Zendaya Coleman was in a California grocery store trying to purchase $400 worth of gift cards when she claims the clerk started giving her strange looks. She believes that it was because of her race. The actress went on her Snapchat to post a series of videos explaining the exchange.
“So we just got out of this Vons. Now I am trying to buy a lot of gift cards. There are certain limits and some things, which is understandable,” Coleman said. “But the lady that was helping us, I don’t think she was a huge fan of our skin tone.”
“In fact,” Coleman continued, “I recall her not trying to help us at all, saying that we couldn’t buy the gift cards and then throwing my wallet. I just can’t make this sh*t up,” she said. “This is the sh*t we deal with.
“… because we’re black,” her friend can be overheard saying.
The grocery store, Vons, turned to People Magazine with a statement to try and clear up what they called a “misunderstanding.”
“At Vons, we strive to treat each and every customer with the utmost respect. There is a policy that limits gift card purchases using a credit card. Zendaya was able to purchase gift cards up to our limit, and we apologize for any inconvenience or misunderstanding,” the statement read.
“We respect Zendaya’s voice in the community and similarly are committed to diversity and inclusion,” the statement continued. “Moreover, we understand that race is a sensitive issue in America and view this experience as a reminder that every interaction is an opportunity to treat each customer as we ourselves would like to be treated.”
Some will surely go along with the narrative and act as if this were a misunderstanding. But we can’t dismiss Coleman’s claims of discrimination as if racism isn’t an everyday part of the lives or many people. Yes, even when they’re just going to the grocery store.