Racially Charged Incident At Towson Liquor Store Spurs Calls For Boycott And Community Conversation


Towson Wine and Spirits owner David Beck hurls a racial slur at a customer on June 16. (Credit: Shaka D. Pitts/ Facebook)

TOWSON - A racially charged incident at Towson Wines and Spirits has led to public outcry and community calls to combat racism.

On June 16th, Shaka Pitts, communications professional for the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office, posted a video depicting Towson Wine and Spirits owner David Beck using a racial slur.

Captured in the video, Beck tells Pitts, "f**k you n*****," as Pitts films from outside the store window.

AFRO News reports that the incident started when Pitts tried to purchase some pistachios using a digital card on his phone. Pitts told AFRO that after receiving no response from Beck, he reached over to scan his phone for payment.

"I scan it, I have the pistachios, but then I started letting him know how rude he was. I asked him why he would do that. I'm talking to him and I said, 'Brother that's not—' and as soon as I said the word, 'brother,' he said, 'I'm not your brother," Pitts recounted. "I'm old enough to know that when a White man is offended by 'brother,' nine times out of 10– he's a racist."

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The video quickly went viral and elicited strong reactions, with many advocating for a boycott of the establishment. The Baltimore County NAACP has called for an official boycott of the liquor store, and has requested a community meeting to address racism in Towson. 

The incident has also served as a catalyst for discussions about the prevalence of racism in the local community and the urgency to counter it.

Following the backlash, Beck apologized for his offensive remarks, acknowledging his behavior as "inappropriate" and assuming "full accountability" for his language. He indicated his intention to address and rectify the issue of racism within his establishment.

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