Fierce

A Black Woman Are Her Fiancé Had Their Proposal Interrupted By White Employees Accusing Them Of Stealing From The Gift Shop

Another day, another case of racial profiling that is shocking enough to make headlines. Along with barbecuing in public and selling tacos out of a taco truck, now people of color can add proposing to their partners on the list of things they can’t do without having the cops called on them. 

On a day that should’ve lived in a woman’s memory as one of the happiest days of her life, it ended up being memorable for a completely opposite reason*. According to a Facebook post by 35-year-old Dr. Cathy-Marie Hamlet, she and her boyfriend, Clyde Jackson, visited the Angry Orchard Farm this weekend to celebrate Jackson’s 40th birthday and “enjoy an afternoon with some hard cider” along with their group of friends. Dr. Hamlet didn’t know it at the time, but her boyfriend was secretly planning on proposing to her and had brought an engagement ring with him in order to pop the question. 

While the day started out promising, things quickly went south. 

After the couple settled in on an empty lawn table, an Angry Orchard security guard approached the couple and asked Jackson to empty his pockets because he was suspecting of stealing a “T-shirt from the gift store.”

So…I got engaged today! But we’ll get to that part later. Let me set the stage…This weekend was my fiancé’s 40th…

Posted by Marie Cleone on Sunday, July 21, 2019

Jackson complied with the request and emptied his pockets, proving that he had had no stolen merchandise on him, and the security guard left. Hamlet and Jackson then returned to their table and Jackson began to propose to his girlfriend. It is then when the “same young lady from security” returned to the couple asked to check Dr. Hamlet’s purse. Dr. Hamlet emptied her purse to further prove they hadn’t stolen anything. According to Dr. Hamlet, believing she was being racially profiled, she said to the security guard: “I know you’re just doing your job, but I can’t help but wonder if this is because we’re Black. We’re the only Black people here at your establishment”, and the security guard assured her it was not before leaving. It is then that Jackson was finally able to propose to his girlfriend, to which she accepted.

In the midst of celebrating the new engagement, the same security guard approached the (majority black) group again and asked everyone to empty their pockets.

It’s at this point when security began to become aggressive, shouting at the group, telling them that multiple witnesses saw the couple steal the t-shirt even when Hamlet asked them to review the security camera footage to prove that they did not such thing. What is further shocking is that the security team refused to search the pockets of the couple’s white friend, and focused instead on targeting the black patrons. In the end, the group left to avoid being “attacked by the multiple security guards of Angry Orchard”.

As for Dr. Hamlet, the incident left her rattled and upset. “On what was supposed to be one of the best days of my life”, she said, “I was chased out of Angry Orchard by security who followed us all the way to the parking lot”.

Since posting, Hamlet’s Facebook post has garnered over 6,000 shares and almost 5,000 comments.

Unfortunately, this couple’s story just seemed to further prove what many people of color in the U.S. already know: that implicit bias is a dangerous and widespread phenomenon, affecting people’s judgment without even knowing. Not only that, but it has real and lasting effects on people’s lives. The story of Hamlet and her fiance’s engagement will forever be marred by the racism of these employees.

After the story went viral, Angry Orchard released a public apology to the couple. 

Angry Orchard stated that they had “launched an investigation” into the incident that occurred and had since “replaced” both the security team and the manager on duty at the time. They went on to say that they are “initiating additional, mandatory training on security awareness and unconscious bias” for their staff in order to “prevent something like this from happening in the future”. They ended their statement saying that the event “does not reflect our company values of respect for all and creating a welcoming environment for our guests” and that they are “treating this moment as a valuable learning experience for our staff”.

Latinas flocked to the post to express anger, frustration, and disgust at the way the employees of the Angry Orchard Farm went about trying to find the alleged thief.

This Latina summed it up perfectly: the actions of the security team were not only racist but they inhumane–they didn’t seem to care at all that this couple was experiencing a life-changing, joyful event.

This Latina had some problems with the wording of Angry Orchard’s apology

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: it shouldn’t be the responsibility of POC to “teach” non-POC about the dangerous consequences of racism.

This Latina didn’t buy Angry Orchard’s public apology:

It’s true that many companies insist that they’re working on the problems of structural racism within their organizations, but ultimately, do nothing substantial to fix their employees’ behavior.

This Latina made a great point on how petty and unprofessional the employees were acting over the hypothetical theft of a $28 t-shirt.

Even if the couple did steal the shirt, having six security guards aggressively confront suspected thieves is not the way to go about it. 

As we all know, while this story is frustrating, for POC, it’s not an uncommon or surprising one. The only silver lining is that the more attention stories like these get, the more the public will become educated on the insidious nature of implicit bias. 

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Two Black Moms Took Their Kids To Play In A Fountain On The Mall Then Secret Service Officers Swarmed Them With Guns

Things That Matter

Two Black Moms Took Their Kids To Play In A Fountain On The Mall Then Secret Service Officers Swarmed Them With Guns

Chip Somodevilla / Getty

Two Black mothers headed to our nation’s capital last week to give their children some playtime in the fountains at the World War II Memorial. The day was hot and the mothers thought the memorial would be a perfect place to let their children cool down and have some fun.

Unfortunately, the day quickly turned sinister when the women and their children were swarmed by Secret Service agents who pointed a rifle at them.

Last Thursday, India Johnson, 26, and Yasmeen Winston, 25, were driving their infants to take a splash in the fountains at the memorial when a Secret Service cruiser drove into their front left bumper.

The two women have reportedly been best friends since seventh grade and are mothers to boys: 13-month-old Sir Quincy (Johnson) and six-month-old G’esus (Winston). Both Sir Quincy and G’esus were sitting in the back seat of the car that they were driving. According to the women, Mother Goose Club was playing on the radio. Then, within seconds of the Secret Service cruiser driving into their car, an officer pointed a rifle at them and yelled “Get out!” and “Put your hands in the air!”

Soon enough, more officers surrounded them with guns. Eventually, Winston and Johnson were handcuffed and separated from their children. According to both women, they were detained without being given a reason as to why and were spoken to by police officers who did not wear masks, despite the current coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Washington Post, “Initially, the women said, an officer told them the vehicle had been reported stolen and that the suspects were two Black men. But the women, both African American, said no men were with them and provided proof that Johnson was the owner. She told the Secret Service she had never reported the car stolen. Eventually, the women were released — without an apology or answers to their questions.”

Winston and Johnson are now demanding that the Secret Service investigate the incident and release the details to the public.

“This incident took place near our national monuments across from the White House,” Timothy Maloney, the women’s attorney, wrote in a letter to Secret Service Director James Murray over the weekend. “It occurred after eight weeks of unprecedented national demonstrations about excessive police conduct, some of which took place right there on Constitution Avenue. Has the Secret Service learned nothing this summer?”

Speaking about the incident Winston told the Washington Post “I could have been another Breonna Taylor. I could have been another innocent woman who has no record and got shot.”

In a statement to the Post, a Secret Service spokesperson said that they had received a “query requesting the agency investigate an alleged interaction between Uniformed Division Officers and two members of the public” and that they are looking into the incident.

Winston says she and Johnson have spent the days after the incident completely traumatized.

Winston told the Post that she is currently seeking therapy and their friend is avoiding going outside of her home. “We don’t get in trouble. Nothing like this has ever happened to us. I thought the police were here to serve and protect us, and now it’s really uncomfortable,” she explained.

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Latinas Say Don’t Get Married Until You’ve Confirmed These Things

Entertainment

Latinas Say Don’t Get Married Until You’ve Confirmed These Things

Hulton Archive / Getty

When it comes to getting married, just about everyone has opinions and advice. Of course, while input on dos and don’ts of considering marriage can be overwhelming, they’re also so important to listen. Recently, we came across a Tweet by Twitter user @cxkenobxkery⁠ who posted a thread called “Don’t get married before…” We reposted the question and asked our FIERCE readers what advice they had for other Latinas who were considering marriage and the answers were pretty eye-opening.

So here goes, if you’re thinking about getting married consider pumping the breaks unless you’ve…

Worked out your parenting styles

Too strict? Too soft? Balance and teamwork is crucial. It comes down to what kid of little humans do you BOTH want to raise.” – ramfamfour

Discussed mental health stuff

“ANY mental health issues. My ex husband was not verbally or physically abusive, but his mental health issues were at the core of our marriages demise. I would also add to pay attention to how compatible you are when the ‘feeling’ of being in love isn’t tinting your glasses. He hated new foods and I loved to cook. He didn’t understand hyperbole, sarcasm, analogy, humor, etc. And those are all native to me. Otherwise, this is a great list.” – dinneronmylap

Learned how you plan to grow together

“I think asking how a person plans to continuously seek knowledge during their lifetime is important.” – lachullavida

Have underlined your boundaries

“Speak about the boundaries you plan on having with your families as you create one of your own. TRUST ME, you don’t want a spouse who doesn’t know or understand how important this is. Nobody wants their in laws overstepping. If their parents or yours are doing this now, it will only get worse once you are married and it will create so much drama. People have divorced over this.” – taialvarez

Talked about credit scores

“And CREDIT SCORE, family health history, twins?”- liani9

Seen them when they’re angry

“Other tips: See how this person reacts when angry, see how this person treats strangers, see how this person faces a difficult dilemma. This will tell you a lot about a person.” –mariar09_

Have self-appreciation on both sides

“Don’t get married before you truly know, love and have appreciation for yourself.”- moni.gram

Know their family

“You absolutely need to know about family, how they were raised and around who… she’s wrong on that one.”- your_phoenix_

Have the age experience

“Don’t even THINK about it until you’re in your 30s.” – arlee_la

Sorted out cleaning habits

“The cleanings habits.” – nancyesquivel

Know how their parents fight

“Parenting / disciplining! Questions about in laws expectations. Alone time vs quality time – are you someone who needs a lot of time away or close to your partner? How fairly do you fight? How did your parents fight growing up? How do you negotiate with one another?” – melmor

Lived on your own

“The best thing I did for myself: Live away from family. I had a whole year to live with roommates and I learned so mhch about myself. If at all possible, consider doing this!!!” – dj_enamoured

Asked how their prior relationship ended

“Always ask how the prior relationship ended, been almost marry for 5 years and I never asked and I found out that he got 7 women pregnant and all of them got an abortion, also ask about mental health issues with the family I never did and found out his mother was bipolar without treatment now I know why he is the way he is cause he is bipolar… I thought things would changed but nothing has changed and don’t marry a men that has a lot of guy friends cause his priority are his friends… Yes I know don’t need to tell me to get divorce I m already working on it.” – suequte_yoginyc

Figured out how to spend time alone and apart

“Date/Outing expectations – is one a home-body vs outdoorsy? This made for some very uncomfortable situations for both if us in a prior relationship. Would lead to full on arguments. But if both aren’t comfortable with group dates or don’t consider a quiet dinner at home as romantic then someone is going to become resentful.” – rosanam1978

Been genetically tested

“On having children, it best to get a gene-carrier (gene disease testing) before marriage. It makes me so angry when hearing that married couple… MARRRIED, do it after marriage. What if both of them are carriers? Then having a kid with their gene disease is on its way, if they have 1 biological.” – officialdarlin

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