After purchasing several products as gifts from a well-known Arlington business, our family member (the recipient) found that one of the items didn’t fit. She and her partner, with receipt in hand, entered the business and kindly requested to do an exchange. They were met with skepticism and a less than cordial attitude. They live out of the area and are not your “typical” couple.
As others entered the store, including my husband who had been detained outside and is well known by the owners, they were greeted with a friendly smile and “Hi, how can we help you today?” When the business owners were then introduced to our family member by my husband there was a surprisingly remarkable change in their attitude. Our family member felt slighted and disrespected as she experienced the sting of discrimination that is all too common.
Whether black, white, gay, straight, tattoos or piercings that are attached to every visible orifice, people must be treated with equal and mutual respect. Acceptance of an individual does not mean agreement.
We all struggle with prejudice but to small-business owners I say, if you want your business to thrive in this economy, take a good look in the mirror and ask yourselves why you are any more precious in God’s eyes than any other one of his creations. And then treat everyone accordingly. One business in town has now lost our patronage.