Woman Goes On Racist Rant, No One Intervenes

by Maria Guido
Originally Published: 

Video of woman’s racist rant goes viral

There’s video circulating wildly on Facebook this week of some racist old lady being a terrible human being. Someone had the wherewithal to tape her, but no one said a word.

Here’s what happened: people were in a holiday line purchasing gifts to spread cheer. A pair of friends who were shopping together did what many of us do here and there — decide who’s going to wait in line while the other continues to browse around.

No big deal.

One friend returns and decides to add an item to the group of things her friend is purchasing. Here comes racist grandma to protest something completely benign, and take the experience to a whole, other, racist, terrible level. Language warning: grandma has a mouth on her.

“I had to get back on FB, to expose racism in America/Louisville,” writes Renee Buckner, the woman who filmed the video. “If we ignore it, it will never go away… this is what America has come to, openly and proud to be a racist.”

Throughout the video, racist old lady is heard saying things like, “Speak English. You’re in America. If you don’t know it, learn it.” And, “Tell ’em to go back where they belong.” Several times she looks to the crowd of shoppers behind her for approval, and some shoppers are seen looking into the camera, clearly uncomfortable. Buckner adds that she did not tape the entire scene and people were trying to let her know it was out of order.

Well, they weren’t trying hard enough.

This is our America now, whether we like it or not. Racists have been emboldened thanks to a president-elect who appealed to the lowest common denominator of racists to feed his ego and win the presidency. If you don’t believe that, you simply haven’t been paying attention. Racist attacks are through the roof since the election. The Southern Poverty Law Center counted 867 cases of hateful harassment or intimidation in the United States in ten days after the election. Ten days.

This means we all have a job to do, and that may involve putting some old ladies in their place. It may involve putting your own grandma in her place. It may involve having difficult conversations and saying unpopular things and standing up when normally you would stay silent.

We’ve become a society of watchers, and it’s not really our fault. So much of our time is spent behind a screen, we may actually have convinced ourselves that when we see this stuff in real time we’re merely watching another “viral moment” play out. So we reach for our phones instead of our voices.

I’m not slamming the woman who taped this — at all. Video is a tool that is valuable to expose the kind of vile, racist, trash that is rearing its ugly head. But we have so much more. We have our voices. We have our bodies. We can occupy space and say, “STOP.”

In a nutshell, we can tell racist grandma to STFU. For the betterment of humanity.

Watch it again. And again. We need to stand up for each other. There is simply no other choice.

Here are some tips for how to intervene when you witness a racist attack.

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