KQRE News reports that shoppers at a grocery store in Albuquerque, NM came to the defense of a female customer wearing a hijab as another woman verbally assaulted and insulted her in what appeared to be an anti-Muslim hate crime. Barney Lopez said:
‘I went down the aisle to go get sodas and then all of a sudden I hear somebody starting to yell at her. And they’re saying things like “Get out of our country, you don’t belong here, you’re a terrorist!”‘
It was at this point that nearly everyone else in the store stopped what they were doing and ran to defend the woman wearing the hijab.
Lopez managed to take a picture of the woman who was yelling at the person wearing the hijab. He also captured an image of one of the store’s employees positioning himself in between the two women as the other customers rushed to her defense.
‘There was even another woman that like went over to the woman in the hijab and put her arm around her and gave her hug and held her while the Smith’s employees came.’
Smith’s employees forced the shouting woman to leave, but Lopez says she was waiting outside, so the store’s employees helped the other woman out to her car and made sure she was safe.
‘So all the Smith’s employees gathered around this woman and escorted her to her car and helped her load her groceries’
The situation was undoubtedly stressful and upsetting, but Lopez said he left the store feeling hopeful because the community came together to reject bigotry.
‘At the end, I felt like really hopeful and proud of the community that everybody banded together.’
The store’s manager did call the police, but the shouting woman was gone before they arrived. However, the woman in the hijab did return to the store to thank the employees for their help.
Incidents like this have been on the rise since Donald Trump’s election, but stories like this give us reason to reject the despair. Trump’s victory might have energized the bigoted elements of our society, but it has also shown us that the majority of Americans reject bigotry and hate.
For more information, you can check out KQRE’s video below:
Featured image via screenshot from KQRE