We had a coupon for $6/off a Great Clips haircut and the little boy’s hair was sticking up in all directions, cowlicks going in all directions. So, logical choice: let’s go to Great Clips and get a cheap haircut.
We usually go to the Super Cuts down the street, but when you’re looking at a $4 haircut, it’s hard to say no. When we walk into the shop, there are six girls in there, sitting around in the salon chairs. One of them gets up to greet us and takes my son to a chair. The other five women working there are still sitting in their chairs, chattering away as if we were invisible.
In any other circumstance, I wouldn’t be bothered.
However, the conversation between these women was heartbreaking to listen to… And you know, sometimes you find yourself in a situation and you’re totally frozen, unable to figure out what to do… So I’m sitting there while my son tells the girl cutting his hair, “I like it with a three on the sides and back and just trimming on the top,” and trying to block out the woman sitting directly to my right.
“Her boyfriend is Indian. I can’t believe his name. It’s disgusting.” She states this man’s name and they all sort of laugh, in disgust. There was mention of how the boyfriend they were gossiping about smelled bad.
Other things I recollect, spotting on my memory like paint splatter:
“Indian: dot not feather.”
“…as long as I don’t know about him, I’m fine with him. Why can’t she find an American man?”
It was like being invited to a book club with a bunch of women you don’t know and then having to politely suffer through racist comment after racist comment.
I’m ashamed that I didn’t say something. That I didn’t pluck my son out of that chair, mid-haircut, and let those racist bigots know exactly what I thought about them. I’m embarrassed that my son had to listen to that kind of hate speech.
We won’t be going to Great Clips, specifically the one off Epps Brige Parkway in Athens, Georgia.