Salvation Army Thrift Store, Kearney, NE Expression of Xenophobic, Homophobic Attitudes by Assistant Manager of Store
Dear Brothers and Sisters, One day during the first week of November, while shopping in the thrift shop in Kearney, I, along with all of the shoppers who were present, witnessed a xenophobic, homophobic diatribe, which was delivered from behind the cashier's counter.
The cashier, who I was later told is the assistant manager of the shop, spoke critical words to a like-minded customer, who I assumed he was already acquainted with. He is easy to identify as he always wears a bright-colored crocheted hat. His discourse lasted about ten minutes and included repeated recommendations of what he thinks needs to be done in our country. They included hate speech against Muslim, including his perception of a need to close our borders to new Islamic immigrants because the might be terrorists. He spoke against immigrants in general, but specifically against any that might be in the US illegally. He went on to insist that the traditional family, as he has always know it, must be maintained and defended, implying that the LGBT community should be deprived of it's newly acquired right to marry and raise children. He went on to explain that his grandfather immigrated to the US with only 67 dollars and was able to make a home here for his wife and children and that the family has continued to find a friendly home in the US and to prosper here thanks to our free form of government, economy and society, but especially to our freedom of religion. He finally finished his speech and afterward we, the clients, passed by the cash register to pay for our purchases.
He was very friendly to all, including me when I went to pay for my purchase. Feeling deeply offended, as a *** man who has lived 30 years with my partner, I looked him straight in the face and told him that he should probably not be so friendly to me because I am a member of one of the social groups that he had just mercilessly slammed in his statement of personal beliefs. I also told him that his grandfather had been very fortunate to have been allowed to enter the USA, when he arrived as an immigrant, not having been subject to any sort of discrimination, and that he should consider the rectitude of his holding racist and homophobic attitudes towards others, when his own family had been treated charitably by the United States of America, where the constitution guarantees that all people are created equal under God.
He responded in his own defense as one would expect, and I told him quite directly that he had just proclaimed himself a bigot, and that this, the land of the free, is no place for incubating racist attitudes. I perhaps went to far when I suggested that if he couldn't respect the human rights of others, he should perhaps return to the homeland of his grandfather and suffer the persecution his grandfather had endured there and had motivated him to immigrate to the USA, in order to learn a much needed lesson on love of neighbor and respect for all.
He then shouted at me, "Yes, I am a bigot and I'm proud to be a bigot."
I was stunned, left speechless, so much so that I forgot my purchase on the counter, after having paid for it. As I opened my car door shaking with indignation, he stepped out of the shop, and in a very normal and mannerly voice told me I had forgotten to pick up my purchase, and asked if I wanted it.
I am ashamed to say that in that state of nerves I answered by telling him I did not and that he could put it where the sun never shines.
Weeks went by and I continued to shop and donate at the Thrift Shop as I have done off and on for twenty years. He treated me correctly, but coolly. I had no complaint until the day before yesterday. I picked up a packet of Christmas tree tinsel from a stack of two. I looked at the price and it was marked $00.19. I am currently caring for my mother in her home, as she receives Hospice care, and thought I could use the tinsel to decorate my mother's last Christmas tree: a very nice thought that brought me some consolation in the face of losing the dearest soul I've know in my life. I took it to your store assistant manager and he rang up the price of $00.49. I showed him the red tag that marked $00.19 and said I thought he had made a mistake. He turned the box of tinsel around and showed me a second tag that marked $00.49. I asked which price he intended to charge me the cheaper or the more expensive. He said that there were more of these products on the table and that he would have to go check the rest of the boxes to see how they were marked. I responded that this was the very first experience in my 63 year life when a cashier was not willing to give me the cheaper of the two prices when a product was marked incorrectly with two amounts. He did not concede to charge me the cheaper price and so I told him not to bother to go check the marked price on the other similar items, that I would do without that purchase. I left the store again indignant, not for the money, but the principle, suspecting now that this was situation of homophobic discrimination, all for the sum of thirty cents. I decided I had to resolve my doubt, so I went back into the shop, picked up all the boxes of tinsel like the one I had attempted to buy. They were all marked with two price tags, one for $00.19 and one for $00.49. I took them all to him at the cash register and said I wanted to buy them all at the lower price. He did concede to selling me them for that price.
As I was paying a young customer came up to the counter and told him that marking a product with two different prices and attempting to sell them at the higher price was false advertising. She then showed me a small picture frame which still had it's original retail sticker price on it along with a red Salvation Army sticker with a very low price on it, and she said, "I suppose he'll try to charge me the original retail price of this frame." and laughed out loud. I repeated to her that he had refused to sell me the tinsel at the lower price, and he interrupted me and said in a condemning tone, "Let's tell things the way they were. I said I needed to go look at the prices marked on the other like items."
I must shamefully admit that I answered him with an obscenity. I beg the pardon of all involved for that transgression, but given the circumstances others I know might have said much worse.
Is it, in fact, your policy not to charge the cheaper of two or more prices that appear on the items in your stores? I took it as another manifestation of your assistant store managers prejudices.
I left the shop for the second time agitated and offended.
I know for a fact that the Salvation Army currently has special out-reach programs extended to the Somali immigrant community, and that it has made a manifest effort to reach out to the LGBT community. Are this assistant store managers attitudes, comments and behavior consistent with the Salvation Army's statement of purpose and objectives in serving and marking an honorable presence in the communities of Nebraska and the United States of American. They don't seem so to me. They are definitely offensive to your shoppers and donors who include immigrants, both legal and illegal,among them recently arrived Muslims and in all communities the LGBT members of society who donate and buy in your stores.
I don't think that man should be allowed to darken the name of the Salvation Army one more day.
Please respond to me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org as I take your response to this matter very personally and hope the individual in question will never be allowed to defame, insult or verbally abuse any minority group or individual on the premises of your most generous business locations.
I submit this review solely for the internal use of the Salvation Army and do not intend for any portion of this review to be posted on Internet. Thank you. John Dunlay, Kearaney, Nebraska
Product or Service Mentioned: Salvation Army Cashier.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Preferred solution: Deal internally with a severe personnel problem in the Kearney, NE Thrift Shop.
I didn't like: Racist, Bad behaviour of assistant store manager kearney ne.