You Can’t Buy Your Way Out of Discrimination

Money may make the world go round, but prejudice is powerful enough to cloud even the most avaricious. I am sure that some of you have heard by now about the incident involving a 19 year old Black male who was arrested for shopping. Not shoplifting, but shopping. Trayon Christian purchased a designer belt for $350.00, but the clerk did not believe he paid for it. Presuming that he stole it, the clerk called the police and had him arrested. It was not until he proved that he did not steal it, was he released.  I for one, am glad that the young man had the presence of mind to return the item to the store. A belt is not worth one’s dignity.

It is not shocking that things like this occur. This is just an extreme example. Now, many would take this as an opportunity to rant against the purchasing decisions of this young brother. What’s lavish and wasteful to one person, may be within reason to the next one. What I will say, is that this kind of racist micro-aggression plays itself out when Black consumers are on the purchase side of the register more often than it should. Have you had the experience of having a cashier hold up your money up in the air? Even if its a $10 or $20 dollar bill? Play you a little too close in a store? It happens to me pretty often, so much that I sort of expect it. Until there is an organized way of fighting that kind of stuff, then incidents like this will continue to happen. Sad, but it is what it is.



Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. You’re absolutely right – until we demand respect, on a large scale, we won’t get it. We need to stop patronizing businesses who don’t care about us. I, for one, am all about the permanent boycott – Barneys will never see a dime of my money. Heck, I boycotted Revlon (look it up, folks) over 20 years ago.

  2. There are plenty of alternatives, even if it means shopping online, for those who have access. Barneys is NOT a necessity.

  3. We as a community have to stop expecting to be treated a certain way, I pay close attention to things and if I notice that my money is being examined more then the person before me or after me then I address it to the store managers in front of other paying customers in the store and if I am not satisfied I let them know that this will be the last time I am spending money in that store. Depending on the store it could be a store policy an issue with the store clerk or just random looking at money but you have to address these things as they come up. We haven’t taught our youth that their money is power and their dollars should circulate in their community and invest in their community, they watch us as a community spend a lot of money during the holidays in big name stores. These corporations spend billions of dollars learning our buying habits and they use that information to work to their advantage, we are not holding these corporations accountable for ex: McDonalds spends a lot of money in scholarships, etc. to give back to the community they make it part of their common core mission. I don’t remember ever hearing Barneys having internships or scholarships for youth if they do they keep it very quiet. Many other corporate store do not, but during the holidays we rush in our cars, trains and buses to go downtown to shop in these big name stores for discounted items during the holidays so what message are we sending to our children. It’s better to shop downtown, our money is worth more when we go downtown. We do not have to invest in black owned businesses in our community. If we start investing in our own then the corporations will change their common core because the bottom line is they want our money, make them work for it. STOP GIVING YOUR MONEY AWAY!

  4. I have shopped and made purchases a Barney’s in the past, I will not shop there again.

  5. In a free market, you can spend your dollars wherever you choose. I remember my wife and daughter coming home in tears because both were told by the waiting staff at a restaurant the bathrooms were for customers only. They had already been seated, ordered and got up to use the rest room. They felt humiliated. I called the restaurant and spoke with the owner, I told him about the party my wife and daughter were planing and how his restaurant wouldn’t be getting our business and I would let everyone in the community about it’s discriminatory policy (true). I also suggest I’d speak with Al sharpton to protest outside his establishment (just to scare him). I could hear the quacking of fear in his voice as he tried to apologize, the owner my have wet pants when I reminded him of a French Bakery (now out of business) in my neighborhood that displayed a cookie the owner called “Drunken Negro”.
    The power of the purse.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.