A Dillard’s employee has been fired after allegedly hurling the N-word at a Black father who then gracefully explained to the worker—in a video that later went viral—why the slur stings.
“My 10-year-old son heard you call me, ‘a fucking n—–,’” a man is heard saying in the video that was posted on Instagram. “I want you to know this is unacceptable.”
Instagram user Aisha uploaded the video on Monday with the caption, “DILLARDS TRIED TO GET THIS VIDEO REMOVED.”
The social media user went on to explain that she pulled out her camera when a Dillard’s employee in Dallas, Texas, called her cousin, who was shopping with his little boy, a racial slur after he asked where the fitting rooms were located.
“Unfortunately, a 10-year-old male was exposed to how cruel this world can be towards him BECAUSE OF THE COLOR OF HIS SKIN,” Aisha says, “but his father showed him the right way to handle the situation, gracefully.”
In the video, a bald white man in a buttoned-up shirt and glasses leans over a counter with Lacoste items as he listens to a Black man.
“It’s unacceptable. You shouldn’t do that. You’re too old,” the Black man says calmly.
“I carry myself with honor. I would never disrespect any human being by calling them outside of their name,” he continues. “You don’t know the impact of what you’ve done to my son. But maybe you were unaware.”
The Dillard’s employee then tried to defend himself, suggesting he didn’t realize the son was with his father.
“It doesn’t matter,” the father continues, as his family stands behind him. “You shouldn’t be speaking that way—period.”
“I know that,” the employee responds.
“So, if you know that, why do that, man?” the father asks.
The employee continues to try to explain his behavior, then says he’d hurt his leg and tells the father that he worked at the store for over 20 years.
“You don’t know what straw could break the camel’s back,” the father responds.
“I know,” the employee says.
“But you disrespected me…and my family,” the father says, gesturing towards his child. “But I would never do that to your family or even you. …I would never treat anybody that way. But I want you to know man to man, that shit’s not cool. …Treat human beings with respect, and morals, and values.”
Before the father leaves, he explains to the employee, whom he called “Homer,” that he would be having a conversation with his son about how Homer doesn’t “have respect for [his] kind, or any human being.”
“This isn’t a Black or white issue; this is an idiot issue,” the father says.
The father walks away after telling the employee that he alerted his supervisor.
The internet praised the father for his direct, heartfelt approach to handling racism.
“I LOVE THE WAY HE HANDLED THAT!!” an Instagram user commented under the video.
“This is how you address hatred. With compassion and honesty,” a Twitter user wrote. “He showed he was the better man by his actions. Major hat tip to you my brother. Black white red brown we all human.”
“@Dillards give this man 10 million dollars for having to train your employees and for emotional distress,” a Twitter user said Friday morning.
While social media users uplifted the father, they were not as kind to the employee or Dillard’s in general.
“Homer is a coward. Homer says racist things in front of children yet backs right down when a grown man politely confronts him,” a social media user tweeted. “Homer needs to retire. Homer needs to reflect on his life. Don’t be a Homer!”
“Don’t forget Dillards hires employees who calls people racial slurs at their stores,” an Instagram user commented under a Dillard’s post showcasing an “exclusive” outfit.
On a Facebook post advertising new handbags, a user questioned if the man identified as Homer got to keep his job.
“The allegations made against our former employee were promptly investigated, found to be in clear violation of our standards, and his employment with Dillard’s was immediately terminated,” the company responded.
But some people still pushed the department store to issue an official apology to the family as well.
According to the company’s LinkedIn page, Dillard’s is one of the largest fashion retailers in the U.S., with nearly three hundred stores in operation. The chain’s headquarters is located in Arkansas.
Dillard’s did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s multiple requests for comment.