Hamilton woman faces checkout line racism fueled by Trump win

A woman who alleges she was victim to racist treatment while in a checkout line in a Hamilton store says she is sharing her story to “pull back the curtain” on what is happening in Canada after Donald Trump’s election win in the U.S.

Local woman says man told her, 'You all shouldn't even be here, you're murderers and killers'

About 300 protesters marched to express their opposition to U.S. president-elect Donald Trump in downtown Toronto on Sunday, carrying a banner that read "Make Racists Afraid Again." (Natalie Nanowski/CBC News)

A woman who alleges she was victim to racist treatment while in a checkout line in a Hamilton store says she is sharing her story to "pull back the curtain" on what is happening in Canada after Donald Trump's election win in the U.S.

Janice Floyd posted about the incident on Facebook Sunday, saying she was in line at a store in the Centre Mall area with a white man who looked about 65 to 70-years-old standing in front of her.

"As we stood in line he turned around to face me while pointing at the front page of a newspaper (which has Trump's face filling the entire page), and said, (as he continued pointing at the paper and holding my gaze) 'I'm glad he got in. I hope he cleans up the whole of North America.'"

Equally disturbing, Floyd wrote, was the fact that there were people in line who "clearly" heard the statement, but they chose to look away or pretend they hadn't heard just what had been said.

"I asked this 'man' to explain to me what he meant by that — to which he said, and I quote, 'You all shouldn't even be here, you're murderers and killers, you're running around killing everybody, I hope he gets rid of all of you,'" she wrote.

Floyd told CBC News she feels like there has been some sort of cultural shift in North America, where people feel like they now have permission to "vocalize and share their racist views."

"There was no raised voice or finger pointing in my face. Just a white man feeling he had the licence and permission to tell me exactly what he thought of black people — then casually walk away from me without a thought or care of the impact of his words.

"I fear the normalization of this kind of racist behaviour in our community. "

Hamilton Coun. Matthew Green tweeted about the issue Sunday night, saying Floyd was a friend of his, and referred to the incident as a "Trump-related hate crime."

Floyd says she did not contact police about the incident at the time. "All I wanted to do was get out of there as quickly as possible," she said, adding she isn't sure if she will follow up with police or not.

Protests break out in U.S. and Toronto

Several reports of racism and violence have been reported across the U.S. after Trump's election win, while thousands have protested in the streets of some cities, carrying signs that read "not my president."

Taliban commanders and Islamic State supporters say Trump's campaign trail rhetoric against Muslims — at one point calling for a total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States — will play perfectly in their recruitment efforts, especially for disaffected youth in the West.

Janice Floyd posted about her encounter with a man at a checkout line in Hamilton on Sunday. (Facebook)

"This guy is a complete maniac. His utter hate towards Muslims will make our job much easier because we can recruit thousands," Abu Omar Khorasani, a top ISIS commander in Afghanistan, told Reuters.

In her Facebook post, Floyd said that posting something like this online isn't something she would normally do.

"I'm not sharing this for any other reason than to say the curtain has most definitely been pulled back," she wrote.

"By sharing what happened to me I'm hoping that people will stop and think about what they might do if they witness something like this happening, that people will embrace the notion that each and every member of our community deserves the right to live in safety and that each person who reads this will make a conscious decision and choice to do something, anything, to take action and/or use their voice to end racism in Hamilton."

adam.carter@cbc.ca

About the Author

Adam Carter

Reporter, CBC Hamilton

Adam Carter is a Newfoundlander who now calls Hamilton home. He enjoys a good story and playing loud music in dank bars. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamCarterCBC or drop him an email at adam.carter@cbc.ca.