A woman has been accused of racial profiling after she asked a black man sitting in the passenger seat of his car and looking in his glovebox if he had stolen the vehicle.
Stopping her bike on a leafy Bristol street, she walked up to the man and asked him whether he knew the vehicle’s registration number.
‘You think I’m robbing my own car because I’m black?’, he shouts. ‘Shut the f*** up and get out of here. Racist.’
‘You look like you’re rifling through someone’s glove box,’ the woman says. ‘Everything comes down to race now doesn’t it. Why do you have to be so?… It’s not about race.’
When the man tells her the vehicle’s registration number she says ‘lovely’ and turns to cycle away. But a short while later she returns to tell him that ‘if you live round here we should be mates’.
The 60-second clip has gone viral on social media, and has been viewed more than 1.2million times. Its caption says the man was cleaning the seat when the woman approached him.
It begins with the man shouting at the woman. ‘This white lady thinks I’m robbing my own car because I’m black,’ he yells.
‘What’s your reg number?’, she responds. ‘You look like you’re rifling through someone’s glovebox.’
‘That’s my flipping car!’, he shouts. ‘Right, call the police! Call the police!
‘Call them right now! You’re so racist. Because I’m black you think I’m robbing my own car.’
When he gives his registration number to the woman she says ‘lovely’ and, after he continues shouting, turns to cycle away.
‘I’m just checking. Why do you have to be?… It’s nothing about race,’ she says.
After swearing at her further, the man says: ‘Get out of here. I live in this area. P****. Call the police. Look at her, f****** idiot.’
The clip was posted with the caption: ‘This morning I was in my car cleaning the passenger seat and this white lady came up to me accusing me of being a thief.
‘I’ve lived in this area in Bristol for the past ten years. I’ve been parking my car here for years now and I’ve never seen anything like this before.’
A second 45-second clip shows the woman returning to apologise to the man and tell him ‘we should be mates’.
‘Why are you coming back?,’ he shouts. ‘No, I don’t want you to apologise! You assumed I am robbing my own car because of my colour. I don’t want to talk to you.
‘Can I just say if you live round here we should be mates,’ she says.
Social media users are divided over whether the man responded appropriately.
One wrote: ‘A bit of attention seeking. She asked you politely. Yes, nosey, but politely. You didn’t have to play the racecard. Just say it’s not to do with you.’
‘She came to apologise to you bro,’ said a second, ‘ why you gotta make it weird and scream’.
And a third added: ‘I don’t see the point in escalating the situation with a racist rant in her direction. She learnt her lesson and came back to apologise.’
But many others disagreed. ‘Sorry this happened to you,’ said one. ‘She was absolutely out of line and I think you were right that is down to racism.’
‘Coming back is the worst bit,’ says another. ‘She feels aggrieved that she is being seen as a bad person and thinks this is the big injustice here. She genuinely thinks you have an obligation to hear her tell you she’s a great person.
And a third added: ‘And the fact she feels entitled to forgiveness like please.’