Gloria Allred says so.
A California woman is suing Walmart, claiming that the store’s policy to lock certain products subject to a higher rate of shoplifting inside glass cases is racist.
Essie Grundy is taking a Walmart in Perris, California, to court, saying she felt like a second-class citizen because items popular with black customers were locked behind glass doors, CBS Los Angeles reported.
Grundy explained that she originally bought a small comb in another Walmart outside her neighborhood and wanted to get more as gifts, but when she went to the location near her, she found the 50-cent items inside locked glass cases.
“I noticed all of the African American products was locked up under lock and key,” Grundy said at a press conference spearheaded by activist lawyer Gloria Allred.
Grundy claimed she confronted the local Walmart manager and asked to have the lock-and-key policy changed, but the manager refused the request.
The mother of five children said she feels African Americans are being treated like thieves and criminals by having their most sought-after products locked up.
Grundy wants an apology and wants the courts to force Walmart to stop its secure stocking practice.
Walmart said it would review the woman’s complaint but also noted that the shelving policy is in place for a legitimate reason.
“We’re sensitive to this situation and also understand, like other retailers, that some products such as electronics, automotive, cosmetics, and other personal care products are subject to additional security,” Walmart spokesman Charles Crowson said.
“Those determinations are made on a store-by-store basis using data supporting the need for heightened measures.”
This is one of my pet peeves. I used to be the loss control manager for the local K-Mart. We lost over $1000 per day to shoplifters. Who pays for that? The customers.
Modern retail stores use computerized inventory systems. When a store receives a delivery an employee scans the item and the computer adds it to the store’s inventory. When the item is sold the computer removes it from the inventory. When the total of those items in stock drops below a certain point the computer automatically orders refills. This allows stores to keep shelves filled without needing a huge storeroom for excess stock.
When someone shoplifts an item the store still shows it as being in stock. The item is gone but the computer doesn’t know it so it doesn’t order any refills. So instead of full shelves, you have bare spots. Some employee has to manually enter the corrections with one of those Star Trek phaser things they use.
So now they are ordering refills, but the store never got paid for the old ones. In order to recoup the costs, they have to raise prices on the new items. And who pays those higher prices? We do.
Why are African-American hair care products kept locked up at that store? Probably because they are high-theft items. Loss Control managers get a report that shows what items get stolen the most so they can focus their efforts. Toilet paper doesn’t get stolen. Neither does house paint, pool cleaning supplies, or toothpaste.
Electronics, tools, sporting equipment, make-up, condoms, pregnancy test kits, bras, and Levi’s are all high-theft items. People are too embarrassed to buy condoms so they steal them. Girls are too embarrassed to insist the guy wear a condom so they end up stealing pregnancy test kits. So girls took them into our bathroom and used the test right in the store.
I still remember the parents of a teenaged girl I busted for stealing a pregnancy test. They were irate at me that she got caught stealing until I told them what she stole. Thank God the cops were there.
Getting back on topic, one of the favorite SJW themes is that it is racist to suspect back people of stealing. But if African-American hair care products are high-theft items I will let you draw your own conclusions as to who is stealing them. It certainly isn’t me.
There is another alternative. Walmart could just stop carrying those products.
But retail giants like Walmart are not the only ones getting accused of racism.
A family-owned bakery in Ohio has filed a lawsuit against Oberlin College for slandering the shop as a racist establishment. According to the Boston Herald, the dispute began in November 2016 when three underage black students were arrested for punching and kicking the white shopkeeper, Allyn Gibson. The students claim their only crime was trying to buy alcohol with fake identification, but Gibson says he was attacked after he caught them trying to steal bottles of wine.
The incident occurred the day after Donald Trump became president elect, and some believe the arrests triggered a simmering frustration among the college’s famously liberal community. (Oberlin students were widely pilloried in 2015 for protesting cultural appropriation in the sushi offered at their own dining halls.) There has long been speculation regarding racial profiling at Gibson’s, and students quickly began to boycott and protest outside of the café.
“I can understand why people were looking for some outlet for their frustration, but it’s just counterproductive to bend that anger towards a small family business that to my knowledge is not guilty of the sort of racial profiling that people accuse it of,” retired Oberlin professor Roger Copeland told the Boston Herald. “I’ve never seen evidence. It’s always hearsay.”
But in August, the students pleaded guilty to attempted theft and aggravated trespassing. In statements, they said their actions were wrong and the store wasn’t racist. Nonetheless, students continue to boycott the small business over alleged racial profiling.
When I was a loss prevention agent at Sears I once arrested a black guy who I watched on camera as he placed two air tools in his pants and left the store. When I arrested him he said, “It’s because I’m black, right?” I told him “Yeah, we let white people steal whatever they want.”