation of the Trump Effect
An unhinged young woman went into a shouting tirade as she berated to black employees in a Chicago Michaels store. Jessie Grady recorded the tirade. She was so taken aback by the shopper's bad behavior she set up a GoFundme page. More importantly is what Jessie said. It should give us all hope as she described the event.
On the night before Thanksgiving, I witnessed a white woman engage in a 30 minute racist rant (complete with yelling and cursing and repeated references to the fact that employees were African American) against the employees at a Chicago Michaels store - because she did not like that they offered her the option to purchase a re-usable shopping bag for her larger items. I was directly in front of this customer in line, I stopped at the exit to show my 2-year-old a Christmas ornament and witnessed first-hand that the Michaels’ employees did nothing to provoke this verbal attack, and in fact treated all customers with professionalism and courtesy. I was so shocked by this unprovoked attack that I captured 17 minutes of it on video on my phone.
Her reason for setting up the page is not only touching, but it illustrates the goodness in many people.
I am starting this gofundme because I’d like to do something to try to make it up to the employee who was the main target of this racist attack. I’d like to show her that many people are horrified by how this woman treated her, and that we stand with her and appreciate her hard work. 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. Her calmness calmed me and I saw a true leader, which in today’s world, is something to be rewarded. All proceeds from this gofundme will be given to this employee, who has three children, to try to make her busy holiday season brighter. In the current climate I believe it’s very important that we go out of our way to treat each other with dignity, kindness and politeness, and that we stand up for each other when we see people being mistreated.
The reality is I do believe the vast majority of Americans are good people. Some people like Donald Trump can temporarily prey on the fear that some have when under stress. But ultimately that will be temporary. We will survive.
Jessie's campaign for this Michael's employee is currently going very well. As of this post it raised almost $6,000. She wrote the following.
Thank you so much for your support! This is amazing, our goal has been far exceeded! I am overwhelmed by your generosity and it's given me hope. I have been speaking to the manager I'm raising this gift for about what to do with the additional funds. I want this to be her decision to empower her to meet the needs of her family and of her community. It is not my place as a white woman to do that for her. This is truly an amazing, inspiring, creative woman and leader. I felt that standing next to her and even more so that I've gotten to know her. She put her small design business on hold to focus on a steady income as a manager at Michaels to support her family. As part of her small business she knits scarves and hats for homeless teens in Chicago every year. This is one of the few things I've learned from her generosity and kindness. From our conversations, she said, "I want my Masters in Psychology so I can become a guidance counselor to stand with our youth." She dreams of opening a boarding school for disadvantaged youth to teach the skills they need to reach their potential. "This is how we can heal humanity, transferring these ideas to our youth. It's not just a song that children our are future,"
For now I am keeping the donation page up because I want to help her meet these goals and feel valued and supported by her community. And I want to send a strong message that this sort of behavior is not acceptable. I personally want to thank you all so much for your support. I don't think that the lady who hurled this abuse at the manager that day realized who she was dealing with - strong, powerful, determined women, willing to make a change. But this is bigger than that one outburst and I am glad you are all working with us towards a positive goal. I had no idea when I stopped in that store to buy a santa hat for my baby that I would meet such an amazing person who I now consider a friend and ally. I feel like the two of us together are already forming a team for change. I will keep you updated on our plans as we progress. Thank you all again for your support. You have restored my faith in humanity. This is bigger than this one incident. I appreciate all of the messages of support and the people who said that this has inspired them to speak up against hatred. Thank you!!
This is a story I will be following up on.
Also published on Medium.