INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A local video has gone viral.
Nearly 100,000 people have viewed a woman go off on a cashier at Family Dollar on 21st Street and Arlington Avenue, which is on the city’s east side. The woman in the video accuses the cashier of making a racist comment toward her son and demands that she apologizes.
“One of you all find this [expletive] phone and call your manager. You shouldn’t make comments like that to no child that come in here,” LeTava Mabilijengo is heard saying.
Mavilijengo’s daughter is recording the interaction. She says her three children had just gone to a cultural celebration the day before. There they wore African clothing. On Wednesday, when the video was recorded, they had worn the same clothing for pictures. After that, they walked into Family Dollar where the exchange took place.
“I have some of the most respectful children in this neighborhood. Everybody who works in this store know, you see all my children all the time. They never gave a moments trouble, and they best not have a moments trouble and if they have a moments trouble, this is their mama coming up here,” Mabilijengo is heard saying.
Mabilijengo says she was just standing up for her children, specifically her 15-year old son Bilal, who walked into the store wearing cultural garments. He says it took three months to make them himself and he was proud to show them off.
“She was kind of staring for awhile from behind the counter and then she was just…’Are you going trick-or-treating?'” he explained.
His mom added, “There is only one way for you to take me asking you, ‘Are you dressed for September? Are you trick-or-treating tonight?’ It’s the middle of September. What’s the positive manner in which you can take that?”
During the confrontation, the cashier tried to explain, “It wasn’t meant in a bad way.”
The video went viral. Some criticize Mavilijengo’s response and language in front of her kids. However, she is standing by her actions.
“They have a mother. That’s my job. That’s my job. As humans, we all know the last thing you want to do is mess with a mother and her babies,” she said.
Bilal added, “Knowing that people still treat you like you’re nothing, just…I don’t know. I guess it’s still hurtful.”
Which is why Bilal is also standing by his mom’s actions.
“You need to fix your [expletive]. You work here, chick. You don’t work in Geist. Racist [expletive],” she says as she walks out of the store.
We stopped by Family Dollar. The cashier was not in. They referred us to their corporate office. We reached out to them several times and are still waiting on a comment.