Racial Profiling is normally described as “the discriminatory practice by law enforcement officials of targeting individuals for suspicion of crime based on the individual’s race, ethnicity, religion or national origin.” That is according to American Civil Liberties but in the past few decades racial profiling has been redefined by big named businesses like Barney’s. This huge luxury, specialty retailer is known for its women’s and men’s clothing, accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, fragrances and home décor. You can find flagship stores in New York City, Beverly Hills, Chicago, Seattle, Boston, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Scottsdale.
One of our favorite fashionable celebrities, Sara Jessica Parker, once told Vanity Fair,
“If you are a good person and you work hard, you get to go shopping at Barneys. It’s the decadent reward.”
Well Miss Parker, some associates at this esteemed establishment don’t believe that statement when it comes to people of color. In 2013 at the New York City location, 19-year-old Trayon Christian was arrested for buying a $300 designer belt. He was accused of credit card fraud. Then there was Kayla Phillips who was purchasing a Celine bag. She was questioned as to how she was able to afford the extravagant bag and then forced to turn over her card.
Celebrities also experience the love Barney’s shares with POC with coins. Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose didn’t quite get the all star treatment while shopping at Barney’s in Beverly Hills. He spent $16K on Amber before the salespeople got word of who he was and then chose to deny him access to a certain part of the store. Vic Mensa also experienced this profiling while in Beverly Hills recently. He went on a shopping spree and dropped $4K and not long after that he was pulled over by the Beverly Hills Police Department because Barney’s made a call and accused him of stealing merchandise.
It seems like no matter what we do or how hard we work as people of color, we will always need to provide an explanation? We are followed around stores, we get questioned for our motives and we are made to look like we are less than. We have tried to file lawsuits but nothing has changed. Since they have such a hard time accepting us, we should be more selective about where we are spending our money. We must show them that we don’t need them, THEY NEED US!
Written by: Joce Blake (Senior Fashion Editor)