29-year-old Jennifer Boyle, who was caught on camera screaming at employees of a Michael’s in Chicago, has broken her silence on the matter to defend her actions two months later. In an interview with NBC Chicago, she gave her side of the story and explained what life has been like since the incident, but she refused to apologize.
“Without greeting me or saying anything to me, the cashier started telling me, ‘No, no, no, I don’t have bags to fill to put your things in,'” Boyle said, recalling when she went to Michael’s to buy Christmas decorations.
She claimed that the cashier refused to give her paper bags and insisted that she had to purchase reusable bags, even going so far as to walk across the store to where the reusable bags were kept and to start screaming at Boyle.
“I had asked her to stop screaming at me and that I was not interested in buying the bags and that I just wanted to check out and be able to leave. And she walked back around the counter and said, ‘Oh, no I am not checking this woman out. Get someone else to do it,'” she said.
Boyle then says she tried to speak with a manager, but that she didn’t get any sympathy or assistance.
“And she told me that even though I voted for Trump, I needed to understand that everyone was human. And because of these two things, I needed to leave the store, I was no longer welcome there,” she said, adding that she doesn’t know how the manager knew whom she voted for.
Another customer recorded and posted online what followed next: Boyle screaming at the two employees and calling them “animals.” Days later, a second video of Boyle made its rounds on the internet, this time featuring her yelling at a Peet’s Coffee and Tea employee who supposedly called her a “basic white bitch.”
“Looking at it now, I think [leaving] would have been the right thing to do. I really believe that fight or flight kicked in, and I felt that I needed to defend myself,” she said of both occasions. “This wasn’t about race. This was not about political views. This was about very poor customer service.”
Since the videos went viral, Boyle says she’s had personal information shared online, has received numerous threats from across the country and has even been denied gym memberships from local gyms that think she’s racist.
“My response to all of those accusations it that they are completely false. There’s not one bone in my body that is racist or homophobic,” she said. “Social media really took off with this in a really ugly way, and it’s extremely concerning that one false video, edited on top of that, could influence so many people.”
When asked if she regrets anything, Boyle seems not to, saying, “I stood up for myself.”