Huffington Magazine: Exposing A Culture Of Racism At Barneys [Photo][Video]
In the latest weekly digital issues of Huffington Magazine writers, Kim Bhasin and Julee Wilson, went behind the scenes to talk to former employees and other insiders about not only the recent highly-publicized racial discrimination cases in it’s New York store but also what could be a history of deep-seated culture of racism at the luxury department store chain.
Check out a snippet of the story below.
“It’s elitism — racial profiling is just one expression of that elitism,” said former Wall Street Journal reporter Johnnie Roberts, who said he was falsely accused of stealing a tie at Barneys 23 years ago.
Current and former Barneys salespeople spoke candidly about a culture of racial profiling at the store.
One former employee relayed conversations she overheard between Barneys workers: “‘Their card is probably not going to go through,’ they’d say. ‘I don’t know why they come in here and want to try stuff on that they know they’re not going to buy.'” A veteran employee at the Madison Avenue store said, “If you’re black and come in with an entourage, you won’t be followed because they’ll be like ‘Oh, that’s somebody famous.’ But if you come in by yourself or with one other person, then you’re going to be followed.”
And as security expert J.R. Roberts told Kim and Julee, this type of profiling is not only racist, it’s also inefficient, since actual shoplifters can slip under the radar when stores focus on skin color rather than behavior.
You can head over to the iTunes store to download this issue and more. Also check the making of this cover issue below.