Brittney Payton, an anchor for FOX 32 in Chicago and the 35-year-old daughter of Chicago Bears legend Walter Payton, took to social media to discuss a horrific racist encounter she just experienced. Via her Twitter account Tuesday evening, Payton shared the details of the disgusting incident in three separate posts.
Payton fought back tears as she explained that she wasn’t going to initially make her experience known to the public, but a conversation with her brother Jarrett changed her mind. “Something just happened to me that, I wasn’t sure if I was going to say anything. I actually called my brother and told him what happened, and he said, ‘No, B, you have to say something, because people just need to know what it’s like and what happens. And it’s real,'” Payton began. She then detailed an awful act of racism she and her mother, Connie Payton, recently witnessed.
Brittney Payton Details Racist Encounter
“I went to the store — haven’t left my house in days — and I went to Walgreens to get some sinus medicine because my allergies are bad,” Payton began. “My mom, who has been staying with us, decided to drive with me, it was just nice to get out, it was a beautiful day outside. So we’re at the drive thru at the Walgreens,” Payton continued, before mentioning a car that pulled up from behind them. “All of the sudden, I notice that the man got out of his car and he was standing outside of his car door. He happened to be a white man, probably in his 50s.” First, the man stood and stared at Payton and her mother. Then, he began clapping his hands, “like, come on already, get moving,” Payton explained. What came next was truly appalling.
The man then went to his trunk and grabbed a watermelon. “And I’m wondering ‘really?’ … There’s a lot of negative connotations when it comes to African Americans and watermelon, but I just kind of sat there again,” Payton said. But it only got worse. The man began “cooing like a monkey” at her. “And then I knew everything that he was doing, and the reason why,” Payton said, clearly devastated by the experience.
“It’s not the first racist thing that’s ever happened to me. I’m 35 years old. There’s been many times in my life that I’ve had to deal with racism,” Payton said. “But just today, with everything, something just broke. It’s ridiculous that people have to put up with this all the time, every day, and you just deal with it. You deal with it, and you go. And it happens everywhere. We just have to be better. It’s people like that man, who was behind me in my car, that is the reason things are going on today. People like that. It’s the reason there’s a problem. We just have to be better.”
Payton said she is sharing this story to raise awareness and to encourage her fellow humans to end hate while exploring love and kindness.
“Please watch & share my story, as I am not the only person experiencing events like this on a daily basis. We must end these inexcusable acts of hate in the world and continue to spread awareness so our children live in a brighter + kinder world. Please love on your neighbors,” she wrote in a separate tweet.