DFP


FB

A Greeter at Wal-Mart Tried to Have My Husband Arrested

Last night a greeter at Wal-Mart tried to have the Hubs arrested for abducting Adolpha.


Yup. That really happened.

The four of us went to Wal-Mart last night. We had some things to buy. After filling our cart, Gomer and I said we'd wait on line to make the purchases and the Hubs and seven-year-old Adolpha went to get the car.

When we got in the car, the Hubs asked me, "Did that greeter at the door accuse you of stealing Gomer?"

"What?" I asked. "I didn't even see a greeter."

"She asked me if I was being stolen!" Adolpha exclaimed.

"What are you talking about?" Gomer said.

"OK, so we were leaving the store and the greeter said 'have a nice night' or something like that," the Hubs said. "I replied but Adolpha didn't. No big deal, right? The next thing I know, I'm getting her in the car and the greeter is there!"


"She was right outside my door, Mom," said Adolpha. "And she was saying stuff like, 'Are you OK, sweetie?' and 'Who is this man with you, honey? Is he your daddy?'"

"The greeter did this?" Gomer asked.

"Yeah."

"What did you do?" I asked the Hubs.

"Nothing really. She surprised me and it was so quick. Then Adolpha said, 'He's my dad!' and then I laughed at the lady."

"You laughed at her?" I asked. "Why did you laugh at her?"

"I don't know. She made me mad. It was either laugh or yell at an old lady to leave us alone."

"Did she apologize or say why she stopped you?" I asked.

"No. Not at all. She was like staring me down. I could tell she still didn't believe Adolpha even though she told her I was her dad. The lady was basically accusing me of kidnapping Adolpha, which I wasn't. So I laughed at her."

"Hmm. It's a strange story, that's for sure," I said. "But you know what? I appreciate her vigilance. I want to go in and thank her. I want to tell her she's wrong, but I want to thank her, because if Adolpha was being stolen, I'd be happy that she tried to intervene."

"I don't think that's right," the Hubs said. "There was nothing good about what she was doing. She came after me because she saw a person of color leaving the store with a child that looks like she could be white. I was racially profiled. Have you ever been stopped with our bi-racial kids? Has anyone ever accused you of stealing them? This woman came after me because I'm Asian."

After some back and forth I decided not to go in the store and talk to the woman. The Hubs was pretty upset and I knew it would bother him more if I went in to talk to her. It wasn't worth the fight. I figured that was the end of that.

Half an hour later, we were at home and our doorbell rang. "Are you expecting anyone, Jen?" the Hubs asked, peeking through the blinds.

"Nope. Who is it?" I asked.

"Oh man," he said. He opened the front door to two police officers standing on our porch. "This is about Wal-Mart isn't he?" he asked.

"Why don't you tell us what happened, sir," the police officer said. "We received a strange call."

Yeah. The greeter really did not believe Adolpha. She took down the Hubs' license plate. The license plate that is on our minivan with the pink booster seat surrounded by sparkly headbands and stuffed animals. Really, Wal-Mart greeter? Are there a lot of kidnappers out there with the perfect sized booster seat and accessories near by? Do kidnappers safely buckle in the kids they're stealing after they've assured you that they're safe and sound with their parent?

Once she had the license plate number the greeter called the cops and reported some sort of incident. The police told us they weren't sure what she was reporting, only that she was sure that something was fishy and the Hubs was up to no good with Adolpha. They couldn't let it go and had to follow up.

After listening to the Hubs' story and speaking with Adolpha, the police apologized for bothering us. "We're just doing our job." And once again I was grateful that they did, because it reassures me that my local police are on the ball.

The Hubs closed the door, furious. "Now do you believe me? That woman is a racist. This is what racism looks like. She couldn't call me a chinky eyed bastard to my face, so instead the cops and told them I'm a child molester."

I didn't know what to say, because I'm torn. I don't think anyone handled this situation very well. On the one hand, I am so happy and so thrilled that the greeter at Wal-Mart listened to her Spidey-senses and acted upon her gut feeling to protect a child. So many times women push down that sensation in our gut and ignore it. Now, she was completely wrong, but still I appreciate what she did. I'm also happy that the police took her call seriously. I know she sounded like a whack job on the phone, but I'm glad they took the fifteen minutes to drive to our house and check on the Hubs and Adolpha and make sure everything was on the up and up. Think how many times we hear about missing children whose trails have gone cold because tips were not reported or given credence. Luckily my daughter wasn't in danger, but if she had been the system appeared to work.

I regret not going back into the store, because if I had maybe I could have made this greeter feel more comfortable and it would have prevented her from calling the police. Or maybe she might have performed a citizen's arrest right there, because Adolpha looks a lot more like the Hubs than she does me. I'm the one who is always being asked "Where did you get her from?" Hard to know what the old lady would have done if I'd spoken to her.

As for the fact that the Hubs' was offended and felt racially profiled. I can never know what prejudice feels like to him so I can't discount it and blow it off and call it a misunderstanding. I can tell you that I've done a little informal polling amongst friends and family and it seems like it's more of a sexist thing rather than a racist thing. Lots of moms walk around with bi-racial children or adopted children who don't resemble them and no one says boo (other than, "Are you the nanny?"). However, I heard about several incidents where the fathers of these same children were stopped and questioned at stores, parks, restaurants, etc. Maybe it's a guy thing. BUT when she went so far as to call the police after speaking to Adolpha - yeah, that tips the greeter into the racist category in my book.

Because I do think it's odd that the Hubs and Adolpha were the ones to trigger this woman's gut. They didn't do anything except walk out of a store without saying goodbye in a friendly manner. Surely, by now if you've read me long enough you know that the Hubs is kind of a jerk and Adolpha is sullen. Those two were never going to wave good bye to the Wal-Mart lady and wish her a good evening. Still, I don't know why that got her attention. I would think lots of people don't say goodnight in a friendly manner. I don't know why she followed them to the car and then scared my daughter by questioning her relentlessly. I can't tell you how many times I've seen kids dragged kicking and screaming from that same Wal-Mart literally screaming for help and no one bats an eye. Almost every time I've seen this it's been an exhausted looking woman carrying the thrashing child and I've always assumed she was the mother. Would I react differently if I saw a man doing the same thing? Maybe I would. I'm not sure? Either way, it doesn't make sense that this woman singled out my husband and daughter. Adolpha wasn't thrashing, she wasn't crying. The Hubs wasn't dragging her out of the store. He wasn't even touching her. And then once my daughter confirmed that she wasn't in danger, why did this woman take it upon herself to call the police on my husband? Is she a racist? A sexist? A nosybody who thought she'd be a hero? I'm not sure. I can tell you that I appreciate her concern, but I wish she would have stopped before picking up the phone, because that was completely unnecessary and that upset my family. She singled out my husband for reasons that we can only guess and she accosted him and my daughter. I don't know if this was her own initiative or if this is a new policy that Wal-Mart has instated. Either way, she stepped out of bounds. She sent police officers to our home. What if we had run more errands that night and weren't home when the police came by? What would the police have done? Question our neighbors? Put out an APB for our license plate and pulled us over?

I thank this woman for trying to protect my child from what she perceived to be harm, but once she realized my daughter was not in danger, she should have backed off before she called the cops. There is no amount of convincing my husband that she was a concerned old lady, in the end he feels like he was stopped by this woman because she was racist.

UPDATE: Since I wrote this post, a few articles have come to my attention where other fathers have been stopped with their bi-racial children. These incidents were very similar to ours and the more I think about this, the more I am convinced these are racially motivated. The world has changed, people. There are mixed race couples having babies and those babies end up looking like neither of us. There are couples who adopt children who don't resemble them. Sometimes a kid has two dads or two moms. Just because a family doesn't fit your idea of "matching" doesn't mean you need to call the cops on them. By all means, stay aware and help keep our children safe, but make sure you're really calling the police for the right reasons.

 This one was at Home Depot.

Another Wal-Mart employee stepping out of line.

What do you think? Concerned old lady or racist? Has this ever happened to you?

If you like what you read, find me on Facebook, Twitter, or Subscribe via E-mail or BlogLovin.

People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop-Off Despots, and Other Suburban Scourges will be available September 9. Reserve your copy now.

57 comments:

  1. My husband is Arab. Ever since 9/11, he wears his shirt with the U.S. flag on it when he goes to the gas station. Racism is alive and well here in the Midwest.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm guessing she was a bit racist and sexist. It takes time for society to get used to multi-racial families and to get used to dads being out with kids without mom. Older people take longer to adjust to societal changes (if at all).

    Doesn't help the Hubs though. That feeling of suffering an injustice is so hard to take. I'm sorry he had to experience that. Hopefully he experiences it less often as time, and people, progress.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I definitely think it's a sexist thing. A friend of mine had the police called to his house because his daughter was crying in the backseat of the car while they were driving and someone thought she looked distressed. And both he and his daughter are white.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I don't even know what to say about that, because I'm just as torn as you are! My family is diverse through adoption, but we usually just get sweet smiles and comments about how adorable our sons are. I do appreciate people trying to look out for kids, because dammit, we need that...but at the same time, I can understand how your husband is feeling. Wow!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I know that your husband feels singled out and racially profiled and I can understand his anger but what if your daughter really was being kidnapped? This woman's vigilence, while a bit overenthusiastic, might have saved her. When it comes to my kids' safety, I'd rather have the people around them on the street and in stores be overvigilent than apathetic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But she wasn't. She apparently didn't look distressed, told the greeter she was with her father, etc. The "vigilance" didn't save anyone. It just pointed out the fact that she's a possibly-racist, possibly-sexist old coot.

      Also, her husband doesn't FEEL singled out and racially profiled. He WAS singled out and racially profiled.

      Delete
  6. It's nice and all that she was worried about your kid, but that lady is ignorant. I think Walmart needs to implement some sort of training to teach their grown-ass employees that families don't necessarily "match," racially. They shouldn't have to, but apparently, they do.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I, like your friends, think a lot of it was sexist, and part of it was racist. As the mother of two bi-racial kids, this has never happened to me. It has also never happened to their step-father either, nor their bio-dad that I know of.

    I feel like the lady is a whackadoodle who jumped the gun, and deserves to be complained upon to her managers. I mean, had she waited 5 minutes, she would have seen you and your son get in the same vehicle, and if she really had some gut feeling she could have verified with the two of you that things were fine.

    Maybe this woman has had abduction hit her far too close to home, but that doesn't totally excuse her actions. Families now are made up of all kinds of dynamics, and how many other kids leave WalMart unhappy with their adoptive parents? Foster parents? Grandparents? Step grand-parents in-laws?? Is she going to stop every single set of adult/children she see's that don't look alike?

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think it may also be a generational thing - most Walmart greeters are elderly.

    ReplyDelete
  9. We are the exact opposite of you guys in our ethnic makeup (I'm the Asian; hubby is white). My kids look VERY Asian. Austin's math teacher was VERY confused last year when Mark showed up with him at the Open House. The teacher is also Asian and couldn't wrap his mind around the fact Mark was his dad.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This racist and sexist woman needs to be educated. Her actions were stupid. She is a bigot and a sexist period. The only way people like this are ever going to learn is if someone stands up and tells them what they did was wrong. I don't think she cared one bit for the safety of your daughter. I think she was pissed at the way he told her goodbye and wanted to exert unwarranted authority over one of "those" people. Door greeters are not DSS or police. Their job is to greet people that is all. I see and experience this sort of thing everyday. People who refuse to talk to me or even look at me. People who pull their children close when I walk by. People who refuse to wait on me. Police who think it is funny when someone calls me names. Racism ans sexism will only stop when people stand up to it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm a huge fan, so please don't think I'm a troll for saying this, but I agree with your initial reaction. The lady thought a child was in danger and she took action. Even though your daughter told her that she was fine, the lady followed her gut instinct. Perhaps it was partly due to your husband and daughter leaving the store empty handed (not that it's a crime, but it may have been part of the trigger). Remember, Elizabeth Smart was out in the public quite a bit, but she had been conditioned to either not answer, or to say that she was fine. Most of us are afraid to make that phone call when we have a gut feeling....what if we're wrong? How embarrassing. And then we have to deal with the fallout of that person (or people) being angry at us for calling. BUT, what if we're right and we save a life? I'm sorry your family was upset by this incident. I'm equally sorry that it does seem to have been racially motivated. I can't begin to imagine how you feel (my son is my mini-me), but I would hope that more of us would act on our intuition regardless of the fallout. Just my two cents. Keep the funny coming - you're amazingly talented!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't understand why people keep praising this woman's "gut instinct." It was WRONG.

      Delete
    2. Instincts cause moths to fly into my porch light. It's not right, but they do it anyway. That woman had an instinct and she followed it....right down the wrong road.

      Delete
    3. Well said rockermom! That was a good way to say it!

      Delete
    4. Lol- exactly rockermom.

      As frustrated as I am to keep hearing these stories, there is a tiny part of me that is thankful someone is being vigilant when it comes to children.

      Like tge bitch who called the cops on me for leaving my perfectly legal age child in the car while I ran in the store. Ruined the fuck out of my day, but I kindof get it. A little. Maybe. Bitch. Smdh!!

      Delete
  12. Tough call. My 90-year-old neighbor's white grandson married a black woman. This neighbor told me this past weekend that she has a friend her age who said she doesn't wasn't her ashes buried in the ground. She doesn't want to have her ashes mixed with black people's ashes. My 90-year-old neighbor didn't think that sounded right. WHATTT????? I'm thinking, where you do you start with such ignorance? Then, I thought that I'm glad the world is changing. I think that when I'm a 90-year-old Walmart greeter a mixed race family will be a red flag to no one. Now, being unfriendly is something else entirely. That's sketchy.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I think you should all go back to that Walmart, find this crazy old bat, and introduce the whole family to her. Remind her how she called the police and upset everyones evening. Also thank her for her concern but.... Etc.

    ReplyDelete
  14. While I understand the "what if" factor she was probably dealing with, the fact remains that she completely overstepped. It seems clear that she was racially profiling your husband, and as a consequence, subjected your family to unacceptable levels of additional stress, embarrassment, etc. I agree that this should be reported to Wal Mart--it may be something they can address in training so their employees learn to handle situations that make them uncomfortable in a better way.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm mixed-race, though I "look" white most days. My dad is Mexican-Indian-White, and I've got the most Euro mom ever. Summers, my brother and I LIVED outside, to the point that our skin actually turned chocolate brown from being in the sun so much. My white mom got stopped many times, thinking she was our sitter, or pretty much anyone but mom.

    Compared to my 3 boys, I have a much more "ethnic" look; they all look like blonde white boys, despite my husband also being 1/2 American Indian. People always ask 'are these YOUR boys?!' Or they will ask my kids where mom and dad are, when I'm right there, holding the hand of my 4-year-old. It's annoying and just plain ignorant, but I've never had the cops sent to my door.

    Remember in school, how America used to be referred to as a "melting pot", then as more of a "salad bowl" of races, ethnicities and religious beliefs? I think that the melting pot description is more apt today than it ever has been, and older generations (and younger who cling to old beliefs) need to get a good grasp on the times we live in, and let go of ridiculous preconceptions. They must not realize that, while people (men in particular) of color make up the majority of our prision populations, the rate of "white" americans admitting to committing a crime is 5 times greater than that of all people of color combined. 80+% of crimes against children are committed by WHITE men between the ages of 20 and 45. They need to stop listing to the alamist media and start getting facts straight. And maybe, just maybe, getting to know a few people who aren't just like them.

    ReplyDelete
  16. i'd lean towards more of a sexist thing than a racist thing, although the race card might've added to the woman's preconcieved notions of whether or not a dad could be shopping alone with his young daughter. it probably didn't help matters that they weren't carrying any merchandise and weren't friendly to her, so i can see how that behavior would be characterized as suspicious.
    i would definitely be calling the manager at that walmart though.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow; your poor husband! IMHO, when someone asks if you are the nanny this is also racist. What your husband suffered was uncalled for, but at the same time, what if her racist-ass was correct? It's hard to put a right answer on this one but it's completely understandable why your husband is peeved.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Most kidnappers and child molesters are white men. I think it was more sexist. I have never seen a kidnapped kid in public that I know of, but I would imagine that such a child would be told not to look at or talk to adults or otherwise draw attention to themselves. If Adolpha's actions more or less fit that profile, she hit the panic button. I hope she's remorseful over the trouble she put you through.

    If it was me, I would parade right past her, whole family together, acting crazy happy and see what she says.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I think she probably had an incident of her own in the past.....hence the over-the-top reaction.

    ReplyDelete
  20. It sounds like most of you have never been racially profiled before. My husband is Asian (Filipino) to be exact and he has been followed out of stores and even kicked out of a Subway restaurant once because the "sandwich artist" didn't want to serve a "slant eye". I was standing in line next him when that happened (I'm as white as snow.....German/English ancestry) and the douche proceeded to try to ask me for my order. I called him an interesting name and ran after my husband who had stormed out of the establishment. What that bat-shit crazy Wal-mart woman did was absolutely racist. Period. If every time a person did something like that, there would be lots of us with cops at our doors. And let me tell you, if she did that to my family........we'd own her trailer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The subway employee is lucky you didn't report him to his manager. He'd be out of a job.

      Delete
  21. I think people have been programmed hyper sensitive from all the crazy stories in the news. And then there are hyper sensitive busy bodies - even more annoying! I received a visit from our local police recently too due to the 9 year old. He is a 50lb shrimp of a kid that my hubs refers to as a piece of rice with ears and arms. Because he's small, he talks big. He exaggerates everything, he makes up outlandish stories and "acts" tough but he is literally scared of everything! He went to his summer daycamp one day and another little girl was incessantly talking to him and he told her to leave him alone several times but on the last time he told her to shut up and she proceeded to say "no and what are you going to do about it?" Well his response was not ideal but in my eyes it was typical little boy acting tough talk. He told her "I will bring a knife and then you'll be quiet". This of course prompted him receiving a talking to by the aides, and me getting stopped at pick up time to talk to the program aides. I, of course, talked to him the entire ride home about the proper ways to handle that situation. I considered the matter closed until I pulled into the summer day camp the next day and the local cop car was there! The insane parents of the little girl went straight to the cops. They didn't contact me or the hubs or talk to the aides at the program to get a clear picture of the kind of kid or family rice nugget belongs to. The piece of rice was padded down and his lunch was search for two weeks because of this incident. It was utter insanity in my eyes - granted what he said is a little extreme but what happened to a simple discussion with the parents to Seriously!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sweet Jesus!

      Off topic, my son (7 now) said something about killing when he was 3 in daycare (thanks to a family suicide, and Shrek..."they're going to kill the dragon") and while the cops weren't called, I did get a nice long meeting at the school and the threat of him being kicked out.

      Delete
  22. I think more sexist, not racist. My husband was helping my daughter in the family washroom (she is 2.5) and a mother called security on him because he was in the family washroom with a small girl. And proceeded to call him a pervert. she heard him say "wait baby, I need to wipe your bummy before you put your underwear on" (typical talk to a 2.5 who is in potty training mode). Luckily, he knew the security guard and all was solved but he is very cautious of taking her out in public in case this happens again. . as a note, my daughter looks nothing like him. She is blond, blue eyed and short, he is tall dark, dark hair and dark eyes.
    Now, when I am out with my cousin (male-same age), I get no issues at all.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Wow. I don't blame him for being angry.

    I had an issue recently where I went to get a cart at the grocery store so I could load my two and three year old girls. I left the car running with the air on, my purse in the car, and my door ajar, but within the 30 seconds it took me to get a cart and come back, a woman was telling me she could have called the police for leaving my kids in the car. I laughed initially, but she was deadly serious. On one hand, I've never felt so judged, but on the other, this has been a very visible issue and I think she truly thought she was keeping kids safe. But I still don't feel good about it. When is it being a Good Samaritan and when is it meddling?

    ReplyDelete
  24. When my son was 4 and at Montessori, one of the aides who was new wouldn't release him to me at lunchtime to go home cos she said we didn't look at all alike. I would rather have someone be overzealous than have my baby taken from me. At the very least. I hope one day the Walmart greeter gets it right and stops an actual abduction, but I see your point about racism. My son has green eyes and used to have blonde hair and I have darker skin, dark brown hair. All mine, just got his dad's genetics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please explain how the school refusing to release your son is any different than having your "baby" taken from you. I really have a hard time understanding how you could even think this was appropriate for the school to do, much less think it was great.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. Because she knew where her son was and that he was safe?? I'd be irritated if my kids school wouldn't immediately release them me but that's hardly comparable to them being kidnapped.

      Delete
    4. No school has the right to refuse to release a child to a parent on the basis of them not looking alike. What kind of papers would you have to provide to prove it's your child? It is ridiculous that our society has gotten to the point that this is considered acceptable because "better safe than sorry" and "gut instinct".

      Delete
    5. Every school my kids have been to required us to provide a list of people that were allowed to pick up the child. It's fine if you want to require a license the first time someone picks them up--that's following policy. To simply refuse based on looks--that's racist.

      Delete
  25. I don't think following your instinct is okay if your instinct comes from a place of prejudice. That's like saying my great grandma was just really vigilant when she grabbed her purse around black men because her instinct said she was in danger and maybe she was successfully thwarting their attempts to steal her $5 in nickels.

    We weren't talking about a situation where a child is throwing a tantrum, being drug out of a store while yelling I don't want to leave. We're talking about a situation where "this doesn't LOOK right" and the thing that didn't look right was your husband.

    I don't think we should encourage that type of vigilance because it's not actually stopping kidnappings but it is teaching your children that maybe there is something weird or wrong about them being out with their dad or maybe dad is different and it's okay to be scared of different people. I don't worry a lot that my 6 year old is going to be kidnapped my someone in Walmart, I do worry that some well meaning idiots will teach him that it's okay to be narrow minded and ignorant.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I am sorry for what Hubs has to deal with. I don't know what to say because I will never walk a mile in his shoes. Ellen

    ReplyDelete
  27. The article from home depot annoys me because they say that "There are a growing number of transracial families in the U.S. created through adoption, fostering and stepfamilies" but ignore interracial marriages as a cause as well. WTF?

    I am kind of nervous about this happening. My husband is clearly Asian (though only half) and my children look white. Before they were born I wondered what I would say when people were rude to me because I didn't look like my kids but then it turned out the opposite and instead of people just being rude now I have to worry about the cops showing up if I ever get him to go out with the kids alone. Sigh. It is good they were concerned but seriously... the car was clearly inhabited by children and your child did say she was ok. Gosh I can't imagine how it would have gone down if your kids were younger and having a tantrum!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I feel your husband's anger. I am in his shoes constantly as a mixed mother of 3, including one little blond haired, golden eyed cutie pie. Whenever he walks ahead of me in a store, well meaning, yet ignorant ladies constantly ask him where his mommy is eventhough I am right there calling his name. Older light-skinned ladies have asked me if they are all mine while young dark-skinned kids ask their mother where I got my white babies from. Um, my uterus. Thank you. Honestly, we include these people in our prayers when we get home. What other example are we supposed to show our kids?

    ReplyDelete
  29. My husband and I are both the same race, and all of my children look like the both of us. Even the two that aren't my husband's. This woman was ignorant and a busybody. I hope you called the Walmart and spoke to her manager.

    ReplyDelete
  30. My sister (of Caucasian descent, married to a man of Bengali descent) once had to convince a school bus driver that yes, she was Mommy to the little girl on the bus. Because the driver thought they didn't match, she was going to take the child back to the school & have them hold the child until the "real" parents showed up. Aside from skin tone, they have the same facial features! The girl was yelling "Mommy, mommy", pointing at my sister, and the ignoramus was going to keep her on the bus. Luckily, my sister had her ID on her at the bus stop, or there might have been a blowup.

    ReplyDelete
  31. The Hubs is right. It's racial profiling with a dash of sexism and huge dose of overreach. There were clues for the woman in the way your husband and daughter were with each other. They were calm, relaxed, and (like you said) fully and appropriately outfitted with the booster seat and kid stuff. Following them out to the car and addressing the child without the parent's permission were beyond the pale. Calling the police? Madness. No one should have to worry about running errands with their kids for fear of being targeted like this and now your husband will have this in the back of his mind every time he goes out. I seriously doubt that walmart has a policy that includes greeters following people to their cars to interrogate children let alone allowing them to make a 911 call without involving a manager of some sort. This woman went off the rails in a way that suggests she watches too much day time TV or fox news and was looking to be the hero in a drama that didn't exist. If police came to my door to check on the welfare of my child based on a total stranger's brief impressions I'd be terrified and furious. I would also be making a last visit to walmart to file a complaint and let them know I'd never shop there again. The woman needs extensive training to correct her behavior.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I have mixed feelings about this just as you did at first. If my daughter were being kidnapped I would hope that someone would be brave enough to intervene, yet I can empathize with your husband's feelings about it too. I must say also that my husband has had to drag our daughter (who has autism) kicking and screaming out of a lot of stores over the past 13 years and absolutely no one has ever thought we were kidnapping her- or perhaps they have but were not brave enough to intervene!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I called the cops on a 50-year old white man with a boy of african american heritage (11-13 years at Toys R US. Something about the boys expression look didn't look right. He also said he was ok. Always trust your gut. It was the boys coach who shouldn't have had them there. Question me any day of the week Ms. Walmart!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I can understand the gut reaction to say this woman's gut reaction is "better safe than sorry". But the reality is that inter-racial abductions by a non family member are rare. So for them to use the "it doesn't LOOK right" excuse is just ridiculous. It is far more likely that a child will be kidnapped by someone who looks like them, mostly due to the fact that the vast majority of abductions are done by family members. So if you really want to use the "better safe than sorry" excuse we should call the cops on all children who act out in public, just in case. If you have a true "gut feeling" then I say act on it. But don't use that as an excuse to hide your racism or sexism.

    Case in point:
    The U.S. Department of Justice reports
    797,500 children younger than 18 were reported missing in a one-year period of time, resulting in an average of 2,185 children being reported missing each day

    203,900 children were the victims of family abductions.

    58,200 children were the victims of nonfamily abductions.

    115 children were the victims of “stereotypical” kidnapping. These crimes involve someone the child does not know or a slight acquaintance who holds the child overnight, transports the child 50 miles or more, kills the child, demands ransom, or intends to keep the child permanently.

    That does sound like a lot of children until you realize the number of children in the U.S. is 73.6 MILLION. If you do the math the total number of children abducted? Just over 1%, for all abductions, by a non-family member? That means less than one tenth of a percent!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the abduction statistics are ridiculously rare but reported on TV and in social media constantly, making them appear common. Being afraid of it is irrational. Almost 800K children are reported "missing", but only about 1/3 of them are actually abducted, most by family members in a custody dispute. All abductions (including those) amounts to about .3 percent of children.

      In my opinion, however, when sites include "reported missing", runaways, and custody dispute issues in the same context as stereotypical stranger abductions (which is what so many people are really afraid of), it muddies the issue and continues to perpetuate the irrational fear of child abduction. The 115 stereotypical child abductions that occur each year in America is actually about .0001% of children. An infinitesimally small number. That's one child per 640,000. That's roughly equivalent to one child per year being abducted from, say the entire Dallas/Fort Worth area, and that's including all "children" up to 17 years old.

      What that crazy old lady should have been calling the police about, is the fact that the child was being strapped in a car and driven somewhere without it being a life and death emergency situation. Because the odds of that kid being horrifically killed in a car crash are vastly higher than someone abducting her. But no one thinks twice about that. Of course I am being sarcastic though, because in truth the odds of being killed in a crash is also incredibly rare, just much less rare than child abduction.

      I'm a white male and my three daughters are Chinese. For several years now I've suspected that this sort of situation might one day happen to me when I'm somewhere with one of them and she is throwing a tantrum or otherwise struggling with me...because you know all men are potential child molesters and abductors.

      This lady should not be thanked for her crazy, paranoid, irrational fear, which could possibly have resulted in all kinds of legal entanglements and visits from child protective services for no conceivable reason.

      Delete
  35. Yup a similar thing happened to me a while back. I posted my story here http://www.freerangekids.com/is-that-police-chopper-following-me-wonders-a-dad/

    Some of the comments still disturb me :-)

    ReplyDelete
  36. You owe your husband an apology. The woman is a racist and needs to be fired and the cops need to have a serious talk about false reports with her and Wal-Mart.

    ReplyDelete
  37. If I was “the Hubs,” this Walmart vigilante would be facing a defamation lawsuit right now, with the Walmart chain named as a “deep pockets” accessory. Any money received would probably be donated to charity. That would not be my point. It would be all about teaching an obnoxious busybody to mind her own business. Particularly, if there was any alleged store, or chain policy involved.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Well you're both right: She was concerned. Because she is racist.
    Maybe no good may have come from confronting her about it. But you should have, just in case. At least called the manager to tell him/her that their "greeters" are a menace.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I get your feelings. It was good she followed her feelings and was trying to protect a child but she overreacted.
    I think people tend to assume the worst in men. My hubbie has too many stories, its sad.

    ReplyDelete
  40. For what it's worth, I am frequently stared at and then sometimes asked if I also had the white/blond hair as a child? My very dark brown hair doesn't seem to match the genetics of my very very blond girls...

    Also, my grandmother was only 5'4" - my mom grew to 6'. Her dad died while my grandmother was pregnant (WWII) so no one ever saw where the tall came from... Mom has told stories of people being shocked to see such a tall woman with such a short mother...

    Anything outside of the norm, even if the minority is really the majority, will result in looks and comments.

    This DOES not justify the crazy bat from calling the cops but given that she's of an older generation, it likely does explain it a bit. I'd still be tempted to give her an education however. :)

    ReplyDelete
  41. I think this was your tip-off: "Really, Wal-Mart greeter? Are there a lot of kidnappers out there with the perfect sized booster seat and accessories near by?" Too funny. Definitely sounds racist to me. I mean we need ppl looking out for our kids, but typically I think there's signs something's not right, and your husband would have looked suspicious if he was trying to kidnap someone - not just casually walking out of the store to his car.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Totally think it was a racist moment but I also think that it comes from a lack of education on diversity. Not education in the sense of get a book out and study up on it but I find that people like to make judgements just based on their thoughts which are often so jacked up because of their own life. I'm a very white, middle class secretary that works at a school full of diversity. My tolerance level for ignorance in regards to diversity is very low. I have to take a deep breath when ignorance is thrown in my face before I try to educate. My guess is the Walmart Greeter could use a little education.

    ReplyDelete

  43. I never believed in love spells or magic until I met this spell caster once when i went to see my friend in Indian this year on a business summit. I meant a man who's name is Dr ATILA he is really powerful and could help cast spells to bring back one's gone, lost, misbehaving lover and magic money spell or spell for a good job or luck spell .I'm now happy & a living testimony cos the man i had wanted to marry left me 5 weeks before our wedding and my life was upside down cos our relationship has been on for 3years. I really loved him, but his mother was against us and he had no good paying job. So when i met this spell caster, i told him what happened and explained the situation of things to him. At first i was undecided,skeptical and doubtful, but i just gave it a try. And in 7 days when i returned to Canada, my boyfriend (now husband) called me by himself and came to me apologizing that everything had been settled with his mom and family and he got a new job interview so we should get married. I didn't believe it cos the spell caster only asked for my name and my boyfriends name and all i wanted him to do. Well we are happily married now and we are expecting our little kid, and my husband also got the new job and our lives became much better. His email is atilahealinghome@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete