WTVM Editorial 12/23/16: Racist rants are never OK

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - It's a video that has predictably gone viral. Almost 7 million views.

It shows cell phone video of an older white woman in line at a JCPenney store in Louisville, KY, as she loses all common decency - to say nothing of holiday spirit.

The reason for her outburst? A Hispanic woman in front of her adds items to a friend's purchase, and the older woman uses profanity to tell the Hispanic woman to go back where she came from.

She goes on to accuse her of using welfare to buy her purchases among other insults.

This woman's tirade was racist, crude, rude, bitter, and completely out of line. The store, the mall where it happened and the Louisville mayor all quickly apologized.

The mall immediately sought out the Hispanic women customers so they could be given reimbursement for their purchases as a gesture aimed at taking the sting out of the experience.

The mall says the woman who made the racist comments is banned from the mall, forever. Her comments can't be justified by holiday stress or claims of free speech.

Any business can dictate behavior on their property and she clearly violated the expectation customers have of mutual respect. Lashing out in frustration – even if it was not also racist - is just plain anti-social and completely unacceptable.

You can judge for yourself by clicking here.

As deplorable as her behavior was, let's hope it offers a teachable moment… although no one should need reminding that racist, profane rants are never okay, anywhere. Words have consequences.

And in this case, the viral video will be around forever as a reminder of how not to behave. Ever.


General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to hsteuart@wtvm.com or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road 
Columbus, GA 31906

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