A Target store employee found herself in a confrontation with a customer who was offended by a Black Lives Matter mask that she was wearing and demanded that she remove it.
The employee identified only as “Tana” for fear of retribution said she has worked as a barista at the Starbucks inside the store located at Selden, Long Island since February. She had been wearing a Black Lives Matter mask with a fist drawn on it for about three weeks. Target requires employees to wear masks to mitigate the spread of coronavirus and does not dictate what designs are allowed on them.
Tana said the customer was being helped by another employee last Thursday (June 25), when she asked, “you do know all lives matter, right?” She responded that she did, but told her that all lives can’t matter until Black lives matter, which is the underlying theme of the slogan.
“She then said my mask was offending her and I needed to take it the f— off my face,” Tana told NBC News. “I was telling her I am allowed to wear this mask, the CEO of Target is all about the Black Lives Matter movement.”
The customer retorted that her ancestors were victims of the Nazi holocaust, which she said was “worse than slavery” and told Tana to “educate herself” and began screaming the employee was “racist against white people.” A security guard approached and warned her that if she did not calm down police would be called.The customer responded to the guard, who is Black: “Do you want more police brutality to come? Because they will come.”
An Instagram video shows the offended customer being asked to leave the store, being told by security, “you can’t disturb business, that’s why you’re removed.”
Although she kept arguing with security, she did leave, but when Tana finished her shift and went to meet her boyfriend outside, who was picking her up, she saw the woman trying to go back into the store, saying she wanted to return to “record faces.”
No charges or arrests were reported against the woman. Suffolk County police told NBC News the incident was under investigation. But Target issued a statement that said the company stood with Tana.
”We want everyone who shops and works at Target to feel welcomed and respected,” a Target spokeswoman said. “Based on a situation that escalated at our Selden, New York, store on June 25, we asked a guest to leave the premises.”
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