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Do YOU think this is racist?

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

This question is closed.
Answers (80)
  • 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

  • No, just cautious...

    Answer by efmeador0709 at 9:44 AM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • No.


    Answer by akinbottom2 at 9:45 AM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • I would think that it is an automatic response. I work in a store as well, and there are a couple of teen white kids that come in (and I'm white)...and they are the same way. I always do a double take when I see several young white kids walk in-because I'm looking to see if it's one of group.

    Answer by Lacey1012 at 9:45 AM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • much for spell check. Bleached blong. Not belong. I put blond. I guess it must be racist towards blonds. Go figure.

    Answer by frogdawg at 9:56 AM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • Not at all. If they are red-headed white male you would have profiling those too. The defining line is that, you did not profile a specific race simply based on your own opinion. You actually have facts to support why you particularly look out for those girls.

    Answer by PeanutJordanMom at 10:00 AM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • No, I do not believe it is. If there were 2 white girls who constantly stole stuff you would probably do the same with all while girls in that age range correct?
    Why hasn't anyone had them arrested for shoplifting? If you have seen them do it, that should be enough proof. That would keep them from coming back in your store.

    Answer by NewMommyin06 at 10:01 AM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • no it would be racist if you looked at every black person as a thief. you are just making sure that they are not your regular thieves and thenyou let them go about their business it is not like you follow them around expecting them to take something

    Answer by jodi205 at 10:01 AM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • NewMommy, our policy is ridiculous. No matter what we see them steal, we aren't allowed to stop them from leaving the store. They KNOW this, and it is so frustrating to have to watch them walk out the door. Oh, they also KNOW that we know they steal. I've been on the receiving end of looks that say "oh yeah? do something about it!" more times than I can count.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:05 AM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • I think if you just look at the peoples face and then when you realize it's not them, you go back to that's not racist, but if someone of another race comes in I hope that you at least take a look at their purse to see if it's a theft purse.

    Answer by bxbsmommy at 10:07 AM on Jan. 22, 2009