SZA has revealed that she was “in tears” after being racially profiled while grocery shopping earlier this week. The singer-songwriter and rapper took to social media to share details of the incident, which took place on Monday.
“I’ve had the WEEIRDDESSST EXPERIENCES TODAY,” she tweeted.
SZA – real name Solána Rowe – was shopping for dog food when she noticed a man approach one of the store’s employees.
“Another random ass man tried to remove me from a plaza In palisades while attempting to buy dog food for fear I was a ‘rioter’.”
“Lol He asked the grocery employee if he was “okay” after watching him speak w me then told me 2 leave”, she continued.
The incident weighed on Rowe.
“Between the “lock and load” rhetoric on my neighborhood app + being rushed out of a public space for being considered a rioter …I was in tears,” she tweeted.
SZA felt paralysed by the incident, not knowing what to do.
“Couldn’t even jump up and down how I wanted cause I didn’t wanna look like a “rioter” to the legion of cops across the street. Smh”
Responding to a fan’s reply to her tweet, the ‘All The Stars’ singer confirmed that the man profiling her was white.
“And in that moment I realized I cared more about the white gaze than my own humanity.”
SZA continued, writing “I was sad for me . I don’t wanna live like that no more . I wanna cry and yell if I need to .. no guilt trip.”
Between the “lock and load” rhetoric on my neighborhood app + being rushed out of a public space for being considered a rioter …I was in tears. couldn’t even jump up and down how I wanted cause I didn’t wanna look like a “rioter” to the legion of cops across the street. Smh
— SZA (@sza) June 1, 2020
This is not the first time a white person has racially profiled SZA in public. In 2019, a Sephora employee called security after incorrectly believing that SZA was stealing from one of their stores. Sephora closed their US stores for a day following the incident to conduct diversity training.
“We take complaints like this very seriously, profiling on the basis of race is not tolerated at Sephora,” a representative for the chain commented at the time.