For #BlackHistoryMonth, I’m sharing some of my thoughts…

Photo by MTSOfan on / CC BY-NC-SA

Please never say this to me:

“Are you really sure that it’s because you’re Black? Maybe you’re just being overly sensitive…”

Yeah, if you say this to me, I’ll be forced to provide you with receipts…

My vibes are never wrong and I know when I’m being watched and/or followed in an establishment. Drop me in the middle of any store and within minutes, I can point out the plain-clothed security guard.

And do you know how I know that I’m right?

For fun, when my vibes kick in and I am within earshot, I say this just loud enough to be heard:

“Security sticks out like a sore thumb in this place…”

That’s when their head will snap around with surprise in my direction and they make eye contact, right before scurrying off in the opposite direction…

I wonder why???

Whether it’s a make-up free (and unrecognizable) Oprah trying to buy a $38,000.00 purse in Switzerland and being refused because the clerk assumes that it is “too expensive” for her…

Or little old me shopping for two dollar disposable beach doodads in a pre-cruise Vancouver Dollarama and being followed around by security…

“Shopping while Black” is a very real thing.

(I’ll save the story about what I told that security guy in Vancouver for another post..)

I’m sharing this “What Would You Do” video to provide a little awareness to those who have never had this kind of experience.

Let me know what you think.

M xoxo

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.


17 thoughts on ““Shopping While Black” #racism #racialprofiling #black #blackhistorymonth

  1. That’s some major bs, I work in a shop (not high end) & most of the shoplifters I’ve seen are white, there have been some people of color I’ve witnessed. In my area at least half of our population is black, but less than half of the local shoplifters.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m horrified and I can’t apologise enough. If you witness an actual theft then stop whoever does it but you can’t racially profile someone and harass them to leave a shop for no other reason than they’re black. Such a shop should quickly close down for lack of customers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You don’t need to apologize. This post was simply to point out that it does happen even if it sounds unbelievable. I love these WWYD videos because it shows how people (not knowing its staged) would react.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yep, I’ve experienced it. One of the main reasons I don’t like shopping in stores. It is disturbing to say the least. Ridiculous that more people didn’t intervene and then they wonder why we give people the side eye. If you stay silent, you are part of the problem

    Liked by 3 people

  4. This story is so relatable to me. That has happened to me even though I was there to buy something. When I ended up working in retail, most of the shoplifters were actually white (especially teenagers) while only a few were POCs. Its like how employees watch out for “suspicious-looking” people which is stupid and an obvious dog whistle racist codeword. If I catch someone profiling me when I’m shopping, I will call whoever out on it and possibly boycott their establishment. I’m tired of being disrespected.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I read all of the comments. This has actually happened to me and I’m white. I had some idiot security guard stop me and ask where I had “put” the tablecloth I was looking at. I had to lead him back to the spot where I had put it back down.
        This was years ago but I have told my son that I have been shopping before and I kept seeing the same woman everywhere I went.
        I always smile and say to myself “well, there she is again!” LOLOL

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah, you don’t have to be a PoC to have the experience, ie: if you dress down, have a big knapsack, etc. But at least you know how humiliating it feels because many don’t understand.


  5. It’s not just a racial thing. I get treated with great suspicion because I look like an old homeless drunk. And I have a home.
    I do wander around the high end shops of NYC from time to time and, frankly, I am intimidated by the shop assistants. Regardless of colour or culture.
    Is it time to make ‘swirling’ compulsory?
    Sorry …. you put that word in my head and I had to use it somewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stereotypes at its best. I know people who live in modest homes/dress down and the stores they shop in they could buy the establishment so its funny when they are given the side eye!☺ Sorry about putting “swirl” in your head. You’ll have to use it more often! Lol.


  6. I’m going a bit off track here but I feel inclined to relate a story of my first personal experience of (a sort of) racial discrimination.
    Back in the early ‘70’s I found myself living in an Australian coal mining town. Australian coal miners (this probably applies elsewhere as well) are a fairly tough bunch. I was a city boy with long blonde hair and an accent they found difficult to understand. Matters were not made easier by the fact that I spent a lot of time with an American friend. We were just too tempting for the locals and one night we found ourselves in a street fight based, as far as I could tell, on the fact that we had ‘funny voices’. We lost. Badly.
    I think the fact that I could play football a bit was the only thing, in the end, that saved me in that town.
    But I was amused, sometime later, when the two of us were once again approached by a local offended by our accents. I suggested to him (perhaps foolishly) that we step outside to discuss things a little more vigorously. This prompted him to call to his own friends for support. One of these friends had featured in the previous disagreement and, upon recognising me, said, “Oh …. I know him ….I’ve already been in a fight with him …. he’s OK. Leave him alone”.
    It’s a pity, perhaps, that ‘shopping black’ could not be sorted out so easily.

    It occurs to me that to anyone who has not lived in an environment such as I describe the situation may sound a bit ridiculous. And it was. But it occurred, in one form or another, daily. Probably still does.

    Liked by 1 person

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