The Twin Cities are all abuzz over some Muslim cashiers at Target refusing to scan and bag pork products. The piece in Buzz.mn, the Star Tribune's community pages was up yesterday and has generated more than 600 comments as of this afternoon.
Today, there is a news story about it as well (co-written by Matt McKinney, who hired me to work at the Minnesota Daily, incidentally). I'd actually heard about this several weeks ago when a friend told me that a Muslim cashier at SuperTarget in Roseville wouldn't scan his ham. Hahahahahaha. Scan his ham sounds like it could be dirty.
Anyway, many of the comments in the Buzz.mn piece are frightening. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that people feel completely free to let their hate and ignorance spew when they have an anonymous forum in which to do so.
I'm not even quite sure where I stand on the issue. For one thing, I get the vast majority of my pork products from my parents' freezer, save for the occasional frozen pepperoni pizza. And is it really any skin off my back if I have to wait an extra minute for another cashier to come over and scan and bag the pizza? I'd rather wait for that than wait behind some moron who can't count in the express lane. It says "10 Items or less," fuckwad. Is it that you can't read or you can't count? Also, it should be "10 items or fewer," but I digress.
Is it the same as Muslim cab drivers refusing fares at the airport when someone has liquor with them? How about a pharmacist refusing to fill a prescription for birth control pills or emergency contraception? I had a Latina doctor who wouldn't write me a prescription for birth control pills because it was against her Catholic beliefs. I was warned ahead of time and made an appointment with another doctor. Yeah it was annoying, but I respect her sticking by her convictions, at the very least. Just like getting a different cab driver or waiting for a back up cashier, it wasn't anything more than a minor inconvenience to me to respect someone's deeply-held beliefs.
That being said, if you can't or won't fulfill the duties of your job, you probably shouldn't be working that job. Ultimately, though, doesn't the decision rest with Target, who is the employer? They're a business and run their business the way they see fit within the law. They've made reasonable accommodations for the Muslim cashiers who cannot touch pork products and it doesn't really seem to cause more than a small delay while you wait for someone to pop over and scan your pork. Stop shopping at Target if you don't like what they're doing.
Also, stop bitching about immigrants sapping the welfare system and simultaneously bitching about them working. "Get a job! But not that job. Or that job. Or that job."