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Good Enough Mother: Would You Meet With Carolina Girls After THIS?


Good Enough Mother:
Would You Meet With
Carolina Girls After THIS? 


Hello Dallas Fort Worth!

Welcome to Thanks to analytics, I can see many of you streaming in here following the piece that aired on Channel 8 (WFAA) as well as Bud Kennedy’s column in the Fort Worth Star Telegram and now, CNN.

If you are just coming in to the story, you need to go here to catch up. 

The upshot is my daughter was called a shoplifter when she walked into a store called Carolina Girls at Freshfields Village on Kiawah Island, South Carolina where we have owned a home for more than a decade.

Carolina Girls has mishandled this brewing public relations/social media crisis  from start to finish (please read the link above so I don’t have to go into detail about them deleting their Facebook page and the fraudulent Yelp reviews, one of which has since been removed and on and on).

The reason I am writing this now is because Carolina Girls, in interviews and statements, has repeatedly said they would like to meet with Casey and me, which we declined. I will explain why in a moment but first, their statement:


“Although we made a second attempt to speak with Ms. Syler personally, she refuses to speak with our owner or to assist her in determining who may have made an inappropriate comment regarding her daughter” -Carolina Girls Statement

That comes on the heels of these two, prior statements.. this one right after the incident…

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 9.42.59 PM


And the second one a few hours later.

Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 8.09.36 PM


To be honest, the first apology was pretty close to having some heart to it but got derailed when they made it about themselves, (we are sad to see these comments on our social media). The second one is the one that is most germane and troubling, particularly these statements:

  1. We have conducted an extensive investigation into what actually transpired at our store yesterday. After an in-depth inquiry conducted with every employee at the store, not one of them witnesses any such incident as has been alleged.

During their “in-depth investigation” they never bothered to reach out to Casey to ask what happened. But every employee in the store who was asked not only never heard anything, they also didn’t see her. That would include, I suppose, the three young clerks who told Casey and her friend about the sales they had running at the time.

      2. None of our employees saw Ms. Parham either, it would be difficult to verify….

Right. See above.

    3.  This is not the behavior we are accustomed to seeing, and we’re very sorry that anyone patronizing our store would offer such an inappropriate accusation as this, simply to be hurtful. 

Right. So now my daughter is a liar.

The absolute crazy part about this is that is registered to John Davis, the husband of owner Stephanie Davis. John Davis is a doctor affiliated with Roper St. Francis, a large medical group in the area. Roper St. Francis has a huge commitment to diversity, as noted here. That in and of itself, makes me pause a bit only because I’m curious how the man who is the registered owner of the Carolina Girls domain could allow something like this to go down in a shop attached to his name. I’m not just talking about the initial incident but the completely ham-handed and inept follow-up.

But that’s neither here nor there.

The real reason for this post is why.

Why did Casey and I refuse to meet with Carolina Girls after they asked?

Truth be told, when they asked to meet initially I told Casey, yes, we should go.

But how likely do you think it is that Carolina Girls, the same company who conducted a “full investigation” without even talking to us, would give us, a fair shake?  They have already said no one in their employment said it, so how could I, “assist her in determining who may have made an inappropriate comment regarding her daughter.”

The answer is I cannot. They have already closed the books on their thorough investigation and it never happened. Oh and Casey is a liar.

But the real reason we didn’t go?

When I looked at my kid she was raw, hurt and embarrassed. She said she never wanted to step foot in that store again.

What kind of mother would I be if I did not abide by her wishes?

So we said no.

Because at the end of the day, I couldn’t give two shits about what happens to Carolina Girls, Freshfields Village, John and Stephanie Davis or anyone else associated with this bullshit.

But this kid here? I would fight the whole, wide world for.




So I pose this question to you:

Would you go?

Let’s say you’re the mother of a kid you spent 19 years teaching right from wrong. The hardworking, college student who goes to shop at a place she considers her second home and is accused of something she is not even close to being. You have spend years coaxing her out of her shell and just as she’s starting to spread her wings, someone with a preconceived notion and a big ass mouth shuts her down.

Would you have subjected them to more embarrassment and humiliation?

I will not.

In the meantime, I will be on CNN HLN Monday talking about this very thing so if you get a chance, tune in.








  1. Karla T

    August 8, 2016 at 7:49 am

    The store offended you and wants you to come to them to resolve the issue AFTER calling you a liar. I wouldn’t go either, unless flanked with a video crew. They seem to manipulate the truth so that they look like victims. Nope, I wouldn’t go.

  2. Sheryl E

    August 8, 2016 at 8:35 am

    I absolutely wouldn’t go! I like you will fight like hell for my kids. No where in their post did they ever consider taking any type of responsibility. If they have someone responsible for diversity with the store, it couldn’t be they already have a problem. No one should have to have that experience, no one. Fight On!

  3. Tracy

    August 8, 2016 at 10:48 am

    You are one hell of an amazing role model for your daughter. After reading this I was ready to jump in the battle with you. No child should experience anything like this. No human being should experience anything like this.

    I don’t totally blame the store for employing an ignorant person who made an ignorant statement because someone could hide that during the hiring process HOWEVER the way they handled it after the fact? UNACCEPTABLE!

    What you are doing not only sends a message to this store but any other who finds themselves in the same situation. It also sends a message to people who make these types of comments and lets them know it will not be tolerated. Most importantly? It sends a message to your daughter and all other young people who face any kind of discrimination and tells them that they deserve more, they don’t have to take it and they should never ever accept this kind of behavior.

  4. Carolina Girls

    August 9, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Dear Casey,

    I am truly sorry for your pain. No one has the right to treat you with anything less than dignity.

    I am asking you to understand why I did not just start firing employees. If I fired the wrong one, someone who may be innocent would lose their job and be branded as a racist. Regardless, if there is anyone who is truly innocent in all of this, it is you. I hope one day to be able to tell you this in person, to introduce you to my family, and to personally embrace you.

    Dear Ms. Syler,

    As the online story unfolds, I have read hateful, race-driven comments being posted about you and your daughter. My children are of pacific islander descent. Because of the color of their skin and their appearance, they have been subjected to hateful, ignorant comments. We may not know each other, but I understand the anger, the frustration, and the pain that comes from wiping away a child’s tears after they have been bullied or ridiculed because of their culture.

    I still want meet with you, mother-to-mother, person-to-person. I want to tell you, in person, how sorry am I for all that has happened. I want to get to know you and your family, and I want you to know me and my family. I am asking you for an opportunity to show my sincerity – not through tweets and posts – but personally.

    I understand that you have travelled back to New York. I want to fly you and your family to Charleston, South Carolina to have dinner with me and my family in our home. I hope you and your family will find it in your hearts to take me up on my offer. Like your daughter, I want to hug you and tell you how sorry I am.

    Before you say “no” either privately or publically, please talk to your husband and your daughter. I am not looking for an immediate response; the offer stands open when and if you are ready. If your daughter or your husband does not wish to come, I completely understand, but I would still like to meet you. If you do not wish to meet me, I will understand and respect your decision.


    Stephanie Davis

  5. Rene Syler

    August 9, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    Dear Stephanie: Thank you. I would very much like the opportunity to meet with you and talk over what transpired. I firmly believe in the strength of women and mothers; I believe there is little we cannot accomplish when we work together. That includes healing on a personal level with the hope that the ripple effect carries over to the nation. I will email you to work out the details. Again from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

  6. Carolina Girls

    August 9, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    I’ve prayed for this! Thank you! Bless you! I’ll be looking for your email.

  7. Julie

    August 10, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    I am still in awe of who you still are after all these years. A Rock Star!!!!! Thank you for showing my daughter what courage and bravery look like in the face of adversity.
    However, I would like to ask you not to meet with Carolina Girls. Heres why
    The only reason they want to meet with you is because you are Rene Syler. If you were an ordinary person like me and my daughter they would not care! Please, you are our voice and many others like us. Not meeting with them says, they messed up royally and while you forgive them, you have no desire to break bread with them. Not meeting with them says you will not smile in the face of representatives from a racist company that devalues our African American girls. Not meeting with them says, you and Casey are the voices of many little girls who were called shoplifters and were innocent. That voice would say to them, “I got your back”. So please, no matter how much they plead DO NOT MEET WITH THEM!

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