Lola Jean-Baptiste, a Haitian immigrant with U.S. citizenship, was attacked and threatened by an angry middle-aged white woman in Brockton, Mass. “I will take your photo and send it to ICE. You don’t belong here,” said the attacker.
A Massachusetts Haitian woman is speaking out after she says her mother was on the receiving end of a disgustingly racist outburst by a grocery store shopper who vandalized their car, then assaulted her mother with a shopping cart. Corie Blaine, 24, detailed the incident in a Facebook post, saying the incident allegedly started when her mother Lola Jean-Baptiste pulled into a parking spot in a shopping plaza.
“TODAY my mother was in Market Basket and this woman told my mother to “go back to Africa n—-r!’ ” Blaine wrote of the Feb. 1 encounter. “She said, ‘You don’t belong here, go back to Africa where you come from, f—— n—–.’”
Jean-Baptiste told The Enterprise, who first reported the incident. “As soon as she started talking like that, I ran into Market Basket.”
The woman was supposedly waiting for the spot, 58-year-old Jean-Baptiste parked. The woman was said to have been incessantly honking and cursing at the elderly Haitian woman. Jean-Baptiste said she was completely shocked by the situation, but still went on with her shopping. But then, about 15 minutes later inside the store, Jean-Baptiste said she again encountered the woman, complaining that the parking spot was hers before angrily hurling more racial slurs.
Jean-Baptiste said she could hardly believe her ears as her attacker shouted “[N-word], I just f—-d up your car,’ ” before ramming a shopping cart into her legs repeatedly.
The woman, whom Brockton Police describe as a white brunette in her 50s, continued hurling racial slurs at Jean-Baptiste and threatened to report her to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Jean-Baptiste spoke about how the store initially did nothing to de-escalate the situation. They allowed the problem starter to finish her shopping and leave without taking down her license plate number. They didn’t offer to assist the victim, nor were they willing to turn over surveillance footage. It wasn’t until her daughter shared the video on Facebook that the store responded.
The police were called, but even their report minimized the impact it had on the victim. The white woman had vandalized Jean-Baptiste’s 2013 Mercedes-Benz she discovered upon leaving the store.
According to The Enterprise, the Brockton chapter of the NAACP intervened, applying pressure to the police to do more. They pointed out that the police report did not list the assault, nor categorize it as a hate crime. Chapter president Phyllis Ellis sent a letter to Mayor Bill Carpenter and Police Chief John Crowley.
“The mayor responded and said it’s an ongoing investigation and that this sort of thing should never happen,” said Ellis on Monday. “I’m baffled. I’m upset. I know this goes on all over the place all the time, but when it’s right in your backyard over a parking space? Come on. It’s unbelievable. I’m waiting for the results.”
The store in question, Market Basket, denies that no action was taken. A spokesman stated that Jean-Baptiste was escorted out of the store and that the racist woman left before her. They failed to address why they didn’t call police when she identified that her car had been vandalized.
“I’m grateful I made it public. At the same time, it does expose you to more hate,” said Blain, noting that she received several racist messages in her Facebook inbox after posting her mother’s story.
“I’ve been in this country for so long. I’m a U.S. citizen,” said Jean-Baptiste, a mother of two. “This has never happened to me. That’s why it hit me so hard. … I thought everyone was human. She was evil, the way she said it, with this anger she had about someone she didn’t even know.” Continue Reading On The Enterprise……