Does A Colorado Walmart Have Racially Biased Check-Out Policies?
It's a disturbing story if it is true.
A Walmart in Centennial, Colorado is being accused of having a check-out policy with highly racist overtones.
Here's What Happened
According to a report from KDVR, a woman named Rachel, who lives in Aurora, says she was getting a bottle of shampoo from an aisle containing beauty products for people of color. She says a store clerk told her she would need to pay for the shampoo at a special register in the back of the store if she wanted to do more shopping.
Rachel says she asked the clerk if it would be the same if she were purchasing Caucasian products, and the clerk allegedly responded by saying that would be different. If that were the case, she would be able to walk around the store with those products.
A spokesperson for Walmart addressed the incident saying the company does not "tolerate discrimination of any kind." The spokesperson acknowledged they have policies that allow security for items such as cosmetics, but said they don't want those policies to "create an unfriendly shopping environment for any individual customer."
Walmart Changed Its Policy Last Year
Last year, Walmart discontinued the practice of putting multicultural hair and beauty products in locked cases at its stores nationwide, according to a report from CNN. The company said the cases had been placed there to minimize shoplifting.
While it's common in stores to see locked cases for items such as fragrances and jewelry, I have never in my life been aware of a locked case for products specifically for people of color.
I'm generally one to give people the benefit of the doubt and assume the best intentions. In this case, I would choose to believe the policy described by this shopper is not indicative of that particular store or of Walmart as a whole. However, the incident needs to be fully investigated and if it's found the store has racially discriminating policies in place, those policies need to end immediately. There is absolutely no room in today's world for racial discrimination of any kind.