Racism in Honolulu: a true story

A Copy of my November 20, 2020 Review of A Honolulu Auction House

I loved the experience of bidding and the inventory was great. On my first visit in 2016 I spent $2000 and told them I was going to get the last $400 I owed. The staff who held the door for me said, “what are you going to do, knock off a liquor store?” I was shocked into uncharacteristic silence. When I returned the wise cracking staffer, the auctioneer’s husband it turned out, volunteered without prompting that he was not a racist. I went back BC they had such great stuff and no one dictates where I can and cannot go even if no one else looks like me. In 2018 I returned, bid on 5 items and paid for two of them BC no atm’s worked in the area. I returned later that weekend having changed my mind about 2 of the 3 items. That was my bad, I should have kept my commitment. The lady at the counter got very angry and said I would be sued and she was calling the boss, the lady who does the auctions. The counter lady got on the phone and said, “Tamica is here and she does not have the money.” I interrupted by asking, “who is Tamica? That is not my name.” The lady corrected herself and said into the phone, “you know, the lady who bought the jewelry.” I realized they had given me an ethnic code name to indicate that I am black. Obviously I had not imagined the stares I received from the white/Asian crowd. I had been discussed and my business was not welcome. When I took the phone the lady was nasty to me, saying I had no business coming in when I could not afford it and they would sue me for the $250. I hung up, wrote my name on a piece of paper with my contact info for their attorney, walked to the door with all the dignity I could muster and when it closed behind me, I race walked up the hill into Makiki. They used to be located across from the police station and I did not want to spend a few hours in cell block. Who knows what would have happened if the owner made good on her promise to call? Regrettably, I have not gone back. They had wonderful items but I would only be asking for trouble–if they did not exercise their right to refuse service to me. If you are not black you could go there and have a great time, none the wiser. No doubt, there is an element who is happy this auction house acts to maintain the status quo. I have told the story for years and I am glad to post a review that shows the falseness of the claim that there is no racism in Hawaii. Maybe I misinterpreted. Who can say? But this is what I remember.

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