Three young women faced every daughter’s nightmare when their mother passed away from cancer. Before her passing, her children, Makia Underwood, 32, Zakia Clark, 29, and Tasha Clark, 27, began to wear hats and shirts that read “F— Cancer.” The “C” in “F—” is replaced by a breast cancer awareness ribbon. It was their way of addressing a disease that they watched steal their mother from them. “That’s how we feel,” Zakia Clark told Philly.com. “It took our mom away. It’s a demon. It’s the devil. There are no other words you can use to explain how you feel. You want cancer to get cancer and die.”
Their passionate stance against cancer got them in trouble. Zakia and Tasha were kicked out of King of Prussia Mall for wearing their “F— Cancer” hats last Sunday.
The ladies had just sat down when a security guard approached them and, without a greeting, ordered: “‘Take your hats off.” Zakia took hers off, but Tasha, who once worked at the mall, told the guard she wanted to see something in writing. It was almost as if Tasha were channeling their mother’s strong spirit, Zakia said, and it inspired her to put her own hat back on.
“He said, ‘Since you don’t want to take your hat off, you can leave my mall,” Zakia recalled. “He stood there while we ate and threatened to call the cops.” [...] As the group was escorted to the mall office, Makia called and met up with them. Once they got to the office, the women were met by an Upper Merion Township police officer, who had been called to the mall by security guards.
“The officer said, ‘I find it offensive that you even have that hat that says ‘F— CANCER,’ ” Zakia said. “He said, ‘It’s their mall, they want you out, you have to get out.’ The women were escorted out, and two security cars were waiting for them at their car just to make sure they left, Zakia said.”
When news outlets began looking into the incident, a spokesman for the company that owns King of Prussia Mall, Les Morris, called Zakia to apologize.
He told the People Paper: “Certainly this could have been handled in a much more empathic and sensitive manner. We’re very sorry about her loss and wanted to apologize for the way her party was treated.”
He added: “I do think this is an entirely different situation than a 16-year-old kid with a swear word on his T-shirt cruising the mall. We need to be empathic, sympathetic, and listen and make sure that we’re approaching each situation as it comes up.”
Zakia accepted Morris’ apology and in good faith, the daughters changing a planned protest at the mall entrance into an awareness rally about cancer.
What are your thoughts on the incident, Clutchettes?