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Beauty Blog

Aly Phant's Black Elephants Blog

Watching Your Customers

Black Elephants

I'm pretty sure that dressing up for Halloween and then going out shopping attracts a lot of attention. Costumed shoppers expect people to look at them, maybe even stare if the costumes are really well done. But how do they feel if they aren't dressed up, it's not Halloween, but they still get the stares?

Young people. Black people. They are usually the ones that receive the most attention from retail security personnel. This racial profiling is to prevent shoplifting as if old people and white people don't steal.

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Take a niche retail market like beauty supply stores where most of the customers are of African American descent. The employees are trained to prevent shoplifting. The customers are sensitive to racial profiling. How do those stores even make money? Why do those customers even shop there?

The other day, a black lady was shopping at a beauty supply store. As she moved around the store, she could feel the employees watching her every move. In reality, the employees were still waking up from an unrestful night. Sipping on their coffee, they were staring off into space. The customer however only saw their eyes which were looking directly at her.

Having had enough, she grew angry and upset. She announced she was a regular customer who purchased many items from the store over the years. She didn't appreciate them thinking she was a thief and left. The employees having been asleep the whole time, all awaken and look at each other dumbfounded.  

Could this situation have been prevented?

NYTimes.com article on racial profiling

Have a blessed week!

 -Aly