In the midst of high-profile cases which involve police shooting unarmed black men, the nation is embroiled in a heated debate over the racial profiling of American law enforcement.
Aside from these breaking news cases, a Gallup poll suggests that African-Americans are 10 times more likely to feel discrimination at a store than when going to a restaurant, or dealing with police during a traffic incident.
Understanding that retailers have the power to stop and detain people in their stores, criminal justice experts, some retail executives, and consumers are calling for greater scrutiny of the private justice system of the nation’s brick-and-mortar stores when it comes to people of color. With the strong parallel between racial profiling in retail settings and the national discussion over police use of force against minorities, it’s no wonder why online sales keep growing, while brick-and-mortar stores continue to die. In several recent consumer lawsuits, major brands including CVS, Apple, and Best Buy have come under fire for allegedly targeting minority shoppers as shoplifters because of their race.
Yet, when it comes to demographics, the buying power among people of color is steadily increasing. According to a Nielsen Company report, non-white consumers are deemed the “growth engine of the future.” The group accounted for some 92 percent of U.S. population growth from 2000 to 2014. Between 1990 and 2014 their buying power skyrocketed 415 percent, from $661 billion to $3.4 trillion. For African-Americans, Nielsen found, household income grew faster than households of non-Hispanic whites in every income bracket above $60,000 from 2005 to 2013. The difference was especially pronounced at the $200,000-level, where black households increased by 138 percent compared to a 74 percent increase for whites. Black buying power alone is expected to reach $1.4 trillion by 2019.
Should you or someone you know become arrested and/or detained due to racial profiling while shopping, don’t remain silent. Here are steps on what you should do:
Do Not Run
Running confirms the security officer’s acquisition that you may have stolen something. It also gives them the power to use reasonable force to restrain you. Instead do the following:
Demand to speak to someone in authority
Recount the facts as clearly as you possibly can
Demand to bring along a third party – a lawyer is ideal but a friend or relative is better than no one
Take a note of times, names and contact details
Refuse to be bullied – be polite but assertive
Demand sight of any CCTV footage as soon as possible
After being released, do the following:
Record your version of the facts in a letter as soon as possible to a senior level exe at that organization
Create a paper trail to gather your thoughts and record of the facts of your case
Being arrested and/or detained due to racial profiling is a very serious issue. If a company has made an error they should apologize and compensate you. For more help contact stopracialprofiling.net.
As always be smart, be savvy, and be well equip.
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