End racial profiling and racism at the Davis Food Co-op. Terminate Jason and Jocelyn
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On May 30, 2018 around 8:30 am, I was approached in the parking lot by Jason, a Davis Food Co-op employee. He accused me of not paying for my groceries in an abusive and aggressive manner stating he had been in the military. He is a tall white man. I am an elder 5'3" woman. When Jocelyn, another employee arrived, I told Jason to discontinue engaging me. He continued to yell at me in an authoritarian manner and would not disengage. He said Jocelyn told him to go after me because I had not paid for my groceries. As customers in the parking lot watched perhaps thinking I was a thief, this was more than humiliating and embarrassing. As an oppressed person of color, recently we have seen the power that white people have over us when they call the police or security guards on us even if we are innocent. I knew in that moment that this was a likely possibility and that I could lose my freedom, safety or even my life. That morning business was slow so there was only one cashier . It would have taken them thirty seconds to ask the cashier if I had paid for my groceries, which they did not do. If I was white, they would have asked the cashier before subjecting me to this ordeal. Instead I was racially profiled. After this happened, I told a friend who is white. She said that on numerous occasions while shopping with her baby and small child, her child has removed items from the store which initially she did not realize until she was in the parking lot. She then went back in to pay for them. No one ever followed her out or accused her of stealing. The next morning I was so traumatized by this ordeal that I was having chest pains and trembling from the trauma and was unable to go to work. I have been shopping at the co-op for more than twenty years. Many employees have known me for years. Throughout the years, customers, employees and former employees have shared numerous stories of the racism they have experienced at the Davis Food Co-op. The injustice, racial profiling, and trauma that I experienced that morning has been invalidated and minimized by the general manager; Prasana Regmi. Although I am accustomed to shopping at the co-op three or four times a week, I am too fearful to return until Jason and Jocelyn are terminated. I am not only fearful for my own safety, I am fearful of this happening to other oppressed people of color. As oppressed people of color, we deserve the same rights as white people to shop without fearing for our safety and our lives or experiencing slander and liable and character assassination in front of other customers. Please take a stand against racism and racial profiling by signing the petition and demanding that Jocelyn and Jason be terminated immediately from their position at the Davis Food Co-op. Thank you.
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