I’ve been following that story from Perris, California about the woman who’s suing the local Wal-Mart for “segregating” the “black” beauty products from “white” ones.
First thing I’ll say on this topic is that any inclination I might have had to be sympathetic to her case was obliterated the moment I learned that Gloria “Forgemistress” Allred was involved. Nonetheless, it’s an issue that merits a discussion.
Only one of two possibilities is true in this case. Either Wal-Mart is unfairly racially profiling or scandalous black women are stealing these products so frequently that Wal-Mart has to lock them up. There’s no middle ground.
Any idea what the outcome might be? It seems to me that Wal-Mart has to demonstrate that they suffer a higher rate of inventory shrinkage from shoplifting for black beauty products vs white beauty products, right? I think the plaintiff, Ms. Essie Grundy (no relation to Solomon), has sufficiently explained how this affected her and why it’s discriminatory. I have no prediction to offer.
This seems to be a growing trend with businesses that take extra security precautions against black crime facing a backlash. For example, there’s the Philadelphia ordinance to ban bullet-resistant glass in convenience stores in shitty neighborhoods.
The city’s Public Health and Human Services Committee passed a bill Monday enabling Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses and Inspections to regulate the bullet-resistant barricades that stand between customers and cash registers in many neighborhood corner stores, according to FOX29.
“No establishment required to obtain a Large Establishment license … shall erect or maintain a physical barrier that requires the persons serving the food either to open a window or other aperture or to pass the food through a window or other aperture, in order to hand the food to a customer inside the establishment,” the bill states. It also calls for larger establishments to have bathrooms for customers.
I guess my major question is whether or not you think this sort of demilitarization of retail establishments in the ‘hood is a good thing. Maybe the threat of black crime, large and small, is overblown and businesses really are letting their biases against blacks lead to unecessary extremes in defense and this is having a very harmful psychological effect on the black community.
Ah, but I have worked in establishments such as retail stores and liquour stores in “city” areas and it’s my opinion that these defenses are justified, but I’m open to opposing viewpoints. It’s a good thing to check your biases now and then.
So let me ask the question to you this way as a conversation starter: when you watched the video or read about this story for the first time, was your initial reaction closer to “Geez, Wal-Mart is being racist” or “Yeah, black people steal more”?