Black Hardware Store Employee Targeted With Racist Prank After Finding Noose On Juneteenth

Black Hardware Store Employee Targeted With Racist Prank After Finding Noose On Juneteenth

The wheels of racism continue to spin in Texas.

According to CBS News Texas, an Ace Hardware store in Arlington was at the center of a racist prank against a Black employee on Juneteenth.

A Black employee, Devondrick Hartsfield, who has been with the company for four months, said that on June 19, 2023, while walking in the back of the store with a store manager he spotted a noose hung from the store’s ceiling.

“Before we walked to the door, he told me to look up, and I looked up, and when I looked back at him, he was like, ‘It’s a joke, Juan left his backpack,'” Hartsfield said. “And when I looked back up, I saw the noose with the rope, and I was like, ‘What the hell?'”

Now an investigation is underway.

“I took it as a Black man being hung, dismembered. The bag to me looked to me like a Black man who was hung and dismembered,” he said. “I really feel like that was a message.”

Hartsfield is a delivery driver for Van Marcke’s Ace Hardware. He said that he is the only Black employee at the store.

The Facebook page of the Arlington store left a message reassuring customers they were looking into the alleged racist incident.

“In light of recent events, Van Marcke’s Ace Hardware would like to assure you and the entire community that any allegations of racism; or any discrimination is being thoroughly investigated and addressed with the utmost urgency. We take such incidents seriously and are committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for both our employees and customers.”

Due to what he saw, Hartsfield said he fears returning to work. He said a supervisor apologized, but he has contacted the local NAACP chapter and OSHA, asking them both to investigate.

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