Thousands donate to Michaels manager after customer berates her, claims discrimination


A Chicago woman was recorded on video yelling at a Michaels arts and crafts store manager because of what she said was discrimination against her because she is white.

WGN reported that the woman was shopping at the store the day before Thanksgiving and was not happy about being asked to purchase a reusable bag to store her items.

Shopper Jessica Grady recorded the incident, which she said lasted about 45 minutes, and uploaded a 10-minute video to YouTube and shared publicly it on Facebook.

In a profanity-laced rant, WGN reported that the unidentified woman said, "I was just discriminated against by two black women!"

>> Read more trending stories

As Grady records, the woman gets upset with her and some other shoppers for recording her. WLS reported that the woman first argued with a store employee and then directed her frustration with the manager.

"You screamed at me from across the store like you were in your own living room, you’re an animal," she said. "You’re an animal."

The woman also said she voted for President-elect Donald Trump. Later in the video, she appears to be calling 911, asking for police to respond because she is being discriminated against.

According to Grady, police were repeatedly called to the store but arrived only after she said the woman "needed medical attention because she was shouting and crying outside the store." Grady said 10 people waited in the store the entire length of the incident for police to arrive.

Michaels issued a statement about the incident:

At Michaels, we do not tolerate discrimination or racism of any kind against our team members or customers. We regret that our customers and team members were affected by this unfortunate incident and are grateful for the leadership of our store team in working to resolve it without further escalation.

WLS spoke with the woman in the video who maintains that she was discriminated against and the situation has been exaggerated. 

Grady created a GoFundMe page to support the unidentified manager and "give her back some holiday cheer and send the message that … this hatred will not be tolerated." More than $22,000 has been raised. Grady's goal was $400.

"I was inspired by her. This incident started over a $1 reusable bag, but it's not new for African Americans and other POC. We have to stand up; if you can't speak up, at least be a witness and share your story."

Grady said in an update on the fundraising page that she has been speaking to the manager about what to do with the additional funds.

"I want this to be her decision to empower her to meet the needs of her family and of her community," she said.

Grady said in a Facebook post Monday that she has received word that the woman's identity has been found and listed on social media, but she asked that people not respond with harassment or violence toward her.

"Do not try to contact her or harass her. Do not post her contact info. Violence is not the answer. Also, she is not the point. Her actions are -- and the fact that this behavior has been normalized is unacceptable," Grady said. "It's happening everywhere. I posted this video so that people would see that this is real. What matters are the employees she hurled the insults at."

"Don't get caught up in demonizing one individual," she said. "This is bigger than that."



Next Up in Nation & World

SEE IT: Roofers stand for national anthem in viral photo
SEE IT: Roofers stand for national anthem in viral photo

A photo of three Maine roofers standing for the national anthem is going viral. According to WKRG, Michelle Lyons Cossar posted the photo to Facebook on Saturday after she spotted the roofers, who were standing on top of a house, acknowledging the anthem before a football game between Old Town and Waterville high schools. "Standing for...
Florida man hires pilot to fly 'Boycott Jags, NFL' banner over stadium amid anthem protests
Florida man hires pilot to fly 'Boycott Jags, NFL' banner over stadium amid anthem protests

A man from Green Cove Springs, Florida, took his issues with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the NFL to the sky Sunday. At 1,000 feet, you could read the statement on the plane-towed banner saying, “Be American. Boycott the Jags and the NFL.” Terry Smiley had the message printed on a banner that was flown above EverBank Field before the...
Taliban hostage rescued after 5 years in captivity didn't believe Trump was president
Taliban hostage rescued after 5 years in captivity didn't believe Trump was president

A Canadian man who had been held in Afghanistan for five years by Taliban-tied kidnappers revealed that he thought his kidnapper was joking when he said Donald Trump was president of the United States. Joshua Boyle said one of his captors told him Trump was president just before he was forced to film a “proof-of-life” video, according...
Reward offered in search for man suspected of raping, killing baby
Reward offered in search for man suspected of raping, killing baby

Police in eastern Ohio are looking for a man suspected of raping and killing a baby girl. According to WFMJ, the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the arrest of Joshua Gurto. Gurto is accused of raping and killing a 13-month-old girl in Ashtabula County. He is wanted...
WATCH: Kate Middleton dances with Paddington Bear despite battling morning sickness
WATCH: Kate Middleton dances with Paddington Bear despite battling morning sickness

Dancing Queen? Duchess Catherine took a spin with adorably cuddly Paddington Bear on Monday during a surprise appearance with her husband, Prince William, in London, Us Weekly reports.  The duchess, who announced her third pregnancy in September, surprised Londoners at the Paddington train station with the giant dancing bear...
More Stories