Yesterday I felt disrespected in the worse way possible, I felt betrayed and irate as my twitter rant reflected. You know that feeling you get (well honestly I've never experienced this exact scenario) when your significant other accuses you of cheating when you haven't? That's how I felt when I was racially profiled yesterday while shopping at Michael's Arts & Craft store.
Last purchase I'll make at Michael's
Now for at least the last year and 11 months of my art career, I've spent paycheck after paycheck on art supplies at Michael's. I developed a good relationship with the workers, I felt comfortable knowing that whenever I needed something I could go get it there. They earned my loyalty as a shopper, and I would constantly give them praise. Yet yesterday afternoon all of that was thrown out the window when while shopping to get some more supplies I was being "followed".
Now this isn't the first time and I'm sure it won't be the last time I've been 'followed' around a store. It unfortunately comes with the territory of being black. I'm not blind nor foolish to that fact at all. However, the fact that this occurred here, a place I've spent countless of dollars and been in many times is infuriating. At first, I thought to myself "maybe it's me" so I had to test the theory. And sure enough with each move I made, so did staff members. Even going as far as to send transmissions over their walkies to catch me at the next isle.
I was completely embarrassed. It's one thing to ask a customer if they need a assistance, but it's another to bager that customer more every SINGLE time said customer makes a move. I was mortified. I was purchasing some brushes, oil thinner, brush cleaner and intended to get more paint as well as canvases but do to being so alienated forgot the latter two.
There was even a point where another customer asking for help was completely ignored as they kept their eyes on me. Needless to say, I'm disappointed in Michael's staff. I'm hurt and outraged. I've calm down a bit but still am disgusted with what transpired. I didn't make a scene, I simply got in line, ,paid for my items, left the coupon that came with the receipt and left the building. Ignoring the cashier saying "Sir, you have a coupon for your next visit". I could careless because as of today I shall never EVER shop at Michael's Arts & Craft store again. Fuck you from the deepest part of my heart.
Luckily for me, in the next plaza over they are opening up a Jerry's Art Arama in the next few weeks. So all of my dollars will be spent there. I'm not calling for a boy-cott or anything of that nature, I'm just saying "Fuck Michael's as a store, organization and a motherfucking crew" #TupacVoice