Image Credit: Cathy-Marie Hamlet
It seems like Black people can’t do anything without being harassed.
According to WHEC News 10, a couple, Cathy-Marie Hamlet and Clyde Jackson, drove to the Angry Orchard farm in Walden, New York last weekend to celebrate Clyde’s 40th birthday. But on such a happy day, one that he planned to make even more special, everything went wrong.
As the happy Black couple sat at a table outside of the gift shop, they were approached by a white security guard who accused Jackson of stealing a T-shirt and ordered him to empty his pockets. After doing so, and proving he didn’t have the shirt, the guard left and Clyde went back to what he was planning to do, which was to propose to Cathy.
But then the guard returned and asked Cathy to empty her purse to check if the T-shirt in question was in her bag, which it wasn’t.
“I told her that I knew she was just doing her job, but I couldn’t help but wonder if she kept coming up to us because we’re black,” said Hamlet to WHEC. “We were the only black people there, besides three of the friends who came along with us.”
The guard denied it was because they were Black and left. That’s when Clyde finally took out the ring and proposed to Cathy. Yet just when things were going right, they went wrong again, as the guard returned for a third time, killing the joyous occasion that the couple, and their friends, were celebrating.
So…I got engaged today! But we’ll get to that part later. Let me set the stage…This weekend was my fiancé’s 40th…
“She said, ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you were all part of the same party. I have to check all of your purses and pockets,’” said Hamlet. “At this point, five other security guards came over.”
“I felt humiliated, especially after one of my white friends made a point of asking them to check her bag for the T-shirt, but they refused to do so,” said Hamlet.
One of the guards told another to call the police, at which point the day was over for the group and they decided to leave before everything escalated.
“Security started taking our pictures, recording video, and took a picture of my license plate number.” wrote Hamlet in her Facebook post. “We as a group decided to leave rather than be attacked by the multiple security guards of Angry Orchard. I have never been so humiliated in my life, myself and some of my friends left Angry Orchard in tears. On what was supposed to be one of the best days of my life, I was chased out of Angry Orchard by security who followed us all the way to the parking lot. ”
The Boston Beer Company, which owns the orchard, issued a statement as the story picked up steam.
“We’re extremely embarrassed this happened and have taken the immediate steps to remove the manager who was on-duty from her role and replace members of the security team.” said the company in a statement.
Taylor Roy, a senior communications specialist at the company, said they reached out to the newly engaged couple “to try to make things right and prevent something like this from happening again.”