Twice in the last two months I have been offended in a family friendly store in Augusta. One older teen had a T-shirt that had an expletive on it. I asked the employee at the door if he was going to allow that shirt in a family store. He went to ask someone about it. In the meantime, the teen was at the service desk and I happened to spot a manager nearby. I asked if she was going to allow that in the store. She said she could do nothing about it, free speech and all.

I said to the hooligan, “I’m offended by your shirt.” He answered with the expletive on his shirt. I would like to say I continued in a ladylike manner, but I did not. I said something back to him and walked away.

The employee also said nothing could be done. He said by letting people wear clothes with slogans like that into the store, it appears the store is condoning it. I thought that was a very good point.

A month or so ago, as I was leaving the same store, another boy had a shirt on that featured an expletive. I told him I was offended by his shirt. He said nothing. I, again, did not maintain ladylike composure and made a comment and departed.

Do I really have to do my shopping in a store that appears to condone this sort of freedom of speech? I don’t think this is what they were talking about when that law was passed.

We just live with this? I still can’t believe it. I won’t ask what the world is coming to, because I’m pretty sure we already know.

Deborah Phair


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