The encounter, which was captured on video and shared widely on Twitter and Facebook, shows an older woman lashing out in a racial tirade when a shopper in line ahead of her allowed a companion to add items to her order while at the cash register.
“Just go back wherever the f*ck you came from,” the woman says to the two women.
“Tell them to go back where they belong,” she then told the store employee. “You know, they come here to live and they act like they’re everybody else. Get in the back of the line like everybody else does.”
An equally disturbing aspect of the video is the passive reaction of other store goers, none of whom attempted to intervene as the woman aggressively berated the other two women, who were Hispanic.
Disgusted by what he saw, Louisville mayor Gregg Fischer stepped up to offer his help.
“I am sad and disappointed to see conduct like this, when one person so dehumanizes another human being,” Fischer said in an email statement.
“This is not who we are, and on behalf of our community, I apologize to the two women who were treated in such a horrible way. I hope this video prompts many discussions among families as they gather for the holidays this week – discussions about basic human values, dignity and respect. As a country of immigrants, we must understand that we only move forward through peace, acceptance and embracing those who are different from us. These are basic American values protected in our Constitution, values embraced in this welcoming, compassionate community.”
In addition, Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Donnell asked the two women to contact his office if they want to pursue legal action. He’s also looking into filing criminal charges.
“I personally denounce the intolerant actions of one woman at Jefferson Mall, and also feel that this incident could rise to the level of criminal conduct,” O’Donnell said.
The woman, who has not yet been publicly identified, has since been banned from the Jefferson Mall.
Watch the video below (NSFW):