Up until recently, businesses in the United States have had the right to refuse service to anyone that they wanted to and for any reason that they wanted to. Some put up signs, but in general, it’s the proprietors prerogative to serve who he wanted. Some even put up signs i.e. “no shirt no shoes no service” or something similar. That’s more of a friendly warning as to the general standards that a store might want to keep, but basically, it’s up to whoever owns an establishment to decide how they wanted to run their business. And if you don’t like it, you can take your business elsewhere.
Recently, it has become a big issue when bakers didn’t want to make a cake for a gay marriage, and the issue arose about who has to serve whom, and under what conditions. Our old friend Political Correctness rose up and decided to tell us what freedoms would be taken away, and sadly many people listened to him.
The most pressing concern of many businesses, especially institutions dealing with money, is, of course, safety. They have rules about what you can bring in, and what you can wear. This is presumably because of what it might be concealing. That was the case with a credit union in Washington, where a young lady got it into her head that she was being discriminated against because when she broke the rules about how they would serve her, she was asked to comply.
This is what her Facebook post read:
“I went into Sound Credit Union in Kent, Wa to pay my bill as normal. The video above will show the discrimination that I faced today. I am a black Muslim woman and was observing Jummah, so I had my hood on. The teller asks me to ‘take off my hood’. In order to adhere to their policy, I ran outside to get my hijab. When I came back, two men before me were served with no issues, but both were wearing hats. Then I confronted the teller and he told me ‘it should be no issue, let me get my supervisor for permission,’. Instead of seeking a resolution, she chose to do this…watch the video.
I never want this to happen to anybody and NOBODY should ever be treated this way. Thank you.”
“KENT, Wash. — It’s a possible case of discrimination. A Seattle-area woman claims she was refused service at a credit union because of the religious garments she was wearing.
It happened Friday at the Sound Credit Union in Kent.
Jamela is a black Muslim woman. She didn’t want to go on camera or talk specifically about what happened, but she did give us permission to show the video she recorded of what took place inside that bank Friday.
According to Jamela’s Facebook post, it all started when she was told by a teller to “take off her hood,” which she says she did, to abide by their policy.
She was wearing her religious garments that day.
She claimed two men were served before her and both of them were wearing hats.
So she then asked to speak to the supervisor there, and that’s when it seems things quickly got out of hand.
Jamela said she believes, in this case, she was discriminated against.
On Sunday, she said she is still very shaken up by this whole experience.
She said she does want this to happen to anybody, and nobody should ever be treated this way.
The bank has since made a statement:
‘We looked into the situation and agree that we did not handle it well. We want to express our deepest apology to the person involved. As a result, we are looking at our procedures and training and will make changes to make sure that a situation like this never happens again. It is clear our training needs to include more empathy and sensitivity to all cultures, because as a credit union we believe in equal treatment of all people.’”
What happened was that the employees were scared and worried that if she wasn’t obeying the rules, she might have a more devious reason. This is a financial institution that might have quite a few people wanting to rip it off. It’s sad that they not only can’t enforce the rules that they themselves posted, so plainly for all to see, but also that the employees have to live in fear of a PR nightmare, instead of protecting themselves.
The young lady in question seemed so irate that there were people who were let to have their ball caps on and were still served, but that argument doesn’t even pass the straight face test. In order to conceal something in a ball cap, you’d just about have to have a collapsable skull. So barring an alien invasion or a visit from the bionic man at the credit union, I doubt there’s much to fear there. And saying that a business has to treat everyone the same would be like saying that because Starbucks gives away free drinks to cops, they must give a free one to me as well. No, it’s their choice to decide not only what they do, but who they do it to, and how it’s done. If you don’t like it, you’re welcome (no, encouraged) to take your business elsewhere.