A Georgia woman at the center of an explosive, racially charged rant at a Dollar Tree store this week says she isn’t a racist, despite the offensive slurs she hurled at a Black employee.
“I wasn’t racist initially and I wasn’t racist in the middle,” Pamela Sharma told local station WSB-TV news. “It’s not until I became the victim of racism.”
The incident unfolded at a Dollar Tree in Lawrenceville, Ga., on Wednesday, Dec. 27, where Sharma said the store clerk, Alise Fowler, shouted at her first over where to place the items she no longer wanted to buy. She said that’s when she became the victim of racism, saying Fowler began spewing racist comments and threats against her.
“The clerk got agitated and snatched them and said, ‘You pieces of trash, why don’t you go back to your country,'” Sharma claimed, showing a reporter footage she said shows Fowler threatening her. “She’s telling me she’s going to beat my ass.”
Video of the incident caught by a bystander tells a different story, however. In the four–minute clip, a hysterical Sharma is heard calling the clerk everything from a “Black b-tch” to a “Black whore.” At one point, she turns to the person filming and tells them to, “keep recording Black Momma.”
“Call 911,” the recorder is heard yelling in the background as Sharma continues with her tangent, eventually exchanging words with another customer at the store.
“You Black slave … your lives don’t matter,” she’s heard shouting at the shopper, who is also African-American. “That’s why Mahatma Gandhi died for you, you piece of sh-t.”
On Thursday, WSB-TV spoke with Fowler, who denied any wrongdoing in the incident. She maintained that Sharma was the aggressor.
“Talking to somebody like this is never OK,” she said. “Being evil, is never OK.”
Sharma said that wasn’t the case. As a highly educated former teacher, she could never be racist, she said.
“So, I’ve taught at Black schools, I’ve taught at Latino schools,” she explained to the news station. “Individuals who go to be an educator are not racist.”
Now, Sharma said she would like to meet with Fowler so that the two can mend their differences.
“I want you to come with me and have a heart-to-heart,” she said.
There’s no word on whether Fowler is considering accepting the invitation.