The man was later dubbed #GiftBoxBobby on Twitter.
By Zakaria Oudghiri
Rabat – A man in a Macy’s store in the Dallas area insulted two employees in the shop, saying they were not speaking English. He said they were speaking Arabic as they helped him with his purchase. The man was later dubbed #GiftBoxBobby on Twitter when a video of the interaction went viral.
The man stood at a counter in the store, wanting to buy a handbag. The clerk behind the counter told him he needed to go to another part of the store to get his gift wrapped. Angry, he demanded that the purse come with a box.
The staff did not have one. As the argument escalated, several other shoppers stood up for the staff. “Hey, I don’t speak Arabic,” the man said. “Hey, I’m in America. I want people to speak English to me,” he added. It has not been confirmed if the staff were speaking Arabic or not.
Another customer intervened, asking why the women’s language bothered him. The man then called the crowd a “bunch of Democrats.”
“All you Arabs. All you Arabs and Democrats, go back where you came from,” said the man in the video, after onlookers started to laugh when they learned that the argument started because the customer would not spend $1 to get his gift wrapped.
“I cannot see how many Arabs came out of the woodwork,” said the man, walking away slowly. “Dude, you’re the snowflake here,” the person behind the camera said. The customer replied with an offensive gesture and strong language, saying “Put me on YouTube.”
According to Vice, a Twitter user called Ricky filmed the encounter and has now made his account private. The user had tweeted, “This man made two women cry after publicly humiliating them. Please help me find this awful guy’s information.”
The videos of the incident “continue the trend of white people using racial language to insult others or report them to the police,” the Independent wrote. Finnish linguist Tove Skutnabb-Kangas says that language often serves as a proxy for other forms of discrimination.
A Macy’s spokesperson told Buzzfeed they were investigating the incident. The spokesperson said, “We believe our Macy’s employees and customers should be treated with dignity, respect, and kindness. We aim to create a welcoming environment and we apologize for what occurred in our store.”