Racist Employees Force The Heartland News to Change

M,A,Yah President/Writer

“Charging Straight out of Poverty” has been The Heartland News’ signature saying since its existence. The founder chose the saying since the mission of The Heartland News is: “To bridge the gap between the community and the homeless by educating the public of the various causes of homelessness and poverty, and to provide income for the socially excluded through our vendor program.” But an incident occurred at a super shopping center that changed The Heartland News’ signature saying forever! Not only did the incident change the signature saying, but it changed the mission and caused such uproar at The Heartland News’ headquarters that the trembles from the heated arguments could have easily been compared to a 7.0 California earthquake. Three of Heartland News’ volunteers quit that same day. Furious staff members were refrained from forming a protest to boycott the store, while writers wanted to write articles exposing the store’s racist ways from a political view point. At the present, the name of the store will not be revealed, due to the outstanding relationship The Heartland News has with the chain of stores throughout Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota that are also affiliated with this store. However, The Heartland News will keep surveillance on this particular store, paying close attention to how they treat other organizations that are allowed to solicit donations at their location.
In the past, The Heartland News had been a victim of discrimination by this store. Twice, employees made false allegations against The Heartland News, accusing the volunteers of conducting inappropriate behavior while collecting donations at their location. The problem first occurred back in the early part of 2014. The store manager at that time told The Heartland News that he did not feel comfortable having the volunteers collecting donations at the store, because he did not agree with the views of the newspaper. He said that the newspaper was unsuitable for the store, and that he had a duty to protect his customers. The manager went on and on with such vicious and outrageous accusations, that the president of The Heartland News was forced to intervene. Protect the customers from what, who and why became the main topic in the steamy conversation between president and store manager. One by one the false allegations began to evaporate like morning dew exposed to the sun. And like dew being exposed in the heat in the morning, the store manager was exposed in the heat of the moment. Running out of words to hide behind, he was forced to admit that he had never even read the paper. It had become obvious that the manager had simply taken one look at the picture of the president on page 3 of the newspaper, and immediately came up with his own the conclusion: The Heartland News was a negative “Black” newspaper, written by Black writers with negative Black views. Suddenly, The Heartland News had gone from a newspaper who helps the homeless, to a black newspaper that a “Super Manager” at a super shopping center had a duty to protect white customers from such tawdry views. The manager had jumped to a false conclusion driven by racism and racism alone. However, he was shocked back into an unbiased state of mind when the truth was revealed that The Heartland News is not about color. There are a variety of different ethnic groups that work for The Heartland News. In fact, only about 20% of The Heartland News’ writers are Black. And although the writers pour out their personal feelings when writing a story, they never add their personal views on a subject unless it is given professionally and unbiased. The writers keep it professional at all times, writing about homelessness, poverty, unemployment and different issues surrounding such topics.
Thinking it was an isolated incident that had gone with the wind, months later The Heartland News put in another request form to solicit donations outside the same store. This time it was a new store manager. He flat out denied the request, saying the former manager had left a note in bold black letters stating, “The Heartland News is not allowed out front, via corporate office.” The Heartland News is a prideful organization, ready to defend its honor against all falsehood, like a bull elephant fighting off a pack of lions in the wild. So once again, the president of The Heartland News was called in to get to the bottom of this. The store manager wasted no time saying he knew nothing about why such stipulations were placed in effect. He then began questioning some of the employees that were there before his arrival. Since there was never actually a significant reason to ban and bar The Heartland News from their location in the first place, each and every employee had his or her own version as to why The Heartland News volunteers were kicked off the premises. The woman at customer service stated the volunteers were too rude, loud and unprofessional. The assistant manager claimed that the volunteers were running up to cars, begging customers for donations. Yet another employee claimed that volunteers refused to take no for an answer, practically following customers around, asking them over and over for a donation. Too the president, everything they said was absolutely ridiculous. Nothing even came close to the reason for the first confrontation months ago. Not only are The Heartland News’ volunteers very professional, they are seated at a table with a donation bucket in front of them. They are well trained and would never leave their bucket unattended to follow a customer or chase cars around the parking lot. Furthermore, volunteers know that the more people they ask, the more people will say yes. So why would they waste time begging one person that says no, when there are 10 other customers that may say yes? Once again, the foolishness fell to the floor and floundered with the rest of the rubbish. The manager seemed quite convinced. He seemed humble when he informed the president to give him a few weeks and he would look more into the matter.
Unfortunately, time passed and that manager was never heard from again. About a year later, when another request was submitted, that store manager was gone and a new store manager had not been appointed. There was a lady in charge as an interim store manager until one was appointed. When she had a phone conversation with the president of The Heartland News, she repeated the same false allegations about the volunteers chasing cars and following customers. She went so far as to say that since these allegations were made, The Heartland News had been given a second chance, and the volunteers did the same exact thing. And when the president denied such incidents ever occurred, she became angry claiming, that she actually viewed a tape of the volunteers running around the lot wild and out of control.
The president felt that it was fruitless to have any further conversation with her. He spoke with the store’s corporate office, who informed him that a new store manager would soon be assigned to that location. About a month later the president had a conversation with the new store manager in front of the lady who was the interim store manager. At that time, she changed her story. She stated she never said she saw the tape herself, but had spoken with another employee who claimed she saw the tape. The new store manager ended the conversation on a positive note. He said he never heard anything negative about The Heartland news, and gave permission for the volunteers to return to the store for a fresh start.
It was the sunny afternoon of August 4, 2017, when the incident occurred. It had been over 3 years since the first incident, but the employees were up to their old racist ways once again. And too make matters worse, the new store manager had changed his mind about The Heartland News. It was as if he was in a relay race and had just had the baton passed to him to carry on the discrimination against The Heartland News from 3 years ago. He was in full stride when he shot out of the automatic doors and confronted the volunteers. His reasons for ordering them off the premises were somewhat unclear. He claimed that within the half hour the volunteers were there, about 12 customers complained about their behavior. When asked about the infraction commented, he said he didn’t know. All 12 customers had bypassed him and went straight to his boss, who just so happened to be entering the store at the same time. Then he told the president that it was out of his hands, because his boss called him on the phone and told him that he wanted those people out front gone, never to return. The entire Heartland News crew became suspicious. Why would his boss call him on the phone if he had just entered the store? Twelve customers all found his boss at the same time? And how did they know who to go to? Nothing made sense. The Heartland News was being targeted again. Same store…different store manager.
Once back at headquarters, the heated conversation amongst The Heartland News’ crew in the car spilled into the office. They knew the employees had seen their black faces and had totally forgotten what the organization stands for and its fight against homelessness.
Suddenly the door swung open and the place became silent. A woman entered. She was homeless; She was helpless; She was white. The Heartland News’ crew could have easily shown her the same type of racial hatred they had just experienced. Instead they welcomed her in with warm smiles. The crew instantaneously forgot about their problems, and began focusing on hers. She needed help and she had come to the right place. The Heartland News gives jobs to the homeless. A day that started off with a bad experience, turned into joyful event. The woman was the 50th homeless person given a job in two years from the date of that day. That averages out to more than two jobs a month. And 65% of the jobs were given to the homeless white population, yet the crew was being discriminated against for being black.
The same day the president came to the conclusion that The Heartland news should take on more issues than just homelessness. Not only did he change the signature saying to, “Bursting Through Barriers!”, he also decided to take on discrimination, and burst through the racial barriers at the super shopping center for starts. That does not mean that The Heartland News’ volunteers would ever want to set foot on their premises again. No. What it means is, The Heartland News is on a mission to burst through the barriers to get fairness for the next organization or group of minorities that might come in contact with that super shopping center and any other place like it.

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