President Donald Trump isn’t alone in telling certain people of color to “go back” to their countries. But for one gas station clerk in Naperville, Illinois, an affluent suburb 30 miles west of Chicago, the taunt cost him his job.
In a video that went viral on social media, the unidentified employee of Bucky’s Express shop is shown arguing with two women from behind the counter, saying, “I’m an American” and asking, “Are you a citizen?”
“Yes. What is your problem,” one of the women replied, to which the clerk said: “Don’t you know the rules? They need to go back to their country. It’s illegal.”
When one of the women being addressed by the clerk threatened to call the police, the man suggested she’d be sorry, as “ICE will come,” a reference to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Initially suspended, the employee was dismissed on Thursday, according to Stephen Kalhorn, general counsel for Buchanan Energy of Omaha, Nebraska, which owns 44 Bucky’s Express shops in the Chicago area.
“Clearly, there was an altercation, and he didn’t react well,” the attorney told one local media outlet. “And we don’t treat customers that way, that’s why he’s no longer an employee.”
The company confirmed the worker had been fired in a statement posted on Facebook.
“The comments made by the associate are not reflective of the core values of Bucky’s Convenience Stores. We apologize to all of the individuals that were affected by this associate’s inappropriate behavior. As with all personnel matters, we did a full investigation and determined this individual’s behavior was unacceptable. He is no longer employed by us.”
The Naperville Police Department had reviewed the video and was looking into the incident, Mayor Steve Chirico stated in a Facebook post. “Hate has no home here in Naperville,” he wrote, adding, “Quite frankly, this type of behavior has no place in society at large.”
A similar incident, also videotaped, recently had two customers confronting the manager of a Burger King in Eustis, Florida, telling him he should “go back to Mexico” after hearing him speak in Spanish to an employee.
The Democratic-majority House earlier this week voted to condemn Mr. Trump’s “racist comments” directed at four congresswomen, who he tweeted should “go back” to their home countries.
Mr. Trump picked up the theme at a campaign rally on Wednesday night, with the crowd chanting “Send her back” after he criticized Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota, during his speech. He later insisted he was not happy with the chants.
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