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What Would You Do If This Happened To You: Shopping While Black

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posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 07:38 AM
Yesterdays overt racism has become todays covert racism. When I think back over the personal and physical affronts I have had to endure in my six decades
its hard not to be a total cynic. Far too many of the dealings I have had in life boil down the fact that I am Puerto Rican.... never allowed to be just another fellow American. As far as I can see from what I still experience and read racism will never die.

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 07:53 AM
I'm about "as white as they come" at least in terms of the way I look. I can't count how many times I went into a store, realized there was not one white person working there, and was followed around the store. It happens constantly and it doesn't take much skill to realize that there is no way this employee is rearranging items in every isle I happen to be in.

Granted, my brother looks a bit unsavory at times, but when I'm out with him we are ALWAYS followed around the store, people are constantly asking us if we need help, the security guards whisper into their radios when we walk in.

The best is the Korean grocer on my corner. The store is the size of an average living room, with all of two isles, and the owner still has one of his employees follow me around. I could probably stand anywhere in the store and spit on the cash register.

People like to think it's only black people who experience this kind of discrimination but it's not true. I'd almost be paranoid enough to say that an all black store follows me around just to get back at me for all the discrimination they seem to believe they endure on a daily basis.

Honestly, more often than not, these days, the tables have turned. I, a poor white man, am often treated like crap by rich black men. A few weeks ago a rich black man, wearing an expensive suit and driving a brand new Prius, hit my girlfriend's car while she was sitting in it. She honked and yelled but he just ignored her like she wasn't worth his time. He parked, put on his expensive jacket and just walked off. (he should count his blessings that I'm more in control of myself than I once was lol)

It's amazing, in a matter of one generation they have gone from less than a full citizen, without equal rights, to pretentious rich d-bags who look down at me because I'm not wearing fancy clothes. Go figure, I guess we're more alike than we thought.

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 08:13 AM

Originally posted by LordBucket
This was a social experiment to see how many people would rush to the aid of blacks.

I'm going to have to agree with whomever said that you're missing the point. This woman was a PERSON being treated wrongly. Because she was black, 80% of the observers ignored it, either not wanting to get involved or thinking she deserved it. To be fair, they should have done the same experiment with a white person for comparison.

I'm really sad that you feel the way you do and saddened further to see that many agree with you. If anyone claims that racism is over now that Obama's been elected, I have only to point them to this thread.

I'll not try to explain further, because I am certain it would be a waste of my time.

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 08:33 AM
reply to post by mikellmikell

As someone who spent years workign in a restaurant, most likely it was because that is where the smaller tables are. Groups of certain numbers are put in certain tables. We would put people eating alone in certain spots, because they were small tables. It had nothing to do with being single males. And you put families by the windows, so the kids have something to look out. But I am sure you would be the first to complain if the restaurant had noisy children runnning around.

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 08:51 AM
The problem I have with this show is that it is quick to point out people's reactions, or lack off. But they don't say why.

How often are we taught to let authorities handle things? How often are we taught to not get involved in a dispute? It is human nature. If this were to happen to a classroom of children, it would be a same response, wide eyed and watching.

In fact, this is so wide spread that we are now taught to yell fire, instead of help, because people don't respond to help if you are being attacked.

does racial profiling occur? Certainly. I have not heard of an other area doing this so far. But all our Wal-Marts have someone standing at the door checking the receipts on the way out. My area is about 50% black.

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 08:59 AM
reply to post by mikerussellus

My welsh grandfather, who is a voluntary two tour WWII vet, and parkinson's disease, was searched several times.

And there was no reason to search him. *laughs*

If your sensitive to the issue, your gonna notice it more.

[edit on 12-10-2009 by nixie_nox]

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 09:08 AM
reply to post by Benevolent Heretic

I, and many others have been either refused service or discriminated against, for being white in the local asian neighborhoods. Over 10 years ago, there was a current affair story on the situation, where it was shown they would not sell to non-asians an were taken to task on it, only to become argumentative and violent.

Having been subjected to that myself, and having absolutely no recourse, it was obvious that it was tough luck for white people. But then, a white person suffering discrimination, is often met with "Get over it, you blah blah this and you wah wah that, so you can deal with it." attitudes.

It's sheer ignorance from ALL people who adopt discrimination as a policy, and is NOT a one way street.

This thread proves it.

Gah, I think Id best not read more in this thread.. I'm already in peoples bad books for taking offense at blatant ignorance...

(I'm not referring to you Benevolent Heretic - far from it. THIS is a preemptive disclaimer)

[edit on 12/10/2009 by Ha`la`tha]

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 09:14 AM
reply to post by cenpuppie

I would say it's quite shocking to see that, but it really isn't. It makes me angry, very angry, but I know it happens.

I'm very glad to see a few Brits speaking up and making a point of it in the clip, and the young woman who cried made my heart melt, bless her!

I know without a doubt that I would also speak up. I wouldn't be upset about it but I would be damn angry, and I'd make my voice heard by every other customer in there.

On a personal note, I've had similar experiences.

I was once refused entry to a club (there was actually a few of us) for being gay. It was a regular weekly night in a chain bar, but one week they decided it was not running. I think they had a private party upstairs or something.
So we were refused entry.
The rest of the venue was open, but because we were gay, we weren't allowed in.
Needless to say, we kicked off, big time. A business in the UK simply cannot discriminate against gay people without gaining some serious backlash. They did, it was in the papers, there was a boycott, security staff were disciplined/fired.

Also, I'm a rocker. I dress in a leather biker jacket, Doc Martens and baseball cap, and I am constantly followed around in shops. I'm used to it, and I find it incredibly funny because I'm a security manager for a living.

Ultimately, it is very sad that these things still go on. People are still judged for their appearance, or discriminated against because they are different to a majority. I'm not certain it will ever go away entirely, but it's great to see intelligent people fighting it when they see it.
I just wish more people would.

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 09:55 AM
I was in a fabric store this past week that had a huge "HIRING" sign on the door. While I was shopping I noticed at least 3 people come in and get applications and leave. As I was checking out, a nicely dressed black lady walked through the door, up to the counter where I was at, and politely asked if the manager was in. I assume she was inquiring about the job. The clerk who was waiting on me turned her head for a quick second and gruffly replied, " She's busy!" and returned to checking me out. The lady stood there a second and I think we were both waiting for the clerk to add something like, " If you wait one minute, I'll get her for you," or " Were you wanting an application?" or anything to that nature, and when she didn't, there was an eerie pause, and the black lady turned and walked out the door. I could not come out and say discrimination for sure, or just rudeness on the part of the clerk, but I sure felt uncomfortable about the situation.

I have noticed when I am dressed down and have to make a quick run into the store for something, I sometimes feel that nicer dressed folks are priority and sometimes I have to ask to get waited on.

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 11:11 AM

Originally posted by Miraj
reply to post by cenpuppie

Anyways, after that, I went across the street. I looked pretty pissed off I suppose. I went into a circuit city to look at some video games and computers while I waited for my father to come by and pick me up.

During the time I had several employees coming up, asking me if I needed help. They then hovered around within several feet of me.

[edit on 11-10-2009 by Miraj]

I can say from personal experience this was just the messed up shark mentality Circuit City was forcing on their employees. To keep your minimum wage (plus one dollar) job you had to reach sells quotas. Those quotas would have made you $25,000 a year under the old commision system.

Plus CC had a loss prevention incentive program. If you cut shrink in your store a certain amount they would split ten percent of the amount over the goal among the employees.

Just two of a myriad of reasons customer srvice declined and they went bankrupt.

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 11:15 AM
Should have responded to the op first.

I would just walk out of the store. I would vote with my wallet. Then, I would tell everyone I knew to avoid the shop. If it was as bad as the video I would like to believe I would call the manager and report the person.

[edit on 12-10-2009 by MikeNice81]

[edit on 12-10-2009 by MikeNice81]

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 11:29 AM

Originally posted by stevegmu
That video is so fake. I think it is from one of those hidden camera shows where they were playing a joke on the black lady. Or, it is a fake video made by the hip-hop site that is hosting it.

I thought it was part of that ABC series "What Would You Do?" That is what it seemed like to me.

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 11:42 AM
reply to post by LordBucket

I thought that showing you a generic search result showing consistently the same trend would be more meaningful than showing you simply a single link that you could find some trivial reason to dismiss, like you tried to do anyway with this little comment...

I don't try to dismiss nothing with anything trivial, i try to make my own assumptions rather than let someone else do it for me. And i like i said those numbers are skewered, and terribly at that. The only downside to UCR or the DoJ numbers is that they only report what's told to them, so if a municipality has a particular crime problem they have no obligation to tell.

I didn't say since stormfront had it, that it's a travesty now did i? What were my words again? Oh yea, i only said why am i not surprised stormfront is up there...i breeze through that site every now and then, thanks to Sun Tzu.

Yes, I understand that it's terribly inconvenient for you that black men insist on raping a different number of white women every year. I apologize. Perhaps you'd like to ask them to rape white women at a more regular rate?

Do you have any kind of knowledge of how the DoJ compiles these numbers? Like i'm going to believe no white men raped a black women in the United States when the DoJ compiles those numbers from a federal database and a federal database composed of only crimes reported to THEM.

I'm sorry, I hadn't realized that asking women to identify the race of their rapist was such an inaccurate way of figuring it out

It IS inaccurate when you list a table that says PERCEIVED RACE of the offenders, not actual but perceived which the table actually has listed. Not to mention that, nevermind i don't wanna open a can of worms here. So we are dealing with perceived racial identities not actual. I'm not going to go in on why that's so wrong.

As for data, that's what i get for not proof reading my post, i meant to delete it. I was looking at the UCR trying to see what they have listed, but they didn't have any kind of racial breakdown for forcible rape on their site that i saw.

What evidence would you like me to provide other than reported crimes? Would you rather I simply make stuff up at random like you appear to be doing? I'm sorry...I thought providing you with eleven years history of Department of Justice statistics would be better than making something up.

Then you can plainly see the irony here, especially from someone that doesn't trust the darn government anyway, of course the numbers are going to be produced that makes black men look bad while white men look good, i expect that. 11 years of data from a corrupt government with a known history of racial discrimination, hell they are the biggest hypocrites. How about some crime data from other organizations and independent studies rather than just one source, or is that to much?

The evidence i would like for you to use is some that are consistent for one. Those numbers are jumping around entirely to much to put any real backings behind it. And like i said and continue to say, that's what reported.

[edit on 12-10-2009 by cenpuppie]

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 11:56 AM
reply to post by nixie_nox

All wal-marts do this. They check mainly if you have merchandise not in a bag, or set off the alarm. However, in high shrink areas they are suppose to do so many per hour. That was the policy when a family member was manager of the Tire Lube Express area a couple of years back.

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 11:56 AM
reply to post by nixie_nox

Good point that's what i'm talking about, actual discussion. People are more inclined to follow somone of authority than a stranger with no kind of authority. Do you think the reactions of the patrons would have been different if some guy offered to escort her out the store instead of a security guard?

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 12:35 PM
If I had seen this happen, I would have gotten the clerks name and asked to speak to her manager. I would complain to the manager if I could, and then I would have complained to corporate or the owner. As a customer, we can't be sure if it is company policy being practiced, or simply a bad employee. I know people who have worked for certain clothing companies who were instructed by their managers to discourage certain types of people from shopping in the store, and some of their instructions had to do with race. But I think anyone who does not dress up to shop these days is going to get very poor treatment, at least that has been my experience. People who don't look like they have a lot of money are going to get ignored and treated like dirt while stores work on commission the way they do.

I know I dress up and flash designer labels when I go to the department store or a place like that. Otherwise I would get ignored. It's easier to make the effort and get good treatment than it is to dress normally and get mad about what happens. For instance, if I try to return a product dressed in a t-shirt and non-designer jeans the clerks give me a very hard time about whether or not they will even give me a store credit. But when I go there with Dior sunglasses on my head to make a return the clerk will apologize to me profusely that the product did not meet my needs and give me a cash refund.

I've worked in retail and in my experience, none of our regular shoplifters we knew about were black. I don't actually remember all of their ethnicities though. I am just adding that because someone a few pages back suggested that most of their shop lifters at their store were black. I seriously doubt it, unless most of their customers were also black. We had a lot of shoplifters too. We were actually trained to make every shopper feel like we were watching them. We had a shrinkage control specialist come in and give us training on how we were supposed to treat every customer like a potential thief. She told us to go into the shoe department and constantly look each person in the eye, look down at their shoes as to make them think we were memorizing what shoes each person had on. lol

I think in the case of this video, the people who don't say anything or step in would not have acted any differently had the woman been white. Most people are not going to get involved in a situation like that. It's sad, but that's the way most people act. Maybe some of them did not hear the whole altercation and weren't sure what was going on. Someone else said that the clerk might have recognized that specific woman from a previous shoplifting attempt. I think that is a valid argument, except for the things that the clerk was saying.

I'm not suggesting that black people don't get discriminated against. I know that I can't really imagine what it must be like. And it is a shame that it is still going on. It's certainly not our only problem as a society though. We need some work.

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 01:11 PM
reply to post by AmethystSD

But I think anyone who does not dress up to shop these days is going to get very poor treatment, at least that has been my experience.

I agree 100% with that. The clerks will go with what you look like most of the time. And if you look like you don't belong then they will just hassle you till you leave or buy something. I think it mostly has to do WITH class as oppose to race. I've had friends that are white talk about being discriminated against by other other white people simply because he didn't dress for success.

People who don't look like they have a lot of money are going to get ignored and treated like dirt while stores work on commission the way they do.

You hit the nail on the head on that one. Class is an issue first in most cases. Race just compounds the problem.

We had a shrinkage control specialist come in and give us training on how we were supposed to treat every customer like a potential thief.

Ahh, does anyone think this contributes to the "attitudes" salesclerks have? If someone dressed in jeans as oppose to a suit is more likely to try and steal something? I would like to look into this, class. A rich person can just buy it while someone that doesn't have the money will just take it er..steal it, hehe.

Most people are not going to get involved in a situation like that. It's sad, but that's the way most people act.

Exactly, i feel the same. It really is a shame. That's our American society!

[edit on 12-10-2009 by cenpuppie]

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 01:20 PM

Originally posted by Ha`la`tha
(I'm not referring to you Benevolent Heretic - far from it. THIS is a preemptive disclaimer)

Just to be clear, though, discrimination of this sort is wrong, no matter if it's for skin color, dress, weight or hairstyle.

A white person being treated badly in an Asian shop is the exact same thing. I've been the only white girl in a bar... I know how hateful people can be. It's all wrong.

I NEVER dress up. I am always dressed casually. If they don't like my jeans, I'll take my dollars elsewhere.

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 01:56 PM
Well, this has nothing to do with a shopping experience, but...

Last week I went to Chile's in my college town with two of my friends who happen to be female. They are white, I am not. Well, we were seated in a booth and I sat down beside one of them. Everyone in the area of the restaurant we were in stopped doing whatever they were doing and just started staring. My friend alerted me, as I was oblivious to the fact that everyone had misplaced their manners. I look up to see the most disgusting of looks. I felt really bad for a little while, and I had my friends move so that they were sitting on one side of the booth and me on the other.

It did not feel good.

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 01:58 PM
reply to post by cenpuppie

Has anyone anywhere ran into a situation like, just straight discrimination. If you have what was your response. Did you say anything or did you just stay out of it? Moreover, should an outside party get involved in this situation?

Never seen anything like it, but maybe thats because....everyone in this video is an actor and the whole thing is staged!!! So it stands to reason that you'd never see a case of discrimination this extreme ever. Makes me wonder why anyone would make this video in the first place? Also I would personally probably not get involved, do i work there? do I know the circumstances of whats goin on? Maybe she's a known shoplifter? Who knows? It's not my store, it's not my business.

Sorry but this is one of the dumbest most pointless videos of all time. It says nothing.

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