Hateful tirade directed at woman grocery shopping

RACIAL vilification has reared its ugly head in Bundaberg after an ethnic woman wearing a headdress was subjected to a tirade of humiliating abuse while a supermarket full of people watched on silently.

>> Store releases CCTV footage of man accused of hate rant

Wendy Fay was on her way to work when she ducked in to the Bundaberg Plaza IGA about 9am on Wednesday morning.

"I was coming down the aisle and I could hear this booming, raised voice," she said.

"I thought that was too loud to be someone talking."

When she got to the end of the aisle, Miss Fay saw a man, believed to be no older than 25, waving his arms and yelling at a woman standing nearby.

"She would have been late 40s and dressed very nicely," she said.

"She had a scarf around her head.

"She didn't have her whole face covered - her fringe was out."

What then followed "absolutely disgusted" Miss Fay.

"He was yelling over and over, 'you're in Australia now, you can't wear that s**t on your head'," she said.

Miss Fay said she approached the man, told him to "cut it out" and commented that if he was so Australian himself, he shouldn't be wearing a hat inside.

"He took his hat off and his mate laughed because I made him look like an idiot," she said.

"He did not say one word to me at all."

She said the abusive man, who she believed was heavily intoxicated, then walked away from the two women.

"I went past the lady and said, 'don't you listen to a single word they've said'," she said.

"She looked scared, horrified, embarrassed and I could see disappointment on her face.

"She didn't say a thing - I think she was lost for words."

Just when Miss Fay thought the abuse had stopped, the man approached the woman again, this time at the register in front of a crowd of people.

"He started yelling at her again. He started saying, 'you're in Australia - love it or leave'," she said.

"Everyone could hear him and everyone stood there and stared.

"I was just so disgusted and so angry.

"He's a gutless type of person who was drunk at 9am in the morning and trying to look like a big shot."

Miss Fay said she could not understand why no one else came to the woman's defence.

"There were men in work clothes standing there and didn't say anything," she said.

"That was the worst.

"I do understand some people not speaking up for fear but, the more I think about it, the more I know there was no violence - he was being a bully."

The NewsMail tried to contact the IGA but were told the store manager was out of town and was not contactable.

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