I am white and work in a retail store, and there are two (black) girls that come in no less than once a week. They are known shoplifters. They always come in with their big empty purses, and leave with bulging purses. We've seen them stuff items in there, and in the four months that I've worked there, they have NEVER bought anything. Most of the time it is just the two of them, but there are three other friends that sometimes come with them. Now, if I am standing in the store and see a young black girl (16-20) I will do a double-take to see if it is one of "them", and I'll usually eye their purse, to see if it's a good "theft purse". If it is NOT one of them, I always feel incredibly guilty, like what I just did was racist. If it is, I really don't mean for it to be, it's just an automatic response due to the "bad girls".
Would you consider my response "racist"?
Asked by Anonymous at 9:43 AM on Jan. 22, 2009 in Politics & Current Events
No, not if it does not extend outside of your work environment. I can certainly understand your feelings of guilt. But also if this were a bleached belong woman who was say about six feet tall: each time someone who may look like her enter your store - you would probably do a double take. In the area I live in we can put no trespassing orders on known sticky finger individuals provided we have their name. The order is given to them and a picture of them is usually behind the counter so that employees know. Same for bad checks. But where I live we have a serious problem with bad checks, fraud, and the five finger discount. Perhaps the manager or owner could look into not only pressing charges but issue a no trespassing order. It doesn't mean they won't violate it. What it does mean that if they are caught the penalties are more stiff.
Answer by frogdawg at 9:54 AM on Jan. 22, 2009
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