‘Very Nice’ White Barber Refuses to Cut Black Man’s Hair, Pulls Gun Because He Felt Threatened
A South Carolina man stopped by a barbershop for a quick shave on his way to work but was taken aback when he was denied service because of his race.
That was Arthur Hill’s first time visiting the small Rock Hill barbershop and will most likely be his last.
Hill, who lives in Fort Mill, was pressed for time and rushing to get a haircut when the shop’s owner, 67-year-old Larry Thomas, told him he doesn’t do Black people’s hair.
“I asked him does he shave, can he shave me, and he said, ‘I don’t do Black hair,’ ” Hill told Charlotte’s WCNC-TV.
Hill explained to the news station that he isn’t allowed to have facial hair because he works around food. Per WCNC-TV, the 37-year-old then asked Thomas to further clarify why he was denied a hair cut.
“I said, ‘Are you referring to African-American hair?’ and he said, ‘Yeah,’ ” Hill recalled. That’s when he said he noticed the barbershop owner gripping a revolver that was located on his waist.
“I was shocked, I was shocked for my life, because I’m thinking that could’ve been me laying on the floor dead,” Hill said. “He did not point it at me, but it was clear in sight like he meant business.”
Hill told Thomas that he didn’t want any trouble and exited the shop, after which he contacted the York County Sheriff’s Office, WCNC-TV reports. Thomas was later arrested and charged with pointing and presenting firearms at a person.
Per Raw Story, Thomas returned to his barbershop Wednesday after spending the night behind bars. Thomas admitted to WCNC-TV that he told Hill he doesn’t do African-American hair, simply because he doesn’t know how.
“I’ve had Black people come in the door before and I tell them I don’t cut Black hair,” he explained.
As for the revolver he was carrying, Thomas said he always keeps a firearm at the shop for protection and claimed he felt threatened by Hill.
“I felt threatened because that man [Hill] came walking into back here where I was,” he said.
As the case is still pending, Thomas is no longer allowed to have a gun at the shop, WCNC-TV reports.
Despite his outwardly discriminatory remarks, Thomas’ girlfriend, Jasmine Patterson, says the barber isn’t racist but severely autistic and has trouble expressing himself clearly, according to Raw Story.
“He’s a nice person. He would do anything for anybody,” Patterson said.
She revealed however, that this isn’t the first time her boyfriend has been accused of racial bias. According to WCNC-TV, former customer Victoria Erwin cut all ties with Thomas after she recommended the barber to an African-American friend of hers. That friend was also denied a hair cut.
“He walked in and he didn’t even have one foot in the door and this man did say, ‘I don’t do Black people’s hair,’ and they were very shocked,” Erwin said.
Hill told the news station that the unfortunate incident now has him second guessing his move to South Carolina. He said the reason he moved down south from New York was to give his family a better life.
“I’m thinking about going back,” Hill said. “I’ve been on this earth for 37 years and have never experienced something like this.”