Shopping While Black: a social experiment

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I came across this interesting experiment that TV news network ABC hosted. A black actress and two brave store workers agreed to stage a scene at an upscale clothing store in SoHo New York, one of the busiest and trendiest shopping areas in the world.

When random shoppers came in, the shop workers would begin harassing the black actress posing as a customer. Verbally abusing her, telling her she “can’t afford the merchandise” and “we know why you are here”, they would ask her to leave and even go as far as frisking her in full view of the other shoppers.

It made for some interesting observations as to who responded and who didn’t. Peep the video:

I’m way more surprised at who didn’t respond and come to this woman’s help than who did.

What was interesting as well was the location they chose. Rappers have written verses about how they couldn’t catch a cab in Soho, and black people have been given the “side eye” in this area whether shopping at the upscale stores or at the corner liquor store. Hell, even I was given the eye at the 7-11 around the corner from my place in Northern California. Apparently when there are more than three black males in the owner’s store at the same time, he starts to stare at folks (shrug).

During this experiment, one thing was blurted out that really took the game up a notch. It was called “The Black Card.”
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Also known as The Race Card, this ignorant man decided to place blame on the poor lady being discriminated against, rather than considering the possibility that it was racism being acted out in front of him. So sure he’ll get all bold with his white friends…
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But when confronted by those who conducted the experiment, he got all friendly and attempted to cast the event as the water cooler “hey buddy, weren’t those the good ol days” type of affair. What a tool. You felt so bad?! Go play in traffic.
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Watching the shopper who ended up crying as a result of being so disturbed by what she witnessed, was a very emotional moment. 

All I know is if my aunt had been there, she’d have ended up shutting the place down and then taking over the boutique herself! Black folk don’t play that!

Anyways reader, we all know that anyone can be discriminated against.  If you had a moment in which you were discriminated against or know someone else who was, let’s hear it in the comments!

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