Go to any grocery or retail store in the United States and you’re sure to see this same sight: a child selling candy or cookies or some other fundraising item. Sometimes it’s Girl Scout cookies to raise money for their troop, sometimes it’s coupons to raise money for a sports team, and like many other children, this time it was a young girl selling candy with her older brother outside of their local Target.
Witnesses came onto the scene when an elderly white lady began harassing the little girl selling the candy. Witnesses, including a Andy Lizarruga, who shot the video on her cell phone, and a man named Jay Lopez, described what they saw to news reporters at KCAL in Los Angeles:
“She comes up to the little kid and is like, ‘Where is your license? Have you asked permission to be here?’ And then the kid is like, ‘No, I’m just selling candy. I’m trying to make some money…”
“She continued to yell at her and scream at her and tell her if she didn’t have a permit, that she was going to go to jail, that Sheriff’s were on their way,” said Jay Lopez, who walked up behind her.
Lopez said that when he walked up the girl was in tears.
In the video, the woman can be heard responding to Lopez telling her that she should “be ashamed” of herself by saying, “I am not ashamed of myself. I’m standing up for this young person.” When Lopez shut that down by telling her that screaming at a child is not “standing up for” them, the lady went into what can only be described as some kind of racist excuse.
“Oh, they take them all around the country and you should see how they live.”
The woman can just tell that these particular children are not like the other children who sells things outside the stores. They surely aren’t selling the candy for any kind of good cause or for any other good reason. They are, of course, there because an adult is exploiting them by having them sell things. Then “they” are forcing these children to live with nothing while the lazy adults party on the money. Or something.
Lopez, who really does seem to understand what “standing up for” a child is, then did something extraordinary and unselfish for the two children. He bought all of their candy, $80 worth of candy, and passed it out to other shoppers.
“if it was girl scout cookies, and it was a white girl – and i’m not putting race into this – but i bet it would’ve been a whole different story.”
Lizarruga, the woman who shot the video and loaded it onto YouTube, says the reaction was unexpected.
“I showed it to friends and family, not intending it to go viral at all and I guess people just started sharing it and sharing it.”
As for Lopez, the hero who came to the children’s rescue, he left a parting piece of advice in his interview with KCLA.
“Mind your own business. Take care of yourself and your family and everything will come together for you.”
Featured image screengrab via YouTube