Sunday, November 1, 2009
Singer Leona Lewis talks of experiencing racism in London store
Photo and copyright: Ken Mckay - Leona Lewis with her parents at the X Factor UK (2006)
Spotted on Madnews
Singer Leona Lewis talks about experiencing racism in a trendy London store. An experience that left her devastated and angry.
Via The Daily Mail
‘I went into a shop while my dad waited outside because he was on the phone,’ she says. ‘I picked out a few photo frames, put them on the side to buy them and asked the lady who worked there about some other stuff in the shop.
‘She was incredibly stand-offish with me and I couldn’t understand why. I went up to the till and, at that point, my dad came in and started looking around. He picked something up and said, “What about this?”
‘I asked how much it was, but the woman told us to get out of the shop. I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing and said, “Excuse me?” She said, “Get out of my store right now.”
‘I looked at her and asked, “Are you joking?” She said, “No, I want both of you to remove yourselves from my store.” I asked her what she meant, and why, and she said, “I don’t like the look of him.”
Pointing at my dad, she said, “I want him to go right now.” Stunned, I asked her, “What do you mean, you don’t like the look of him?” She said, “You know exactly what I mean. He’s been standing outside my shop and I want him to go. I know why you’re coming in here.”
‘She was implying that we were trying to steal stuff. She came up to my face, this close.’ Leona holds her hand a few inches from her face. ‘She was so loud, shouting, “Get out right now or I’m going to call the police.”
‘It was so shocking and disgusting. I couldn’t believe someone was shouting at me in front of so many people. I can’t stand confrontation anyway, but she was so rude. I completely lost it. I was crying and bawling. My dad said, “Come on, let’s go.” I said, “No. I’m not going. I’m going to call the police. This is racism.”
‘I was so angry. My dad had to drag me out of the shop. Afterwards, I sat in the car for ten minutes and was so upset. My dad was trying to calm me down but I was furious. What happened was awful – absolutely awful.
‘I’d never experienced anything like that, and I would never wish anyone else to. Being judged by the colour of your skin is horrible. My dad is really laid-back. He said, “Don’t worry about it. I’ve experienced stuff like that many times, especially when I was younger, so don’t be upset for me. I’m fine.”
‘Do you know what he did? He got my CD, went back in the shop and said, “You’ve just offended a really nice young lady. I just want to leave you this, so you can look and see who it is. This is my daughter. I’m not trying to cause trouble, but I wanted you to see that.”‘
I understand her father’s reaction, he wanted to show that his daughter is a famous singer. But this is racism, period. It's good Lewis talked about it, but they should really make a case of this and name the store.