The list of things you can’t do while black is growing exponentially. At this point you can’t read, play with a toy, walk to the corner store at night, drive a car, book an Airbnb, shop, or even cash your damn paycheck.
Trish Doolin, a job captain of architecture at design firm Nelson, Inc., unfortunately found out about the last form of discrimination when she attempted to deposit her paycheck at KeyBank in Kirkland, Washington. The 37-year-old Kansas City, Missouri, native had just moved to the Seattle area and direct deposit for her new job hadn’t taken effect yet — not that that’s any excuse for the trouble she experienced and wrote about on Facebook.
— bald headed Sug (@whoissugar) October 5, 2016
When BuzzFeed got in touch with Doolin, she explained, “I went in, deposited my check, and went about my day.” That is until the bank manager called a few minutes later, said there was a problem with her check, and asked her to return to the branch. By the time she returned and sat down in one of the cubicles she saw the white teller had her design firm’s website pulled up on his computer.
“He asked my profession, and then asked why the company’s headquarters were in Philadelphia,” she said. “Then he asked if HR could verify that I was an employee there.”
“As he dialed her company, Doolin said he ‘kept saying it was for the bank’s safety,’ adding that at no point did he ask for her ID, BuzzFeed reported.
“When her company didn’t answer the phone, the man proceeded to tell Doolin that because her account had not been open for 30 days, the bank had to hold her paycheck for nine days to verify the funds.
“When I realized that I was defending who I was, trying to prove to someone I didn’t know who I was, I knew I was being discriminated against,” she said. “It was just completely demeaning.”
And the frustration didn’t end there. When Doolin called the bank later that day she explained to a woman what happened and was told, “I can assure he is far from racist. He would have done that to any other customer.” After eventually releasing Doolin’s funds into her bank account which had been open for 29 days, the woman said she was sorry Doolin was having a bad day and suggested she “Go have a drink or something.” KeyBank’s statement to BuzzFeed wasn’t much more comforting:
As a company, KeyBank values diversity within our organization, our communities and our clients. We do not tolerate discrimination. Client confidentiality means we cannot speak to any specific client’s situation. We can however, describe our Funds Availability Policy regarding client deposits and holds that may be placed on client deposits. Generally speaking and in compliance with applicable law, we advise clients who are new to KeyBank that we may place holds for a short period of time on their deposits during the first 30 days after they open their account with us.
Doolin said she plans to switch banks this weekend, but she hasn’t talked to her employer about her experience at KeyBank yet because she’s not sure how to.
“When you’re black, you can’t go marching around saying, ‘I’ve been discriminated against.’ It’s that silent pain. You can still hurt, but just don’t do it too loudly.
“I live in a world where, no matter what’s in my brain or purse, no matter how I wear my hair, no matter how fabulous I look when I walk out the door, I’m still black,” she said. “People still clutch their purses when I walk past.”
And people wonder why we’re mad.