It’s not a secret that racism is alive and well. Yet, when someone is the victim of blatant discrimination, the pervasive problem of prejudice becomes more apparent and is a hard reminder about the realities of racism in the United States. Ask Rachel Sherman, a woman who simply stood up for her brother, and in return, was called a racial slur.
Sherman on Feb. 15 had a tough wakeup call about racism in her own community.
“Clearly racism obviously exists. It’s a problem,” Sherman said in a Facebook video.
Sherman’s younger brother went to a BP gas station in Largo, Md. for a vehicle re-inspection and was told it would cost $100, according to WJLA.
When he told his sister, she knew the figure seemed high. Upon realizing it normally cost $30 and that he was being overcharged, Sherman, like many sisters, stepped in to help.
While dealing with the price difference Sherman heard an offensive comment from the BP employee with whom she had spoken with.
“And as I turned to walk away, his exact words to me were, ‘And we usually charge nigg*rs” more,” Sherman said.
Sherman said hearing those words felt like she had been “stabbed in the chest.”
After what she experienced, Sherman took to Facebook to share with her friends and family what occurred in their own community.
“This is what’s in our community. This is among us,” she said.
After the video went viral, the local BP responded. Sherman posted BP’s response on Facebook.
“Dear Mrs. Sherman, I want to apologize for the behavior and harmful words of my service bay employee, and the pain that [he] caused you. His words and disrespect are not what I stand for, it is not in keeping with my core values, it is not what my supplier of gasoline and the BP brand stand for, and I have terminated him for that behavior,” the owner of the Largo BP said.
Since Sherman’s video went viral, the Prince George’s County community and people all over the country have shown their support.
Douglas Roeser, Director of Community Outreach Services for District 25 Delegate Darryl Barnes said, “We are going to schedule a meeting with the manger/ ownership and BP Corp.”
Former Maryland Delegate and current candidate for State’s Attorney, Aisha Braveboy, commented on Sherman’s Facebook saying, “Happy to help…We still have a long way to go.”