Zara Facing Racial Profiling Claims

In dealing with the aftermath of the Charleston shooting, the question:”Where can we be Black?” was emblazoned across various social media channels.

It is not just a hash-taggable slogan.  It is a real question.

Where can we be Black? Where is it safe?

Mainstream media paints Black people has criminals, thieves and having less than. So, when we walk in a store such as Barneys or say…Zara we are coldly greeted and become immediate suspects in a crime that has not yet occurred.

Recall, the 2013 Barneys NY controversy where Black shoppers accused the store of unfairly questioning them about credit card fraud after making pricey purchases.

Currently, Zara is at the helm of a researched report that identifies the Spanish fashion chain as honing a “corporate culture steep in racism.”

In a report conducted by Labor advocacy group Center for Popular Democracy released Monday, the content claims that Black customers are far more likely to be targeted as potential thieves than White customers.

But wait…there’s more. And yes, it gets even more offensive.

Also reported was a practice utilized by Zara in New York, that referred to suspected shoplifters as “special orders.” The system alert lends itself to racial profiling the moment a Black shopper(s) enter the store.

The below statement included in the New York branch study, painted an even clearer picture:

“Most employees broadly defined the term ‘special order’ as a code that is used when someone ‘suspicious’ — ‘a potential thief’ —walks into the store,” reads the study. “Once a ‘special order’ has been called and the customer is described over the headset, employees and managers follow that customer.”

Approximately 46% of the 57 percent of polltakers who responded to the “special order” question acknowledged that the term was used to refer to Black people either “always” or “often” and usually based on their style of dress, and whether they looked “not put together or urban,” among other characteristics.

Get further details of study content and a Zara representative response to “baseless” findings, here.

So, it seems, being Black limits you to the freedoms of shopping without becoming a suspect, walking from the store in your neighborhood without being harassed, and even worshipping in your frequented church home.

Society is warped with a discriminatory perspective that puts us all on edge and has us posing yet another question, “Can I Live?”