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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."


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