Washington Post- Marcus Bradley, a delivery driver for Lowe’s Home Improvement in Danville, Va., was making a routine delivery last week when, he said, he received a call from a manager asking him to return the shipment to work.
“I asked him why I couldn’t do it, and he said because you’re black and they don’t want you at the house,” Bradley told ABC affiliate WSET.
Bradley said his manager told him the customer gave the company specific instructions not to send a black employee to the home. When Bradley returned to the store, he was replaced by a white driver, WSET reported.
“To me, it just ain’t right for a business that we work at to go on with the woman’s wishes,” Brooks told WSET.
“It was one of those things like, ‘These guys will get over it,'” Brooks said. “They’re tough guys, they’re delivery guys and that’s kind of where I just had to put my foot down and say I couldn’t do it with them.”
Bradley told WSET that he didn’t expect his employer to accept the customer’s demand.
“I mean, I thought that Lowe’s would take up for me,” he said.
Chris Ahearn, a Lowe’s spokeswoman, told The Washington Post that the manager involved in the incident has been fired and that the company wants its drivers to know that “we back them completely.”
“We’ve reached out to the drivers and one of our senior executives went to the store to apologize to them in person,” she said. “We have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind, and we should never have accepted the terms of the sale with the individuals who were delivered to.”
With the amount of racially charged incidents that have happened this year I can't say I am surprised that some people still judge others by the color their skin. However, I am absolutely shocked that in the year 2015 people are going out of their way to ask for "no black people" in their special instructions. This woman might be a racist, but don't tell me she's not a thorough racist. There is a bus stop directly out front of my apartment and my failure to remember to give special instructions always ends up causing delivery issues. Meanwhile, this gal is specifying the required ethnicity of her delivery driver. She may be a bigot, but she's not half-assing her discrimination. There something to be said for that.
As a white male, I don't know prejudice outside of a Starbucks barista assuming I want cream and sugar. I would think that, as a black man, it really has to sting to be reminded that there are still evil people in this world that don't even realize they are evil. With that said, it's quite the silver lining that her inability to be progressive resulted in making his job easier. Imagine you were just sitting in your cubicle one day and your boss walked in, spit on your shoe, then personally granted you an early dismissal. Would your first instinct be to go to HR, or would you have wiped the spit off and been halfway to the car before he had a chance to reconsider? If you want to make my job less stressful then I have no problem granting you the right to view my as less of a person. Sure, Marcus' employer catered to the demands of a racist bitch, but at least he didn't have to provide manual labor to a racist bitch. As a black delivery driver, I can't think of a worse situation to be in than being in a vulnerable position behind the closed doors of a house that undoubtedly has shotguns and confederate flags littering the walls.
I presume, that in a perfect world , Marcus would hope that Lowes wouldn't provide service to outwardly prejudice people, but let's face it. The customer is always right. Not because they are actually right, but because switching up delivery drivers and giving them their shit is exponentially easier than explaining to them why they are wrong. Hell, if I was a Lowes manager I would be an apathetic dick that would do anything to avoid dealing with customers more than I had to as well. We are taking about Lowes, not some Fortune 500 company where one stand against racism is going to make some kind of difference. Might as well just tell Mr. Bradley to take a long lunch on the company, because no refusal of sale is going to stop racists from shopping at Lowes.