Okay, I am a white male. I know I am responsible for all the misery perpetuated in the world for the last 5000 years or so, give or take a millenia. I am fine with that, really. So I cannot say I was surprised last week when I, while working my night job, asked to see someone's receipt because they had unbagged merchandise (it is store policy to do this, and since I have been there less than a month, I am uneasy with the thought of deciding what products are worthy of receipt checks like my more seasoned colleagues are wont to do), and was told I was stopping them because they were black. I have no doubt that there are places that do that sort of thing, and I don't take it personally. However, last night I hit a new low (or high, depending on your point of view). Then, about an hour later, I TOPPED IT.
I asked a couple to stop so I could check their unbagged merchandise against a receipt. I was asked by the husband if this was because he is white. I will give you a moment to let that sink in. Because. He. Is. White. Now maybe I am not up to snuff on my racial agendas, but 2 things bothered me about that. 1, if you stop a member of your race, how is that racism? Excuse my baseness, but that is the reason I have heard that it is okay for black people to use the word "nigger". It can't be racist for a black person to call another black person that. Or like George Carlin said, "No one is bothered when Eddie Murphy or Richard Pryor say nigger, because everybody knows they aren't racist. They're niggers!" So there is problem 1. Problem 2 (and this is the one that is still confusing me), is it possible to profile white males? I guess it is, but it doesn't seem correct. To the best of my knowledge, profiling is singling out a particular group of people for a particular reason. Unless white males are known for going to Target and stealing 50 gallon storage containers, I am not profiling. And since (in plain view of him as he approached the doors) I had a line of people I had stopped (including a black woman and an Asian woman), if I am guilty of profiling, it is only profiling ALL Target customers who buy things that don't fit in shopping bags. I must be the biggest asshole EVER.
After that I was planning on having the rest of the day go relatively easy. In my limited experience, there is one really crappy customer per shift, and I figured the one I had would definitely qualify. Boy was I wrong. A woman who was leaving with some items on the bottom of the cart, so I asked to see her receipt. After expressing SEVERE exasperation, she asked why I was harassing decent law abiding people. I should be out hunting down terrorists. Yup. Terrorists. I hate to break it to her (and it took an EXTREME amount of control on my part to not say this), but unless Bin Laden is over in Green World shopping for end tables, odds are I ain't gonna find him anytime soon. But if he tries to steal an IPod, I am SOOOO gonna bust his ass. For that I might even ignore company policy regarding Non-violent Crisis Intervention (NCI as the acronym happy Target management likes to use). I would probably have to beat the ever-luvin shit out of him first. So consider yourself warned Osama. If you are in Towson and need gthrow pillows that tastefully match your decor and are value priced so as to maximize your spending dollar, you better drag your ass to Wal-Mart, coz you ain't shopping at Target. Not On MY Watch!
Damn but I feel patriotic.