Of Groceries, Negroidals, and Creeds

It just seems like a man can't live out his creed without some negroidal handling his groceries these days.

It just seems like a man can’t live out his creed without some negroidal handling his groceries these days.

The Longview (Texas) News-Journal (“Lawsuit claims black sacker, ban from Big Sandy grocery store violated customer’s rights“):

A Hawkins man is claiming his civil rights and religious freedom were violated earlier this year when a black man sacked his groceries and a Big Sandy grocery store owner banned the customer from the business.

DeWitt R. Thomas filed a federal lawsuit in July against Keith Langston, owner of Two Rivers Grocery & Market.

According to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Tyler, Thomas entered the market on March 5 to buy food.

He stated in a nine-page, hand-written lawsuit that he told the grocery sacker, a black man, “Wait a minute, don’t touch my groceries. I can’t have someone negroidal touch my food. It’s against my creed.”

Thomas claimed the cashier was “perplexed” by his request and yelled at him to take his items and leave.

In a telephone interview Wednesday, Thomas said, “It’s pretty simple. They treated me really bad because I told them it was against my creed.”

According to the lawsuit, Thomas went on to explain he meant a black person when he used the term “negroidal.”

The sacker, Aaron Menefee, said he thought Thomas was just kidding around.

“The first time he said it, I thought he was joking,” Menefee said. “Then he just kept repeating it.”

While I’m not a religious man myself, I try to tolerate a man’s creed.  Still, Thomas is a hard case. On the other hand, I’m not sure this was really necessary:

Langston wasn’t in the store at the time, but his employees told him about the incident.

“I decided when I heard about what happened that I was going to file a criminal trespass against him,” Langston said. “I just had to wait for him to be present so he could sign it.”

When Thomas returned two days later, he noticed the same black man would be sacking his groceries, so he again requested the “Negro” not handle his groceries, according to the lawsuit.

This time, Langston was there. He called police to serve Thomas a criminal trespass warning. While waiting for the police, an employee locked the doors, and the lawsuit claims Thomas was “unlawfully restrained.”

Thomas said Langston broke the law the night he locked him in the store.

“We were closing, and I don’t know of a business that doesn’t lock their doors when they close. It keeps more people from coming in,” Langston said.

Thomas said he doesn’t understand why he had to deal with the same situation twice.

“My question is, why after I told them how I felt and that it was against my creed did this negroid try to impress himself upon me and try to handle my groceries again.” Thomas said.

I fully respect the owner’s decision not to want this nutcase in his store, creed or no. But on what basis would he hold him in the store waiting for the police? For that matter, unless he’d asked the man to leave and he refused, on what basis would he get a criminal trespass order served on a man in a public accommodation?

Oh, in case you were wondering about the “creed” in question:

Thomas said his religious beliefs are based on Vedism, which he said encompasses Hinduism.

“Vedism translates into knowledge. I am not this way because I am ignorant. Ignorance is the enemy,” he said.

In this case, I believe Pogo’s observation holds true.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, Race and Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. sam says:

    Thomas said his religious beliefs are based on Vedism, which he said encompasses Hinduism.

    “Vedism translates into knowledge. I am not this way because I am ignorant. Ignorance is the enemy,” he said.

    Golly, I wonder what his take is on the god Krishna of the Bhagavad Gita?

  2. DRS says:

    Um, maybe I’m missing something here but the owner said he locked the doors to keep other people from entering the store after it had officially closed. Those who were in the store could finish their business and leave. The fruitcake’s business wasn’t finished until the police arrived and he could be served with the criminal trespass document.

    And the owner looked good to his staff by showing that they didn’t have to take this kind of &#$%@ from jerks. Nice to see, for a change.

  3. Lib Cap says:

    Wait…

    This doesn’t fit the “post-racial” story that my GOP pals keep trying to tell me is now the case in America.

    How can this be?

    Could my GOP pals be… mistaken?

  4. @DRS:

    I don’t know about Texas, but in PA criminal trespass in a place accessible to the general public can only occur if they refuse to leave after being told to. If you’re preventing them from leaving, it can’t be criminal trespass. God on the owner for banning the guy from the store, but the racist is right; by forcibly keeping him there they were unlawfully restraining him.

  5. I agree that the store just should have refused service and let him leave. That said, I think the racist misunderstood human dynamics. You had a group of men, including an older manager. They were going to stand with their young bagger.

    The racist should have stuck to automated checkouts. Of course, if he enjoyed the thrill of saying he didn’t want the “negroidals” bagging his groceries, then he kind of reaped as he sewed.

    What are the chances that this is his entry into the psychological health system?

  6. legion says:

    So, he’s declared his racism to be a “creed”, and anyone who disrespects him for it is committing discrimination and/or a hate crime. I’m frankly surprised it took this long for some bigoted redneck to come up with this ploy. I doubt this sort of “magic word” defense will help him in court any more than it helps “Sovereign Citizens” who attempt to declare their houses to be separate countries…

  7. rudderpedals says:

    Uhh this is race war stuff. Vedic means aryan, negroids and congoids are the mud people, etc.

  8. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Lib Cap: I’m going to pretend you’re sincere there.

    These things will always happen. It’s human nature. But they will simply not be tolerated by the average people.

    I suspect the manager in question was white, otherwise the idiot here would have probably mentioned that. So we have the white manager refusing to take his own race’s side to stand with a black man. And apparently no one else would stand with the racist.

    And this incident was so unusual, James thought it worthy of singling out.

    That is how I see “post-racial.” Incidents like these aren’t exemplars, they’re tests. And we — as a society — almost always pass those tests.

  9. anjin-san says:

    And we — as a society — almost always pass those tests.

    And now a few words from a Republican icon:

    “For years I’ve said, ‘Put a damn fence on that border going to Mexico and start shooting…’ that’s how I feel.

    — Congressional candidate Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher (R), quoted by the Prescott eNews.

  10. Janis Gore says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: James put this here to amuse me, whether he knows it or not. I’m from Texas.

    I do think it was unlawful restraint, but, damn, “negroidals”?

  11. Nikki says:

    Every store I’ve been in near closing time locked the doors to keep other customers from entering. Perhaps the idiot racist vermin refused to leave the store after he was asked and only made an issue of the locked doors when the cops arrived.

  12. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Funny, I read that as “shoot those who try to cross into the US illegally,” not “shoot Mexicans in general.” Which would make that based on conduct, not identity.

    And Joe? Thank Obama and his supporters for his celebrity. They’re the ones who decided he must be silenced and went digging through his private records and splashing them all over the internet for his impertinence in letting Teh Messiah stick his foot in his mouth on camera.

    And on Joe’s front lawn, no less.

  13. bill says:

    where the heck does anyone sack groceries anywhere anyway? sounds like one of those “old school” segregationists that the democrats try to remove from their history- wasn’t that long ago!

  14. anjin-san says:

    I read that as “shoot those who try to cross into the US illegally

    So we are going to start shooting Mexican nationals on Mexican soil? The penalty for trying to enter the US is summary execution?

    Well, this kind of proves just how much BS your endless crocodile tears about Mexicans supposedly “murdered” by F&F are. But then we already knew you were full of it.