Monday, December 22, 2014

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The Call Blog: Civil Rights Activists, Retail Executives Hold "Shop and Frisk" Forum

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At a time when retailers could use the business, it seems foolhardy to alienate any customers. Those stores that are accused of engaging in racial profiling should take these allegations very seriously. Yes, shoplifting is a crime and it hurts the rest of the customers in marked-up prices, but it's ridiculous to profile an entire group of people based on a stereotype, whether they are young people or minorities. Employees should be properly trained to spot suspicious behavior so those that actually commit the crime will be caught.



Civil rights activists today met in New York City with executives from major department stores to discuss allegations of racial profiling. The National Action Network and retailers agreed to come up with a special task force to address racial profiling concerns, including drafting recommendations for training procedures. Retailers from 17 stores today also reportedly submitted information on their policies in dealing with customers and what changes they are enacting in wake of the allegations. The group is meeting again early next week.

The meeting comes two days after officials from Macy’s New York and Barney’s New York did not show up to a City Council hearing to discuss the alleged racial profiling incidents. City Councilman Jumaane Williams called it insulting to the Council and New Yorkers as well. Black American shoppers have accused the two stores of stopping and questioning them, and in some cases arresting them, after making pricey purchases.

What is your reaction to the creation of a task force to address racial profiling? Do you find this to be a problem in New York City? Have you had a similar experience at a store? Do you think retailers need reforms to the way they treat customers?

Reply with your thoughts using the link above.



I like the creation of the task force to address racial profiling its a big probl.em, before this came to light 20 years ago i was buying a pair of pants in Macys and the security was following me i'm 46 now. it was funny when the car door hit the barney's Ceo i hope now he know how it feels to be hurt. Jay-Z should be ashamed of himself giving business to barney's after what the store did to minority people. all the minority people should boycott Jay-z's music i know i am.

Herman
Upper West Side



Now this is an interference of big business in New York City by Sharpton and I
must ask why DeBlasio did not have a meeting with the two stores?
I think that this Sharpton does nothing but ruffle the feathers with the same
mish mosh that he uses over and over again.
DeBlasio should have and could have nipped it in the butt immediately
without it getting out of hand. This way the companies and the people that were
implicated in this matter could have solved it in a descent way. By this Sharpton
creating a racial task force just doesn’t make sense to me because he just
stirs the pot.
City Council Members have insulted us between 8 and 12 years in many ways.
The way I see this going is shoot first and ask questions later.
Take it easy people.

[THIS IS BAD FOR NEW YORK CITY]

Maxxiee
Morris Park



Racial profiling by retailers is despicable. Also, who gave them the authority to act as police and "jail" customers they suspect of doing wrong? This should be stopped immediately.

Joe
Port Richmond



Historically if we were insulted at lunch counters, on buses or other places, we just refused to spend our money there. In the case of the bus strikes, it meant that people had to be inconvenienced and had to ad hours to their work days and sometimes walk a major distance.

This is the Christmas season. Not shopping is not a major inconvenience. If we can unite and hit them in the pocketbook, we won't have to beg them to come up with better standards.

Renee
Clinton Hill



RACIAL PROFILING WHILE SHOPPING IS CLEARLY AIMED AT NON WHITE PEOPLE.THIS PRACTICE ASSUMES THERE ARE NO WHITHE THIEVES. HOW RIDICULOUS. THE PRACTICE IS UNFAIR AND NEEDS TO STOP. THIEVES DON'T COME IN COLORS. APPARENTLY STAFF RETRAING IS NEEDED.

Celeste



We can't blame the NYPD for getting "security holding" jobs from all retailers. I think that customers of all color (i happen to be caucasian) should Mass Boycott all NYC retailers involved in this scandal.

Barnery's employees look at all customers like they are perps. (which I find hilarious as they are shop clerks). We should do all our shopping on line...you get better prices too.

Kate
Midtown East



What about the people who work on commission who will not help you because they think you’re not going to spend?? Then when they see you spending they want to come over & HELP????

Crystal
Brooklyn



WE NEED TO STOP SHOPPING IN THESE STORES AND START SUPPORT MINORITY BUSINESSES. I WILL BOYCOTT MACYS THIS CHRISTMAS.

PEDRO
BRONX



The blame doesnt rest only with the stores and its policy. The staff is as much to blame as well. This task force isnt going to rid the racial profiling attitude of any store or its employees. No one should feel that they are being followed because some employee thinks they are going to steal.

Rodney
Manhattan



My husband is a Dominican male with a athletic build. Every time I go out with him, he is either stopped, searched or heavily watched. At first I thought maybe he was doing something to attract attention to himself, however over time I've realized he is the stereotype that is profiled. Now I do try to have him dress a certain way depending where we are going but we shouldn't have to do these things because others are engaging in racial profiling.

Aqsa
Corona



It’s alwys been; it’s just recently gotten obnoxious. It used to be that they’d follow you around, but they couldn’t do anything until you walked out of the store. Or they’d follow you around and say “May I help you? May I help you” On the other hand, years ago I was the only Black person who could get buzzed into the Yves St. Laurent boutique because I was a perfect size eight and looked good in clothes.

Now, however, I’m old and fat and don’t care what Macy’s thinks since they got rid of the toy department. I shop almost exclusively on line nowadays anyway.

Jayne
East Harlem



I've work for many Luxury Brands and I have witness first hand how security would profile only Individuals of Darker Skin African Descent."I even had a client who was in tears asking why security was watching over them every step she made?"
It came to a point when I actually turned down one Permanent Job Offer for a store on 5ave because I was so turned off about what I was witnessing.To the point I express to store management the reason for my declining the offer and how their actions can lead to lost suites.This really needs to stop because many ancestors help build this country and fought to make the equal opportunity Law for everyone and to be treated worst then human is horrible.

Bejon



I make $83,000 and own my apartment near Sutton Place, am white over 50 yrs old. Without carrying credit card debt, I can't really afford Barneys.

Unfortunately most crime is by blacks and Hispanics.

AND we are all judged by how we look, how we dress and how we act.

Amy



Racial profiling Macy and other department stores ,is there statistic of what most nationality that are stealing from them it seems that blacks are the one committing the crimes which is causing the profiling is there anyway of finding out there records of theft?

Al
Groveland, Fla.



Consider who is doing the profiling in the stores: relatively poorly paid people, easily impressed by material appearence. I remember as a child always wondering why people dressed up to shop to impress minimum wage sales ladies. If you don't dress up to shop, you will have less intrusive salesmanship from the unimpressed staff.

I definitely find it more relaxing to shop without irritating "helpfulness" I don't want the store personnel to think I have any kind of money.

Julie
Upper West Side



I am a black assistant manager for a large retailer in Manhattan.

We have a pretty large shop lifting issue in our NoHo location and at LEAST 50% of the offenders are white, and Asian.

We profile suspicious behavior and notice that white customers who appear well off or middle class assume that they will not be caught.

Gwen
Bay Ridge



In order for these corparate CEO'S to get the message & the U.S. Government is for the people of color to unite & do like was done during Rosa Parks day, and thats set a date & for 72 hours not shop in these racist stores/not ride public transportation / not do any banking and a host of other financial shut down & believe me the CEO'S & THE U.S. Government would get the msg. Including the 1 world order of the alluminadies, free mason's, the buildergergs etc. It's a spiritual war we are fighting... Wake up!!!!!!!! Everybody for those who believe in the creator. Amen!

Joshua

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