Law School Discussion

Specific Groups => Black Law Students => Topic started by: jdohno on June 22, 2005, 03:53:31 PM

Title: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: jdohno on June 22, 2005, 03:53:31 PM
Oprah Caught “Shopping While Black”
By James Hill, BET.com Staff Writer
 
Posted June 22, 2005 -- Oprah Winfrey fell victim recently to a very common ailment among African Americans – Shopping While Black.
Employees at Hermes, a famous luxury goods store in Paris known for its high-end purses, denied Winfrey entrance, saying they did not recognize the billionaire, according to The New York Daily News. The staffers said they thought Winfrey might be trouble, citing that they’ve had “a problem with North Africans lately.”

The Daily News spoke to a supposed “pal” of Oprah’s, who said, “They knew exactly who she was. They specificially said, ‘We know who you are.’”

The source also told The Daily News that Oprah arrived at the store near closing time, though there were still shoppers inside, to buy a watch for friend and singer Tina Turner.

Though Winfrey has reportedly spent thousands in the store, the paper reports that she has cancelled her latest order and even called Robert Chaves, president of Hermes America, to inform him that she will no longer patronize any of his stores.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: One Step Ahead on June 22, 2005, 03:56:11 PM
already been posted.  that's what you get for lurking
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: twarga on June 22, 2005, 04:00:20 PM
When I worked in retail, we counted down the minutes til closing time.  Screw you, Oprah and your late night shopping spree.  My feet are killing me and I want to get home to my kids.   >:(
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: One Step Ahead on June 22, 2005, 04:12:16 PM
When I worked in retail, we counted down the minutes til closing time.  Screw you, Oprah and your late night shopping spree.  My feet are killing me and I want to get home to my kids.   >:(

I think it is pretty clear that they did it because they've had “a problem with North Africans lately.”  granted the French can be very anal about closing times, but I guarantee you if Tom Cruise had shown up they would have been fawning all over themselves to help him
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: twarga on June 22, 2005, 04:18:23 PM
When I worked in retail, we counted down the minutes til closing time.  Screw you, Oprah and your late night shopping spree.  My feet are killing me and I want to get home to my kids.   >:(

I think it is pretty clear that they did it because they've had “a problem with North Africans lately.”  granted the French can be very anal about closing times, but I guarantee you if Tom Cruise had shown up they would have been fawning all over themselves to help him

Closin' time is closin' time to many in retail.  I seriously doubt the validity of the North African statment (but I remember being told to keep a close eye on the black kids who'd shop in the stores I worked in because the stereotype is they shoplift), but what I can relate to is hours and hours on your feet, a babysitter on the clock, a growling belly, and the only thing on my mind... my warm bed.  Did the people at Hermes think the Oprah group was a gang of North African smash and grabbers that hit stores after hours when security has gone home?  Could be.  Either way, just because she's Oprah, she shouldn't expect stores to stay open without an appointment.  People have families, O, or can't you relate?
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: blk_reign on June 22, 2005, 04:26:05 PM
basically ;)




I think it is pretty clear that they did it because they've had “a problem with North Africans lately.”  granted the French can be very anal about closing times, but I guarantee you if Tom Cruise had shown up they would have been fawning all over themselves to help him
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: VanBuren Boys on June 22, 2005, 04:27:23 PM
psssst...I think it was because she is black
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: twarga on June 22, 2005, 04:31:13 PM
psssst...I think it was because she is black

psssst... I think it was because all the cases were locked, the register was counted and they wanted to go home.  I also think one of her entourage lackeys made up the North African statement to take the heat off of them for not calling ahead. 
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: blk_reign on June 22, 2005, 04:39:23 PM
so.. if all the cases and registers were closed then why were there still shoppers in there...

assuming that the shoppers that were in the store were considering buying a purse... then at the very least one cashier had to have a register open...

correct?
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: One Step Ahead on June 22, 2005, 04:43:31 PM
so.. if all the cases and registers were closed then why were there still shoppers in there...

assuming that the shoppers that were in the store were considering buying a purse... then at the very least one cashier had to have a register open...

correct?

basically  ;)
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: twarga on June 22, 2005, 04:44:49 PM
so.. if all the cases and registers were closed then why were there still shoppers in there...

assuming that the shoppers that were in the store were considering buying a purse... then at the very least one cashier had to have a register open...

correct?

Correct... but I still bet it comes out that the whole North African thing was made up by one of Oprah's lackeys.  She thinks she's the freakin' queen of the universe.  She's really out of touch.  My point is, you don't show up at a store after hours without an appointment and expect them to serve you.  Period.  That shows total lack of respect to the salespeople, and I think it's sad that they should have to answer for not serving the queen.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: steve23ucsb on June 22, 2005, 04:45:32 PM
She shouldnt have been buying French goods in the first place. Boycott france!

 ;)
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: jdohno on June 22, 2005, 05:03:20 PM
But the article said there were still shoppers inside and she was just going to buy a watch. I'm sure Oprah was aware that it was near closing time. The store could have closed the doors and just let Oprah get her watch. But I did retail a long time ago too and understand what you are saying about those lingering customers.

psssst...I think it was because she is black

psssst... I think it was because all the cases were locked, the register was counted and they wanted to go home.  I also think one of her entourage lackeys made up the North African statement to take the heat off of them for not calling ahead. 
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: twarga on June 22, 2005, 05:14:00 PM
But the article said there were still shoppers inside and she was just going to buy a watch. I'm sure Oprah was aware that it was near closing time. The store could have closed the doors and just let Oprah get her watch. But I did retail a long time ago too and understand what you are saying about those lingering customers.

Near closing time?  Try AFTER closing time.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: charseven on June 22, 2005, 06:11:25 PM
it hasnt occurred to anyone that north africans are of arabic rather than nubian decent?
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: jdohno on June 22, 2005, 06:14:15 PM
"The source also told The Daily News that Oprah arrived at the store near closing time, though there were still shoppers inside, to buy a watch for friend and singer Tina Turner."
But the article said there were still shoppers inside and she was just going to buy a watch. I'm sure Oprah was aware that it was near closing time. The store could have closed the doors and just let Oprah get her watch. But I did retail a long time ago too and understand what you are saying about those lingering customers.

Near closing time?  Try AFTER closing time.

Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: jdohno on June 22, 2005, 06:16:18 PM
I was thinking the same thing.

it hasnt occurred to anyone that north africans are of arabic rather than nubian decent?
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: dividebyzero on June 22, 2005, 06:34:08 PM
psssst... I think it was because all the cases were locked, the register was counted and they wanted to go home.  I also think one of her entourage lackeys made up the North African statement to take the heat off of them for not calling ahead. 

How is it more likely that Oprah's lackeys just decided to "invent" an accusation of racism, than the racism having actually occured? Granted, I couldn't care any less about this story (I wish I suffered the inconvenience of shopping while black...as a BILLIONAIRE!), I just find it odd that some folks seem more ready to accuse Oprah and Co. of fabrication.

C'mon, France hasn't exactly been the most accomodating nation to "africans" of any descent lately. (Also, there are plenty of Nubians in the former French colonies of Niger and Mali, both of which are in North Africa...the entire Maghrib is pretty racially heterogenous anyway.)
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: jdohno on June 22, 2005, 07:25:22 PM
Thanks for clearing that up.  
 
[C'mon, France hasn't exactly been the most accomodating nation to "africans" of any descent lately. (Also, there are plenty of Nubians in the former French colonies of Niger and Mali, both of which are in North Africa...the entire Maghrib is pretty racially heterogenous anyway.)
Quote
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: blk_reign on June 22, 2005, 08:50:30 PM
so you're saying that you believe that a famous billionaire (or her media camp) would place slander on a  French purse shop knowing that she could easily be sued? that doesn't make much sense...

i seriously doubt that Oprah  would pull a race card..just look at her following...

most people with money think that they're queen or king of the universe... i am sure there aren't a lot of humble rich folks out there...

i am a little confused by your statement..as the article said that it was Near closing time...so as i said before...at the very least one register had to be open...

and i'm pretty sure that most women have walked into a store a time or two near closing time..



so.. if all the cases and registers were closed then why were there still shoppers in there...

assuming that the shoppers that were in the store were considering buying a purse... then at the very least one cashier had to have a register open...

correct?

Correct... but I still bet it comes out that the whole North African thing was made up by one of Oprah's lackeys.  She thinks she's the freakin' queen of the universe.  She's really out of touch.  My point is, you don't show up at a store after hours without an appointment and expect them to serve you.  Period.  That shows total lack of respect to the salespeople, and I think it's sad that they should have to answer for not serving the queen.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: elegantpearl01 on June 23, 2005, 05:46:06 AM
Luxury store apologizes to Oprah
Hermes' Paris store had rebuffed talk show host

(CNN) -- Luxury store Hermes on Wednesday apologized to Oprah Winfrey for turning her away last week, saying that the store was closed to set up for a public relations event when the talk show host stopped by its Paris store.

"Hermes regrets not having been able to accommodate Ms. Winfrey and her team and to provide her with the service and care that Hermes strives to provide to each and every one of its customers worldwide," the store said in a statement.

"Hermes apologizes for any offense taken due to such circumstances."

The store said the incident occurred on June 14 around 6:45 p.m., about 15 minutes after the store closed. It said Winfrey and her team arrived at a time when "a private PR event was being set up inside."

Winfrey had no immediate comment.

The New York Post, which first reported the story in its Page Six column Monday, cited sources close to Winfrey that the talk show host was first rebuffed by a clerk and then a store manager. The Post said Winfrey had gone to the store to buy a watch for singer Tina Turner, her dinner partner that night.

The Daily News added that she was turned away because the store had been "having a problem with North Africans lately."

In comments to CNN, a spokeswoman categorically denied that allegation.

"There was never any discussion of North Africans," the spokeswoman said. "The story is not true."

The spokeswoman said Winfrey came to the store 15 minutes after closing and a security guard informed her the store was closed and gave her a card, telling her she could come back the next day.

Surveillance videotape of the encounter supports the store's account of what happened, according to the spokeswoman.

She said the CEO of Hermes has called Winfrey's people to explain "the situation" and invited her to come back to shop in the store.


Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: twarga on June 23, 2005, 06:18:54 AM
I knew it!  The whole North African thing was made up by Oprah's people (the security camera supports Hermes denial) to save face for showing up after hours without an appointment.  What a bunch of pretentious boobs!

**But you know what's sad?  5 years from now, nobody's gonna remember that Oprah's people lied, they're only going to remember that Hermes is racist.  They should sue for slander or libel or whatever (I'm not a lawyer yet, so I don't know exactly), especially if they have videotape.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: amarain on June 23, 2005, 06:49:41 AM
The whole "problem with North Africans" quote came from a tabloid paper and had no attributable source. It's bad journalism to pick up on something like that and say that the staffers said it.

So far, there is nothing to contradict what the store said. They were having an event, they refused to shut down the event and open the store up just for Oprah, and she got mad. Now someone's making this into a big race thing. If it had been a white celebrity, people would be cheering that they didn't get special treatment for being rich.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: amarain on June 23, 2005, 06:53:44 AM
so.. if all the cases and registers were closed then why were there still shoppers in there...

assuming that the shoppers that were in the store were considering buying a purse... then at the very least one cashier had to have a register open...

correct?

There were no shoppers in the store. It was being set up for a private event.

But then, that's not nearly as good of a story, huh? Much better to assume that it was racism.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: ViagraSaint on June 23, 2005, 07:07:25 AM
Let's see...

Premises:

Facts:
1) Oprah is working on a movie on racism
2) Oprah goes to Hermes after it is closed
3) "Shoppers" are in stores (disproved by camera evidence)
4) Oprah turned away

Allegations:
5) Oprah staffers claim comment about "north africans"  (see #1)
6) Oprah claims others shoppers in store

Facts:
7) Camera conclusively proves store is closed
8 ) Camera conclusively proves these were not shoppers but workers

Oprah's conclusion
1) Incident was racism, and it will be documented in the movie she was already working on.  (see #1)

Hermes
1) Nope, camera evidence says otherwise

Oprah PWN3D!
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: InVinoVeritas on June 23, 2005, 07:08:01 AM
while the store manager(s) may have been technically correct to turn Oprah away, it's still bad business.  like it or not, companies in the luxury goods business must cater to people of influence.  it makes no sense to  alienate anyone who, at the stroke of a single television episode, can cause a run on a freaking handbag.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: ViagraSaint on June 23, 2005, 07:09:47 AM
while the store manager(s) may have been technically correct to turn Oprah away, it's still bad business.  like it or not, companies in the luxury goods business must cater to people of influence.  it makes no sense to  alienate anyone who, at the stroke of a single television episode, can cause a run on a freaking handbag.

how does this differ from class discrimination?  if you allow people of influence to break the rules that apply to the proletariat?
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: amarain on June 23, 2005, 07:11:36 AM
I agree Vino, which is why I think they really couldn't accomodate her because of the event, so they gave her a card and asked her to come back. They probably figured she would understand. I think they underestimated her ability to make an enormous issue out of any time she doesn't get her way and the tendency of the media, especially the tabloid media, to jump all over a story like this.  
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: InVinoVeritas on June 23, 2005, 07:17:18 AM
while the store manager(s) may have been technically correct to turn Oprah away, it's still bad business. like it or not, companies in the luxury goods business must cater to people of influence. it makes no sense to alienate anyone who, at the stroke of a single television episode, can cause a run on a freaking handbag.

how does this differ from class discrimination? if you allow people of influence to break the rules that apply to the proletariat?

i don't think it's beyond the right of most private entities to go beyond normal accommodations for it's best customers.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: amarain on June 23, 2005, 07:28:44 AM
They're not stupid. They knew who she was and they know how much money and influence she has. I think that if they could have accomodated her, they would have.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: ViagraSaint on June 23, 2005, 07:30:51 AM
Yeah, making accommodations like this for celebs is totally standard.  It is odd that they didn't care if Opera talked up their handbags.

You're missing the point entirely. 

How can Oprah allege she was being discriminated based on her race, and on the other hand claim she should have been given special priviledges not afforded to others based on her class status?

crying wolf over a double standard?

Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: ViagraSaint on June 23, 2005, 07:39:21 AM
They're not stupid. They knew who she was and they know how much money and influence she has. I think that if they could have accomodated her, they would have.

The party wasn't going on yet; they were setting up for it.  I've also worked in retail - if they wanted to go the extra mile for a billionaire, they could have.

Also, are we all completely satisfied that the N. African comment was made up?  Sounds like "he say, she say" at this point.  I don't believe it, but I can't disbelieve just 'cause the store denies it.  Of course they would.


So, you're an advocate now of going the extra mile for those with more privledge?  Let's make the cutoff point at $150k household income.  those benefiting would be mostly white, while most other races (at least in america) would be excluded.  Interesting how this line of reasoning is quite prejudicial.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: amarain on June 23, 2005, 07:42:27 AM
They're not stupid. They knew who she was and they know how much money and influence she has. I think that if they could have accomodated her, they would have.

The party wasn't going on yet; they were setting up for it.  I've also worked in retail - if they wanted to go the extra mile for a billionaire, they could have.

Also, are we all completely satisfied that the N. African comment was made up?  Sounds like "he say, she say" at this point.  I don't believe it, but I can't disbelieve just 'cause the store denies it.  Of course they would.

Well, nobody can yet back that claim up - we're not even sure who allegedly said it. Right now it's "she was told." But it doesn't even make sense - Oprah is not North African, the stereotypical North African is not black like Oprah.

After all, the most solid source of that quote is from the New York Post - not exactly known for their stellar journalism.

So, if they knew she was Oprah and a billionaire, and could have accomodated her, why would they not? Her being black never seemed to be a problem before, if she's spent thousands of dollars in the store.
The other version is that they didn't know who she was and just turned her away - so then, why would they feel obligated to accomodate some random person off the street when the store was closed? Just because she's black? You think they would have opened the store especially for me, since I'm white?
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: ViagraSaint on June 23, 2005, 07:49:33 AM

the fact there is a camera that discounts 75% of Oprah's story casts doubt on the additional he-said-she-said.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: amarain on June 23, 2005, 07:53:31 AM
They're not stupid. They knew who she was and they know how much money and influence she has. I think that if they could have accomodated her, they would have.

The party wasn't going on yet; they were setting up for it.  I've also worked in retail - if they wanted to go the extra mile for a billionaire, they could have.

Also, are we all completely satisfied that the N. African comment was made up?  Sounds like "he say, she say" at this point.  I don't believe it, but I can't disbelieve just 'cause the store denies it.  Of course they would.

Well, nobody can yet back that claim up - we're not even sure who allegedly said it. Right now it's "she was told." But it doesn't even make sense - Oprah is not North African, most North Africans aren't black like Oprah (at least, if you're going to stereotype North Africans, it's a different stereotype than what Oprah would fall into).

After all, the most solid source of that quote is from the New York Post - not exactly known for their stellar journalism.

So, if they knew she was Oprah and a billionaire, and could have accomodated her, why would they not? Her being black never seemed to be a problem before, if she's spent thousands of dollars in the store.
The other version is that they didn't know who she was and just turned her away - so then, why would they feel obligated to accomodate some random person off the street when the store was closed? Just because she's black? You think they would have opened the store especially for me, since I'm white?

Oh I agree with you - my point is that we don't have much evidence either way.  It's interesting to see how the White posters seem pretty quick to dismiss the possibility of racism, while the Af-Am posters are quick to believe it.  Is it because Af-Ams experience daily racism that Whites don't and therefore doubt its existence?  Is it because Black people, after years of racism, are now just paranoid?  Makes you think.

That's a good point. I don't doubt that things like this happen every day for real to people who don't have the money and clout to get it on CNN, but I'm still inclined to think that this incident is far more about a spoiled celebrity than about racism.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: blk_reign on June 23, 2005, 08:16:04 AM
did i make an assumption that there was racism involved? really?? that's interesting since i didn't allude to that in either of my posts on this thread..i did say however that it doesn't make sense that Oprah would pull a race card considering her following and financial status... the backlash that would bring is unreal....

i responded solely on the first article that was posted... i asked questions that were very plausible given the information that was available at the time..


There were no shoppers in the store. It was being set up for a private event.

that information wasn't posted until after i responded.. so you should bring it down a bit...





so.. if all the cases and registers were closed then why were there still shoppers in there...

assuming that the shoppers that were in the store were considering buying a purse... then at the very least one cashier had to have a register open...

correct?

There were no shoppers in the store. It was being set up for a private event.

But then, that's not nearly as good of a story, huh? Much better to assume that it was racism.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: blk_reign on June 23, 2005, 08:22:32 AM

You're absolutely right Mob.. it is interesting when you think about it.. as a Black woman I have lost count of how many times I have been followed around a store... or the number of times that someone in various department stores or boutiques have informed ::) me of the price of an article of clothing that i was considering buying...

that typically causes one reaction or another... you buy more than you intended..or you leave..

it's trifling though.. this doesn't only happen in dept stores or expensive boutiques.. it'll happen at most places in a mall

and let's not even talk about beauty supply stores ::)



Oh I agree with you - my point is that we don't have much evidence either way.  It's interesting to see how the White posters seem pretty quick to dismiss the possibility of racism, while the Af-Am posters are quick to believe it.  Is it because Af-Ams experience daily racism that Whites don't and therefore doubt its existence?  Is it because Black people, after years of racism, are now just paranoid?  Makes you think.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: _BP_ on June 23, 2005, 10:57:56 AM

Oh I agree with you - my point is that we don't have much evidence either way.  It's interesting to see how the White posters seem pretty quick to dismiss the possibility of racism, while the Af-Am posters are quick to believe it.  Is it because Af-Ams experience daily racism that Whites don't and therefore doubt its existence?  Is it because Black people, after years of racism, are now just paranoid?  Makes you think.

Mobell, get out of my head!   This is how it usually is though.

Say there is an inkling of possible racism:

A) Black person who has been through something similar: "Man sure seems racist to me.  Matter of fact, that's the third time some *&^% like that happened to me and my friends.  Can't be any coincidence!."

B) White person who has obviously never had a similar experience i.e no context:  "you need to show me the ashes from the cross burning in your backyard, or a videotape, something..otherwise, racism? What racism?"

Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: twarga on June 23, 2005, 11:06:51 AM
I worked in retail for several years, and yes, the stereotype is definitely there.  We were told to watch the black customers very closely (especially while in the fitting rooms), and to be on guard.  One store I worked in was held up at gunpoint twice, so they felt justfied in being racist. 

However, I believe if Oprah's people made up that story about being shooed away and told they were wary of North Africans (aren't they talking about Moroccans?), Hermes should sue.  Nobody should be accused falsely of racism just because they didn't cater to the queen of the universe's every whim.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: YoungIke on June 23, 2005, 11:23:10 AM
I worked in retail for several years, and yes, the stereotype is definitely there. We were told to watch the black customers very closely (especially while in the fitting rooms), and to be on guard. One store I worked in was held up at gunpoint twice, so they felt justfied in being racist.

However, I believe if Oprah's people made up that story about being shooed away and told they were wary of North Africans (aren't they talking about Moroccans?), Hermes should sue. Nobody should be accused falsely of racism just because they didn't cater to the queen of the universe's every whim.

I also work in retail. I was in the assets protection dept. This is common practice to profile black customers. We actually followed them around with cameras in the security office. I actually had to leave because this did not sit well with me.

With that being said we need to support our own designers, and become stake holders in other companies. He who has the gold makes the rules. If Oprah really wants to make them mad, she should buy enough of the company that she can make decisions. Oh, and much props for Oprah supporting Apple Bottom.

Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: twarga on June 23, 2005, 11:29:55 AM
However, it is very irresponsible to play the race card and fabricate an incident of racial profiling where none exists.  Hermes has a security camera that recorded the whole thing and the North African remark simply didn't happen.  Oprah was respectfully handed a card by a security guard and told that although the store was closed, she could return the next day and make her purchase. 
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: lex19 on June 23, 2005, 11:37:15 AM
so twarga you were in Paris with Oprah or at the Hermes store, or better yet you saw the tape?? cause i'm sure the security camera was able to record the whole incident  ;)

edit: maybe i should open a retail boutique and practice "reverse racial profiling" and see what happens ::)
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: blk_reign on June 23, 2005, 11:58:49 AM
lex you know your shop would be closed right away.. and if people like angelus showed up he'd be the first person leading the march against reverse racism :D :D
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: lex19 on June 23, 2005, 12:15:26 PM
lex you know your shop would be closed right away.. and if people like angelus showed up he'd be the first person leading the march against reverse racism :D :D

it'll be all good blk, i'll use the money from promoting you letures to set everything up....and then you'll have one more topic to discuss and then i'll be able to recoup  ;D (it could be huge blk)
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: _BP_ on June 23, 2005, 12:29:06 PM
MSNBC.com
A spokeswoman for Winfrey’s Chicago-based Harpo Productions told The Associated Press Thursday the talk-show host plans to discuss her “Crash” moment when “The Oprah Winfrey Show” returns to the air in September.

“Crash” is a film dealing with race relations.-

Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: lex19 on June 23, 2005, 12:31:14 PM
mo, you can be the store manager, i wanna get a large man for security, preferably someone of middle eatern decent! hehehehe
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: Rudy Huckleberry on June 23, 2005, 12:37:05 PM
MSNBC.com
A spokeswoman for Winfrey’s Chicago-based Harpo Productions told The Associated Press Thursday the talk-show host plans to discuss her “Crash” moment when “The Oprah Winfrey Show” returns to the air in September.

“Crash” is a film dealing with race relations.-

 :o Sounds like she didn't think the North African comment was fake...
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: _BP_ on June 23, 2005, 12:39:25 PM
MSNBC.com
A spokeswoman for Winfrey’s Chicago-based Harpo Productions told The Associated Press Thursday the talk-show host plans to discuss her “Crash” moment when “The Oprah Winfrey Show” returns to the air in September.

“Crash” is a film dealing with race relations.-

 :o Sounds like she didn't think the North African comment was fake...

Exactly.  I can't see why Twarga is so quick to dismiss it as a fabrication, unless there is something I'm missing.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: blk_reign on June 23, 2005, 12:52:05 PM
it will be huge lex.. i'm working on a business plan!!! :D

well come on crash..i still need to see that movie...

Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: amarain on June 23, 2005, 12:52:18 PM
The problem that I have with that comment is that a. it makes no sense - Oprah is not North African and the stereotypical North African is not black like Oprah and b. according to the news reports, the security tape backs up the store's claim that there was no such comment and c. there is no evidence at all to suggest that the comment was actually made, unless you count the New York Post's "source".

And if I wanted to be really cynical I would suggest that it's mighty convenient that this makes such a great subject for her show...

At any rate, the basic situation here is that a rich person wasn't given special privileges exactly when she wanted them. It's not like someone made her give up her seat on the bus or actually infringed on her civil rights. Which is why I think this is a spoiled celebrity issue rather than a race issue.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: lex19 on June 23, 2005, 12:55:34 PM
fyi - from what i'm told if you are black and in europe most europeans assume you're african and not american....but i've never been, just what my friend told me after living in spain for a year
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: InVinoVeritas on June 23, 2005, 12:57:42 PM
fyi - from what i'm told if you are black and in europe most europeans assume you're african and not american....but i've never been, just what my friend told me after living in spain for a year

this is probably true considering most blacks in europe are from africa.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: MsJay9 on June 23, 2005, 01:03:38 PM
fyi - from what i'm told if you are black and in europe most europeans assume you're african and not american....but i've never been, just what my friend told me after living in spain for a year

When I was in Europe I was told I was African....when I told them I was from Ohio they looked at me like I was crazy   :-\
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: _BP_ on June 23, 2005, 01:06:11 PM
fyi - from what i'm told if you are black and in europe most europeans assume you're african and not american....but i've never been, just what my friend told me after living in spain for a year

this is probably true considering most blacks in europe are from africa.

Exactly.  So your first point is moot Amarain...as for the security tape?  Does anyone have a link? Let's see it.  
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: blk_reign on June 23, 2005, 01:10:21 PM
here's a spin.. some people are just ignorant.. perhaps these sales people didn't know their African Geography..

since South Africa has a huge white population.. perhaps they considered anything outside of South Africa to be North Africa..

i really don't think that is far fetched..some people are just dumb and get too much credit for having common sense..


The problem that I have with that comment is that a. it makes no sense - Oprah is not North African and the stereotypical North African is not black like Oprah and b. according to the news reports, the security tape backs up the store's claim that there was no such comment and c. there is no evidence at all to suggest that the comment was actually made, unless you count the New York Post's "source".

And if I wanted to be really cynical I would suggest that it's mighty convenient that this makes such a great subject for her show...

At any rate, the basic situation here is that a rich person wasn't given special privileges exactly when she wanted them. It's not like someone made her give up her seat on the bus or actually infringed on her civil rights. Which is why I think this is a spoiled celebrity issue rather than a race issue.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: amarain on June 23, 2005, 01:14:24 PM
fyi - from what i'm told if you are black and in europe most europeans assume you're african and not american....but i've never been, just what my friend told me after living in spain for a year

this is probably true considering most blacks in europe are from africa.

Exactly.  So your first point is moot Amarain...as for the security tape?  Does anyone have a link? Let's see it.  

There's a difference between African and North African, though. I think that when Europeans think of North African, most think of Algerians/Moroccans/Tunisians who generally do not look like people from Senegal or subSaharan countries. But OK, let's say that this "person" whoever they are, meant to say just "African" and was thinking of all black people. Did they say it in English or French, anyone know?

Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: lex19 on June 23, 2005, 01:17:32 PM
another fyi am, i know morrocans who are darker than me (and i'm brown skinned)  so don't go there  :(
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: blk_reign on June 23, 2005, 01:19:33 PM
 :D


another fyi am, i know morrocans who are darker than me (and i'm brown skinned)  so don't go there  :(
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: YoungIke on June 23, 2005, 01:20:11 PM
You cannot classify something as a race issue just because you didn’t make it to the store on time. As for them thinking she was North African, she in Paris. They don’t see black people every day. Why are they supposed to be experts on telling where a black person is from? Next time she want some jewelry I'll bet she bring her ass to the store on time. If this were a regular black person we would not even be hearing about this situation. She is just used to being spoiled.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: Roxie on June 23, 2005, 01:22:11 PM
Why do people call her spoiled when she has worked for every comma in her bank account?  Paris Hilton = spoiled.  Oprah...not really.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: blk_reign on June 23, 2005, 01:24:12 PM
 :-X


Why do people call her spoiled when she has worked for every comma in her bank account?  Paris Hilton = spoiled.  Oprah...not really.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: amarain on June 23, 2005, 01:24:30 PM
I think what's so frustrating to me is that here is some astronomically wealthy celebrity who throws a hissyfit whenever people don't go out of their way to please her every whim, and all she has to do is whisper the 'r' word, and suddenly everyone comes to her defense, like she's a modern day Rosa Parks, standing up for her God-given right to have exclusive access to luxury stores at any time.

Just because she earned her money like most people doesn't mean she is suddenly some sort of superior human being who has a right to demand that everyone stop what they're doing and cater to her.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: angelus on June 23, 2005, 01:26:36 PM
lex you know your shop would be closed right away.. and if people like angelus showed up he'd be the first person leading the march against reverse racism :D :D

Actually no. I've seen more whites pocketing stuff than minorities. A lot of whites do it slieight f hand right in front of a store employee and get away with it. My geuss is that they would catch more shoplifters if they focused on white people.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: lex19 on June 23, 2005, 01:27:12 PM


I think it is pretty clear that they did it because they've had “a problem with North Africans lately.”  granted the French can be very anal about closing times, but I guarantee you if Tom Cruise had shown up they would have been fawning all over themselves to help him
Quote

I think E made a very valid point early with the mention of tom cruise.....and Oprah is spoiled, but you know what if i were her i'd expect the same thing especially when i heavily endorse your store and products, b/c that's the way things work in the realm of celebrities especially where haute couture is concerned...who else can buy the ish on the regular???
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: HBCU.EDU on June 23, 2005, 01:27:49 PM
I don't know about you guys but I like white people. I trust their judgment.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: _BP_ on June 23, 2005, 01:31:30 PM
I think what's so frustrating to me is that here is some astronomically wealthy celebrity who throws a hissyfit whenever people don't go out of their way to please her every whim, and all she has to do is whisper the 'r' word, and suddenly everyone comes to her defense, like she's a modern day Rosa Parks, standing up for her God-given right to have exclusive access to luxury stores at any time.

Just because she earned her money like most people doesn't mean she is suddenly some sort of superior human being who has a right to demand that everyone stop what they're doing and cater to her.

This is a huge assumption though.  How do we know that this is the case?  How do you know that she is whispering the "r" word without cause....actually that she is lying, cause that's what you are basically saying.  How do you know?  You might be creating this frustration in your mind, unless you know that this is the case Amarain.

Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: Roxie on June 23, 2005, 01:33:38 PM
It's not like she showed up at the store at 9pm, called the owner and said, get down here.  I need to buy a watch.  I was watching an episode of the Anna Nicole Show (yes, I am embarrassed to admit that) and Anna needed something in a different size, but the store was closed.  The owner got on the phone, made some calls and opened the store for her.  That was for one measly pair of pants.  

Being a celeb/billionaire has its privileges.  What is wrong with that??  We all get kudos for spending money places.  I am proud of all the points I earn at CVS and frequently go back to use my coupons! :P
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: InVinoVeritas on June 23, 2005, 01:43:44 PM
I think what's so frustrating to me is that here is some astronomically wealthy celebrity who throws a hissyfit whenever people don't go out of their way to please her every whim, and all she has to do is whisper the 'r' word, and suddenly everyone comes to her defense, like she's a modern day Rosa Parks, standing up for her God-given right to have exclusive access to luxury stores at any time.

Just because she earned her money like most people doesn't mean she is suddenly some sort of superior human being who has a right to demand that everyone stop what they're doing and cater to her.

This is a huge assumption though.  How do we know that this is the case?  How do you know that she is whispering the "r" word without cause....actually that she is lying, cause that's what you are basically saying.  How do you know? You might be creating this frustration in your mind, unless you know that this is the case Amarain.



From what i remember when i was running errands today, NPR News and Notes reported that Oprah (maybe it was one of her producers?) said that if it were Brittney or Barbara (Streisand), Hermes would have let them in.  To me, it sounds like someone in Oprah's camp (if not Oprah herself) was bringing race into the equation.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: twarga on June 23, 2005, 01:46:34 PM
MSNBC.com
A spokeswoman for Winfrey’s Chicago-based Harpo Productions told The Associated Press Thursday the talk-show host plans to discuss her “Crash” moment when “The Oprah Winfrey Show” returns to the air in September.

“Crash” is a film dealing with race relations.-



And just like when she discussed her 'beef' moment, she will be sued.  And for the record, I wasn't with Oprah or anything, duh!  The news story said the encounter in question was recorded and didn't substantiate Oprah's account. 

Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: Rudy Huckleberry on June 23, 2005, 01:49:56 PM
fyi - from what i'm told if you are black and in europe most europeans assume you're african and not american....but i've never been, just what my friend told me after living in spain for a year

Absolutely true.  It always threw people off telling them I'm American.  It was also amazing how quickly the treatment would change ::)
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: blk_reign on June 23, 2005, 01:52:22 PM
if you build it... they well come..

i knew that once i mentioned your name you'd come out of lurker status and respond..

thanks.. ;D


lex you know your shop would be closed right away.. and if people like angelus showed up he'd be the first person leading the march against reverse racism :D :D

Actually no. I've seen more whites pocketing stuff than minorities. A lot of whites do it slieight f hand right in front of a store employee and get away with it. My geuss is that they would catch more shoplifters if they focused on white people.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: _BP_ on June 23, 2005, 01:54:15 PM
MSNBC.com
A spokeswoman for Winfrey’s Chicago-based Harpo Productions told The Associated Press Thursday the talk-show host plans to discuss her “Crash” moment when “The Oprah Winfrey Show” returns to the air in September.

“Crash” is a film dealing with race relations.-



And just like when she discussed her 'beef' moment, she will be sued.  And for the record, I wasn't with Oprah or anything, duh!  The news story said the encounter in question was recorded and didn't substantiate Oprah's account. 



Wanna bet she won't get sued.  Oh, and what news story Twarga? Could you post a link.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: Rudy Huckleberry on June 23, 2005, 01:55:24 PM
You cannot classify something as a race issue just because you didn’t make it to the store on time. As for them thinking she was North African, she in Paris. They don’t see black people every day. Why are they supposed to be experts on telling where a black person is from? Next time she want some jewelry I'll bet she bring her ass to the store on time. If this were a regular black person we would not even be hearing about this situation. She is just used to being spoiled.

fyi, there are a significant number of Black people in Paris.  Now, the Parisians may not care enough to learn where the Black people are from (sad since many are from those former French colonies), but Black people are certainly there.  When I visited from Dublin it was like a breath of fresh air :)
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: amarain on June 23, 2005, 01:56:14 PM
There's nothing wrong with getting privileges for being rich or for being a loyal customer or anything like that. What's wrong is demanding extra perks as if they were owed to you just because you're rich. That's what I have a problem with - celebrities, from Oprah to Gwyneth Paltrow, acting like they are somehow way above everyone else and that the world owes them everything just because they're rich and famous.


Actually, I have no idea if Oprah is even saying that this was racism because there still has been no reliable source to confirm that anyone has even properly claimed that the North African comment was made. A tabloid reported that 'a source' said that it was made. So maybe that's just the tabloids making a big deal out of it. But given the fact that she's going to make a special episode out of this, I'm inclined to think that someone is, in fact, claiming that it was said. And considering that so far, there is nothing at all to back it up, I'm inclined to believe that it's not true.

The story just doesn't make sense. Correct me if I'm wrong, but is she (or her people) saying that the store knew who she was but refused to let her in because "they'd been having a problem with North Africans"? Why would they deliberately turn away one of their wealthiest and most influential customers and knowingly make an inflammatory comment that could only reflect badly upon them? Everyone at the store is just so incredibly rotten and hopelessly racist that it blinds them to every bit of common sense?
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: blk_reign on June 23, 2005, 01:57:13 PM
hey..did anyone..anyone at all actually hear Oprah (not her camp..friend..hairdresser...m ake up artist) say anything about this matter?


if not.. no need to continue to say that she's had a hissy fit and called the matter racism..

I think what's so frustrating to me is that here is some astronomically wealthy celebrity who throws a hissyfit whenever people don't go out of their way to please her every whim, and all she has to do is whisper the 'r' word, and suddenly everyone comes to her defense, like she's a modern day Rosa Parks, standing up for her God-given right to have exclusive access to luxury stores at any time.

Just because she earned her money like most people doesn't mean she is suddenly some sort of superior human being who has a right to demand that everyone stop what they're doing and cater to her.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: YoungIke on June 23, 2005, 02:01:47 PM
I stand humbly corrected. I can only go on my experiance in East Asia where they do not see African-Americans on a regular basis, only on T.V.  However, they do see Africans and they do not treat them with much respect. I do believe Oprah could have been discriminated against but since the average person is not used to the customs of celebrities, it is hard to sympathize with her.


You cannot classify something as a race issue just because you didn’t make it to the store on time. As for them thinking she was North African, she in Paris. They don’t see black people every day. Why are they supposed to be experts on telling where a black person is from? Next time she want some jewelry I'll bet she bring her ass to the store on time. If this were a regular black person we would not even be hearing about this situation. She is just used to being spoiled.

fyi, there are a significant number of Black people in Paris. Now, the Parisians may not care enough to learn where the Black people are from (sad since many are from those former French colonies), but Black people are certainly there. When I visited from Dublin it was like a breath of fresh air :)
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: One Step Ahead on June 23, 2005, 02:02:53 PM
You cannot classify something as a race issue just because you didn’t make it to the store on time. As for them thinking she was North African, she in Paris. They don’t see black people every day. Why are they supposed to be experts on telling where a black person is from? Next time she want some jewelry I'll bet she bring her ass to the store on time. If this were a regular black person we would not even be hearing about this situation. She is just used to being spoiled.

fyi, there are a significant number of Black people in Paris.  Now, the Parisians may not care enough to learn where the Black people are from (sad since many are from those former French colonies), but Black people are certainly there.  When I visited from Dublin it was like a breath of fresh air :)

basically.  plenty of North africans have tints similar to or darker to Oprah's skin color.  
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: amarain on June 23, 2005, 02:04:49 PM
So do we think that the store actually thought that Oprah was North African, hence the comment?
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: One Step Ahead on June 23, 2005, 02:07:10 PM
So do we think that the store actually thought that Oprah was North African, hence the comment?

her and her crew.  quite possibly.  From a French perspective she kinda looks Tunisian
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: _BP_ on June 23, 2005, 02:07:57 PM
There's nothing wrong with getting privileges for being rich or for being a loyal customer or anything like that. What's wrong is demanding extra perks as if they were owed to you just because you're rich. That's what I have a problem with - celebrities, from Oprah to Gwyneth Paltrow, acting like they are somehow way above everyone else and that the world owes them everything just because they're rich and famous.


Actually, I have no idea if Oprah is even saying that this was racism because there still has been no reliable source to confirm that anyone has even properly claimed that the North African comment was made. A tabloid reported that 'a source' said that it was made. So maybe that's just the tabloids making a big deal out of it. But given the fact that she's going to make a special episode out of this, I'm inclined to think that someone is, in fact, claiming that it was said. And considering that so far, there is nothing at all to back it up, I'm inclined to believe that it's not true.

The story just doesn't make sense. Correct me if I'm wrong, but is she (or her people) saying that the store knew who she was but refused to let her in because "they'd been having a problem with North Africans"? Why would they deliberately turn away one of their wealthiest and most influential customers and knowingly make an inflammatory comment that could only reflect badly upon them? Everyone at the store is just so incredibly rotten and hopelessly racist that it blinds them to every bit of common sense?

And considering the fact that there is nothing at all to back up the hissy fit explanation, you're still inclined to believe that it's true.  hmmm
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: amarain on June 23, 2005, 02:15:37 PM
BP, like I said, I am inclined to believe the store because Oprah's story makes no sense. She (her people, whatever) is saying that the clerk and the manager knew who she was, flat out said "we know who you are," but refused to let her in "because they've had a problem with North Africans lately". So they deliberately offend one of their wealthiest and most influential customers solely because they are just so incredibly racist they would rather get bad publicity and hurt their business than refrain from making an offensive remark.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: _____ on June 23, 2005, 02:20:22 PM
BP, like I said, I am inclined to believe the store because Oprah's story makes no sense. She (her people, whatever) is saying that the clerk and the manager knew who she was, flat out said "we know who you are," but refused to let her in "because they've had a problem with North Africans lately". So they deliberately offend one of their wealthiest and most influential customers solely because they are just so incredibly racist they would rather get bad publicity and hurt their business than refrain from making an offensive remark.

But if they knew who she was, why would they even bring up North Africans?

Anyone who knows who Oprah is KNOWS she isn't North African, and so keeping her out due to problems with North Africans would be a moot point.

I'm sure this sort of thing is a problem, but this particular instance strikes me as a stretch...
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: One Step Ahead on June 23, 2005, 02:26:03 PM
BP, like I said, I am inclined to believe the store because Oprah's story makes no sense. She (her people, whatever) is saying that the clerk and the manager knew who she was, flat out said "we know who you are," but refused to let her in "because they've had a problem with North Africans lately". So they deliberately offend one of their wealthiest and most influential customers solely because they are just so incredibly racist they would rather get bad publicity and hurt their business than refrain from making an offensive remark.

But if they knew who she was, why would they even bring up North Africans?

Anyone who knows who Oprah is KNOWS she isn't North African, and so keeping her out due to problems with North Africans would be a moot point.

I'm sure this sort of thing is a problem, but this particular instance strikes me as a stretch...

hmm

store clerk: Madame, ce n'est pas possible
Oprah (or most likely someone her entourage) Mais Monsieur, vous ne rendez pas compte de qui vous parlez
store clerk: si, je sais.  mais je ne peux rien fait pour vous.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: _____ on June 23, 2005, 02:31:04 PM
hmm

store clerk: Madame, ce n'est pas possible
Oprah (or most likely someone her entourage) Mais Monsieur, vous ne rendez pas compte de qui vous parlez
store clerk: si, je sais.  mais je ne peux rien fait pour vous.

ooh, ooh, did I get it right?

Clerk: Maam, that is not possible.

O or entourage: But sir, you don't understand who you're talking to.

Clerk: Yes, I know.  But I don't [ won't do this ? ] for you.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: One Step Ahead on June 23, 2005, 02:33:28 PM
hmm

store clerk: Madame, ce n'est pas possible
Oprah (or most likely someone her entourage) Mais Monsieur, vous ne rendez pas compte de qui vous parlez
store clerk: si, je sais.  mais je ne peux rien fait pour vous.

ooh, ooh, did I get it right?

Clerk: Maam, that is not possible.

O or entourage: But sir, you don't understand who you're talking to.

Clerk: Yes, I know.  But I don't [ won't do this ? ] for you.

Yes, I know but I can't do anything for you (my hands are tied)
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: _____ on June 23, 2005, 02:36:58 PM
hmm

store clerk: Madame, ce n'est pas possible
Oprah (or most likely someone her entourage) Mais Monsieur, vous ne rendez pas compte de qui vous parlez
store clerk: si, je sais.  mais je ne peux rien fait pour vous.

ooh, ooh, did I get it right?

Clerk: Maam, that is not possible.

O or entourage: But sir, you don't understand who you're talking to.

Clerk: Yes, I know.  But I don't [ won't do this ? ] for you.

Yes, I know but I can't do anything for you (my hands are tied)

Ahhh... Speaking Spanish is so handy--you can basically understand French, Italian, and Portugese... YAY :D
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: amarain on June 23, 2005, 02:59:39 PM
A new version of this story is saying that Oprah was in her limo the whole time. One of her entourage went up to the store, told them that an American journalist wanted to shop, and she was told that it was not possible, she would have to come another time. According to this account, Oprah never got out of her limo and the Hermes people never knew who it was.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: One Step Ahead on June 23, 2005, 03:02:19 PM
When I worked in retail, we counted down the minutes til closing time.  Screw you, Oprah and your late night shopping spree.  My feet are killing me and I want to get home to my kids.   >:(

I think it is pretty clear that they did it because they've had “a problem with North Africans lately.”  granted the French can be very anal about closing times, but I guarantee you if Tom Cruise had shown up they would have been fawning all over themselves to help him

I don't think this is necessarily true.  I'm quite sure someone in the store knew who Oprah was.  The French tend to be VERY snobby about certain types of things, and waiting on rich Americans, regardless of their race, is one of them.  French nationalism excludes everyone non-French, not just Africans.  If it had been an Italian, Japanese, Hispanic or Brit in there, they'd have done the same thing (if in fact, they hadn't really shut down for a private event). 

I can also tell you that after working in retail for several years, when the store's closed, the store's closed.  GET OUT because I don't get paid overtime for your inability to make a quick decision, even if you are Oprah Winfrey.  Frankly I find it more annoying that she'd have used her celebrity status to make a store stay open past closing anyway. 

I don't think we want to have a run-off contest on who has a better understanding behind the underlying discourse surrounding French nation.  Suffice it to say that it is HIGHLY doubtful that an Italian would be treated that way given the common latin heritage as well as long history of Italian settlement in France.  Many French people can trace their origins in the movement of Spanish, Italian, and even Polish immigration so necessary for the Frech workforce in the wake of losing many of their potential workforce is the 'Grande Guerre.'  The Japanese are wildly regarded as the backbone of the French tourism industry.  Hispanic -American you might be somewhat on the right track.  But if you are taking Spain, Argentina, again the latin influence is still strong.  I find the more melanin in one's skin the more the French are able to play with the imaginary of what consitutes citizenship.  It is easy to pretend that all of our ancestors are the Gaullois (as no doubt I'm sure, you realize all French students as well as students in the various DOM-TOMs were taught) when the person *looks* like he could be decendant.  Much harder to say it to the Senegalese boy with a straight face.  
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: angelus on June 23, 2005, 03:10:51 PM
I smell a book or tv deal on racism starring oprah, written by oprah, directed by oprah.
This may have been a cleverly planned publicity stunt.

just looking at all the options.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: One Step Ahead on June 23, 2005, 03:17:16 PM
Yeah, making accommodations like this for celebs is totally standard.  It is odd that they didn't care if Opera talked up their handbags.

They frankly don't need another celebrity talking up their handbags.  They're Heremes. They've been around before Oprah, and they'll be around long after no one cares what bag she has.  I was just at Louis Vuitton and they have an inch thick binder filled with tabloid cutouts so people can figure out which bag they saw which star with and buy it.  I'm sure Heremes isn't going to be that hurt if Oprah starts carrying Chanel instead. 

Yeah, I'm sure it was that kind of attitude that got them where they are.  Look, it's definitely not the smartest way to go to piss off ANY celeb...esp. one like Oprah to whom other celebs listen.  How much you wanna bet her friend Julia Roberts stops shopping there too?

I hate to break it to you, but they look at EVERYONE that way in those kinds of stores. I'm white as can be and I feel incredibly uncomfortable at those high end places, even when I'm there to actually shop. There's also a huge difference in the way someone carries themselves and presents themselves. If I walk into Gucci wearing Adidas pants and a tshirt, I don't get looked at the same way I do when I walk in wearing a leather coat and button-down. There are always black people in the Louis store nearest me, and the ones who look like they have money are treated with kid gloves, and the rest (black and white) aren't. There are black women in there all the time dressed to the nines, and they have salespeople drooling over them. I also guarantee that if I took my lily-white self to a store in an all black neighborhood, I'd get more than a few looks.

Racism and skepticism is not a white or black characteristic. It affects everyone.

I hate to break it to you, but I'm not just referring to Hermes-esque places here.  When was the last time you were followed around a fish market?  Happened to me more than once.

Yes, people might look at you funny if you walked into a Black-owned establishment in a Black neighborhood.  But how often do you shop there?  Conversely, if I want to eat I have to go to a White-owned grocery store.  If I want clothes, I go to the White man's store.  If I want hair products, even in my own neighborhood, the Koreans own them - and they even follow us around?  Racism and skepticism may affect us all, but they *hardly* affect us equally.

watch out Mobell.  you are starting to get a little militant there.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: amarain on June 23, 2005, 03:18:16 PM
You know what really makes me angry about this whole thing? Now I want to watch that episode where she tells her side of the story.  >:(
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: One Step Ahead on June 23, 2005, 03:22:52 PM
watch out Mobell.  you are starting to get a little militant there.

Am I starting to sound like the type of person who wears locs?! ;)

LMAO.  yes
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: angelus on June 23, 2005, 03:32:50 PM
I'm sick of these news stories about millionaire celebs/athletes/rockstars/etc whining about racism. Oprah couldn't shop at a specific place because they were closing...OH THE HORROR :o :o :o. Perhaps she will get pitied by her fan base and parade herself as the "abused black woman" and everyone will race to her aid whilst the black woman with 3 kids who lives in the gutter will get chased out of the 7-11 by a paranoid neo-nazi clerk. Oh but who suffers worst??

Well oprah of course! after all, how can she be expected to be treated like one of the oppressed masses.

Yeah I'll take up oprah's cause when I see her buck naked arse chained, gagged, and drug across stage by a giggling Jaque chirac. But untill then I shall save my sympathy for those who aren't millionaires.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: Rudy Huckleberry on June 23, 2005, 03:35:17 PM
I'm sick of these news stories about millionaire celebs/athletes/rockstars/etc whining about racism. Oprah couldn't shop at a specific place because they were closing...OH THE HORROR :o :o :o. Perhaps she will get pitied by her fan base and parade herself as the "abused black woman" and everyone will race to her aid whilst the black woman with 3 kids who lives in the gutter will get chased out of the 7-11 by a paranoid neo-nazi clerk. Oh but who suffers worst??

Well oprah of course! after all, how can she be expected to be treated like one of the oppressed masses.

Yeah I'll take up oprah's cause when I see her buck naked arse chained, gagged, and drug across stage by a giggling Jaque chirac. But untill then I shall save my sympathy for those who aren't millionaires.

You can't have sympathy for both?  Money eliminates a person's ability to suffer abuse?
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: twarga on June 23, 2005, 03:44:12 PM
I went to France a few years ago and found them a little less than friendly.  I was living in Germany at the time, so it was nothing new since the Germans are far from snuggly themselves.  I found the Scottish people to be very polite and accommodating, as well as the Italians.  Different countries (and cities for that matter) behave differently toward foreigners.  The French can be cold and aloof, especially to non-French speaking people... NEWS FLASH!!
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: angelus on June 23, 2005, 03:45:06 PM


You can't have sympathy for both?  Money eliminates a person's ability to suffer abuse?

Yes but not much for oprah. Miss Oprah can rack up a credit card, buy a hundred boxes of chocolate, fly to hawaii to make herself feel much much better. The poor person suffers much more due to several reasons....first being the feeling of being tRaPpEd in a hopeless situation.

No money doesn't solve every problem but it sure does alleviate a lot of them.

I'll also say, I don't hate Oprah or rich people. What I hate is that her petty little problem becomes international news. She couldn't buy clothes or jewelry....whatever. What about the woman who couldn't get to the store to buy milk for her baby? What about having to take three trains to get to the store because all the ones in your neighborhood are liquor stores? What about Oprah's petty gripe eclipses the real problems of the working poor in this country?
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: One Step Ahead on June 23, 2005, 03:46:09 PM
Yeah, making accommodations like this for celebs is totally standard.  It is odd that they didn't care if Opera talked up their handbags.

They frankly don't need another celebrity talking up their handbags.  They're Heremes. They've been around before Oprah, and they'll be around long after no one cares what bag she has.  I was just at Louis Vuitton and they have an inch thick binder filled with tabloid cutouts so people can figure out which bag they saw which star with and buy it.  I'm sure Heremes isn't going to be that hurt if Oprah starts carrying Chanel instead. 

Yeah, I'm sure it was that kind of attitude that got them where they are.  Look, it's definitely not the smartest way to go to piss off ANY celeb...esp. one like Oprah to whom other celebs listen.  How much you wanna bet her friend Julia Roberts stops shopping there too?

I hate to break it to you, but they look at EVERYONE that way in those kinds of stores. I'm white as can be and I feel incredibly uncomfortable at those high end places, even when I'm there to actually shop. There's also a huge difference in the way someone carries themselves and presents themselves. If I walk into Gucci wearing Adidas pants and a tshirt, I don't get looked at the same way I do when I walk in wearing a leather coat and button-down. There are always black people in the Louis store nearest me, and the ones who look like they have money are treated with kid gloves, and the rest (black and white) aren't. There are black women in there all the time dressed to the nines, and they have salespeople drooling over them. I also guarantee that if I took my lily-white self to a store in an all black neighborhood, I'd get more than a few looks.

Racism and skepticism is not a white or black characteristic. It affects everyone.

I hate to break it to you, but I'm not just referring to Hermes-esque places here.  When was the last time you were followed around a fish market?  Happened to me more than once.

Yes, people might look at you funny if you walked into a Black-owned establishment in a Black neighborhood.  But how often do you shop there?  Conversely, if I want to eat I have to go to a White-owned grocery store.  If I want clothes, I go to the White man's store.  If I want hair products, even in my own neighborhood, the Koreans own them - and they even follow us around?  Racism and skepticism may affect us all, but they *hardly* affect us equally.

I'm not saying that racism doesn't exist and that people don't encounter it in certain situations.  This discussion revolved around Oprah Winfrey and Hermes, and instead of believing the store that had video evidence to back its claims, everyone immediately acted like it was the "white man" being racist instead of a rich celebrity not getting her way (whether she threw a hissy fit or not).  When a store doesn't want someone to come in, no matter what their race, they don't politely invite you back the next day with an engraved card.  

Secondly, to respond to other points, French nationalism conspires against anyone non-French.  I've spent five years studying comparative politics and international relations, and I hope I would know at least that much.  I guarantee that if Hermes (or any other French instiution) was going to act out of racial motivation, they would have assuredly done so toward more than just Africans.  You are mistaken if you don't think a group of white people talking Italian or a group of anyone even slightly cocoa colored talking Spanish, Arabic or anything else wouldn't be viewed with skepticism.   They are also, given our treatment of their country lately, very unlikely to be openly hospitable to someone they know is a rich American, or a poor American,f or that matter.  The French have a lot going for them, but they aren't known for their politeness, especially to outsiders.        

Lastly, I'm from Detroit.  I don't need a lecture on race relations, and you were very presumptous to assume that I wouldn't have any experiences in non-white establishments.  I shop in multi-cultural and multi-ethnic stores all the time, and sometimes I have pleasant expereinces, and sometimes I don't.  If I go into the Korean market with my Asian friend, we are looked at with horror, as though we are going to go conceive a mixed race child in their frozen foods section.  The English translation for the Chinese term used to define a white person is "white devil," for goodness sake.  As I said, racism and skeptcism affect us all, and you are correct in saying to varying degrees, but it is not the white man constantly seeking to beat down the black man, as it seems to be argued so often.      

As a white person, who has worked in retail, I find it very offensive the conclusion seemingly reached that all, or a majority of us are out to nab black people.  I can assure you I spent much more time following around creepy white guys and unruly white skater teenagers than I ever did worrying about any black people.  I very much doubt that everytime you go to the grocery store you are followed around by detectives, and if you are, you really need to reevaluate where you shop.  Maybe try Marshall Field's or KMart instead of the "white man's store."  

skepticism but not rudeness.  We are in a new era of EU open borders.  Have you actually been to France?  French nationalism as a construct is in part based on the imaginary of the French social pact.  It is not for some reason that the slight tan Nicolas Sarkozy stands a good chance of becoming the next French president even though he is the decendent of immigrants.  The question is to what extent race colors the perceived boundaries of citizenship.  Doubtful that you will get any "French" person to claim the statesman Senghor or Cesaire as French, despite their long residence in the country.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: _BP_ on June 23, 2005, 03:48:39 PM
For those who missed it:

A) Black person who has been through something similar: "Man sure seems racist to me.  Matter of fact, that's the third time some sh*t like that happened to me and my friends.  Can't be any coincidence!."

B) White person who has obviously never had a similar experience i.e no context:  "you need to show me the ashes from the cross burning in your backyard, or a videotape, something..otherwise, racism? What racism?"

None of us really know what happened.  So we had three pages of speculation so far...great. My question is this: why do you guys think that there is a marked difference in the response in situations like this....almost perfectly aligned by race?  Any thoughts?  Or do you not agree that it's like this?
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: Rudy Huckleberry on June 23, 2005, 03:51:52 PM
Hmm...okay, FIRST of all you need to calm down.  No one said you never shop in multicultural environments, only that you don't shop in Black-owned stores that often.  Do you?  I know I don't - we don't own that many stores, not even in our own neighborhoods.

2. Did I say that "every time go to the grocery store [I am] followed by detectives?  Please.  All I did was counter your earlier point that my shopping experience as a Black person is the same as yours as a White person - the suspicions leveled against us are not limited to boutiques, as you seem to imply in your earlier response.

3. I'm from South Carolina.  You're from Detroit.  So what?  You think I can't tell you a bit about race relations living my life as a minority while you slip into that status only in situations like visiting the Korean market with your Asian friend?

Look, just like many White people's best friend is Black, my best friend is Asian. :o :D  I know race relations aren't just about White people beating down Black people.  But did you really think we were going to discuss the oppression of Arabs by Israelis on a thread about the Oprah incident?
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: One Step Ahead on June 23, 2005, 03:53:53 PM
For those who missed it:

A) Black person who has been through something similar: "Man sure seems racist to me.  Matter of fact, that's the third time some sh*t like that happened to me and my friends.  Can't be any coincidence!."

B) White person who has obviously never had a similar experience i.e no context:  "you need to show me the ashes from the cross burning in your backyard, or a videotape, something..otherwise, racism? What racism?"

None of us really know what happened.  So we had three pages of speculation so far...great. My question is this: why do you guys think that there is a marked difference in the response in situations like this....almost perfectly aligned by race?  Any thoughts?  Or do you not agree that it's like this?


BP, I am enjoying discussing the French imaginary with such distinguished colleagues.  Might I suggest you refrain from bringing us back to topic until I have properly delineated the discursive process that defining citizenship within Republicanism creates.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: angelus on June 23, 2005, 03:54:39 PM
I've never been thrown out of a store. Even the fancier ones. Stared at? yes. followed? yes.
I'm white and cannot know what it is too be black. I have always been white and will always be so. I can only speculate what it must feel like to be treated like dirt in the contexts of which this thread speaks.

However, one could ask wether or not one gets the attention they expect.

Perhaps oprah expected to be denied access, thus the world around her confirmed her expectations.

For those who missed it:

A) Black person who has been through something similar: "Man sure seems racist to me.  Matter of fact, that's the third time some sh*t like that happened to me and my friends.  Can't be any coincidence!."

B) White person who has obviously never had a similar experience i.e no context:  "you need to show me the ashes from the cross burning in your backyard, or a videotape, something..otherwise, racism? What racism?"

None of us really know what happened.  So we had three pages of speculation so far...great. My question is this: why do you guys think that there is a marked difference in the response in situations like this....almost perfectly aligned by race?  Any thoughts?  Or do you not agree that it's like this?

Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: Rudy Huckleberry on June 23, 2005, 03:56:13 PM
I'd love to see comments on BP's question.

I'll also point out that no one thinks Oprah's situation is equal to the problem of world hunger or anything.  Seriously.  There are a lot of things that make me wonder why they get so much airtime - i.e Natalie Holloway, Billy Graham's last crusade, Prince William's graduation...  Why is it SO annoying to hear Oprah getting a piece of the action?  Is this now a discussion about the press?
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: steve23ucsb on June 23, 2005, 03:57:55 PM
umm... Oprah did NOT feel discriminated against. She felt embarrassed that she and an "entourage" showed up at a store and her celebrity status did not gain her access after hours.

And remember, boycott France!

 ;)
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: jdohno on June 23, 2005, 04:00:36 PM
I cut and pasted that from the article which is the first post in the thread. I don't know if you realized that. Also, the Daily News is with the New York Post in my book. Both can be fun to read but if they announced the Martians were landing at 3pm, I wouldn't blink.

"The source also told The Daily News that Oprah arrived at the store near closing time, though there were still shoppers inside, to buy a watch for friend and singer Tina Turner."
But the article said there were still shoppers inside and she was just going to buy a watch. I'm sure Oprah was aware that it was near closing time. The store could have closed the doors and just let Oprah get her watch. But I did retail a long time ago too and understand what you are saying about those lingering customers.

Near closing time?  Try AFTER closing time.



Of course, The Daily News is the bible of truth and honesty in journalism.  I so miss their in-depth reports on Bennifer. 
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: One Step Ahead on June 23, 2005, 04:01:17 PM
Yeah, making accommodations like this for celebs is totally standard.  It is odd that they didn't care if Opera talked up their handbags.

They frankly don't need another celebrity talking up their handbags.  They're Heremes. They've been around before Oprah, and they'll be around long after no one cares what bag she has.  I was just at Louis Vuitton and they have an inch thick binder filled with tabloid cutouts so people can figure out which bag they saw which star with and buy it.  I'm sure Heremes isn't going to be that hurt if Oprah starts carrying Chanel instead. 

Yeah, I'm sure it was that kind of attitude that got them where they are.  Look, it's definitely not the smartest way to go to piss off ANY celeb...esp. one like Oprah to whom other celebs listen.  How much you wanna bet her friend Julia Roberts stops shopping there too?

I hate to break it to you, but they look at EVERYONE that way in those kinds of stores. I'm white as can be and I feel incredibly uncomfortable at those high end places, even when I'm there to actually shop. There's also a huge difference in the way someone carries themselves and presents themselves. If I walk into Gucci wearing Adidas pants and a tshirt, I don't get looked at the same way I do when I walk in wearing a leather coat and button-down. There are always black people in the Louis store nearest me, and the ones who look like they have money are treated with kid gloves, and the rest (black and white) aren't. There are black women in there all the time dressed to the nines, and they have salespeople drooling over them. I also guarantee that if I took my lily-white self to a store in an all black neighborhood, I'd get more than a few looks.

Racism and skepticism is not a white or black characteristic. It affects everyone.

I hate to break it to you, but I'm not just referring to Hermes-esque places here.  When was the last time you were followed around a fish market?  Happened to me more than once.

Yes, people might look at you funny if you walked into a Black-owned establishment in a Black neighborhood.  But how often do you shop there?  Conversely, if I want to eat I have to go to a White-owned grocery store.  If I want clothes, I go to the White man's store.  If I want hair products, even in my own neighborhood, the Koreans own them - and they even follow us around?  Racism and skepticism may affect us all, but they *hardly* affect us equally.

I'm not saying that racism doesn't exist and that people don't encounter it in certain situations.  This discussion revolved around Oprah Winfrey and Hermes, and instead of believing the store that had video evidence to back its claims, everyone immediately acted like it was the "white man" being racist instead of a rich celebrity not getting her way (whether she threw a hissy fit or not).  When a store doesn't want someone to come in, no matter what their race, they don't politely invite you back the next day with an engraved card.  

Secondly, to respond to other points, French nationalism conspires against anyone non-French.  I've spent five years studying comparative politics and international relations, and I hope I would know at least that much.  I guarantee that if Hermes (or any other French instiution) was going to act out of racial motivation, they would have assuredly done so toward more than just Africans.  You are mistaken if you don't think a group of white people talking Italian or a group of anyone even slightly cocoa colored talking Spanish, Arabic or anything else wouldn't be viewed with skepticism.   They are also, given our treatment of their country lately, very unlikely to be openly hospitable to someone they know is a rich American, or a poor American,f or that matter.  The French have a lot going for them, but they aren't known for their politeness, especially to outsiders.        

Lastly, I'm from Detroit.  I don't need a lecture on race relations, and you were very presumptous to assume that I wouldn't have any experiences in non-white establishments.  I shop in multi-cultural and multi-ethnic stores all the time, and sometimes I have pleasant expereinces, and sometimes I don't.  If I go into the Korean market with my Asian friend, we are looked at with horror, as though we are going to go conceive a mixed race child in their frozen foods section.  The English translation for the Chinese term used to define a white person is "white devil," for goodness sake.  As I said, racism and skeptcism affect us all, and you are correct in saying to varying degrees, but it is not the white man constantly seeking to beat down the black man, as it seems to be argued so often.      

As a white person, who has worked in retail, I find it very offensive the conclusion seemingly reached that all, or a majority of us are out to nab black people.  I can assure you I spent much more time following around creepy white guys and unruly white skater teenagers than I ever did worrying about any black people.  I very much doubt that everytime you go to the grocery store you are followed around by detectives, and if you are, you really need to reevaluate where you shop.  Maybe try Marshall Field's or KMart instead of the "white man's store."  

skepticism but not rudeness.  We are in a new era of EU open borders.  Have you actually been to France?  French nationalism as a construct is in part based on the imaginary of the French social pact.  It is not for some reason that the slight tan Nicolas Sarkozy stands a good chance of becoming the next French president even though he is the decendent of immigrants.  The question is to what extent race colors the perceived boundaries of citizenship.  Doubtful that you will get any "French" person to claim the statesman Senghor or Cesaire as French, despite their long residence in the country.

What rudeness?  Oprah was the one who was rude.  The store politely told her they were closed, were setting up for a private event, and gave her a CARD to come back the next day!  That seems pretty damn nice to me!  It's more than I would expect being a middle class white guy.  

The French were, are, and probably always will be skeptical of anyone who isn't French.  My point was that I don't think they would single out an African American woman for discrimination anymore than they would a white American, or an Arab, or anyone else they currently have a problem with.  The open borders provided by the EU have not made the average Frenchman very happy, and in fact, has made them worried about being overtaken by Turkish immigrants seeking employment.  
In the end, however, it doesn't even matter, because according to the actual evidence avaiable, Hermes didn't discriminate against Oprah.  She tried to trade on her celebrity status and it didn't work out (this time).  Moving on...  

I would agree with you that they would single out Arabs and Africans-- it isn't for nothing that French persons of Arab heritage started a whole antiracist movement in the 80s or that the French have been accused of using the rhetoric of laicité to discriminate against Muslims.  Read my posts regarding "whites."
At the end of the day it matters just like it matters to your people  :o-- kidding by the way, that OJ got off.  BP and Mobell have hit the nail on the head, it is a matter of perception.  Frankly both sides are picking the elements they like and are hammering away.  You haven't seen the video; most of the black people on board haven't spoken to Oprah, but deep down we know what we know.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: angelus on June 23, 2005, 04:03:09 PM
I'd love to see comments on BP's question.

I'll also point out that no one thinks Oprah's situation is equal to the problem of world hunger or anything.  Seriously.  There are a lot of things that make me wonder why they get so much airtime - i.e Natalie Holloway, Billy Graham's last crusade, Prince William's graduation...  Why is it SO annoying to hear Oprah getting a piece of the action?  Is this now a discussion about the press?

OH YES!!! Let's talk about the press. Notice how many children are kidnapped and types are kidnapped versus the ones the media focuses on?? ARUBA. Heavy black population...blond, blue eyed, white girl disappears. Media focuses on this because it feeds into the stereotypes of people.

The black as exotic, dangerous, foreign, sensual, primal, sexy.

The white girl as innocent, virginal, pure, defenseless, sexless.

The 1950's mentality still exists in many places....lynchings may not happen anymore but we can only geuss how many parents would freak if their kid was marrying a black person. There's also a great deal of sociological and cultural variants that fit into this.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: twarga on June 23, 2005, 04:12:00 PM
At the end of the day it all boils down to Oprah not getting special treatment after closing time at a high-end store.  It's a terrible tragedy, of course, but I'll do the best I can to still get to sleep tonight.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: jdohno on June 23, 2005, 04:26:41 PM
At the end of the day it all boils down to Oprah not getting special treatment after closing time at a high-end store.  It's a terrible tragedy, of course, but I'll do the best I can to still get to sleep tonight.

A part of me does have to agree with you after reading this full article from AP.

French Luxury Store Apologizes to Oprah 1 hour, 41 minutes ago
 

The luxury store Hermes has apologized to Oprah Winfrey for turning her away from one of its Paris boutiques last week, saying it was closed for a public relations event when she came knocking.

The talk-show host and "an entourage" unsuccessfully tried to enter an Hermes boutique on Paris' posh Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore at 6:45 p.m. on June 14, Hermes said in a statement.

"People were in the store and they were shopping. Oprah was at the door and she was not allowed into the store," Gayle King, a friend of Winfrey who witnessed the incident, told syndicated TV show "Entertainment Tonight." "Oprah describes it herself as `one of the most humiliating moments of her life.'"

King said it's unlikely that Winfrey will shop there again. "She's really OK. Her position is, `I will shop where people appreciate my business, and I don't believe that any longer includes Hermes,'" King said.

The store's normal closing time is 6:30 p.m., although high-end shops are known to make exceptions for celebrities. On that particular night, however, "a private public relations event was being prepared inside," the statement from Hermes said.

"Hermes regrets not having been able to welcome Madame Oprah Winfrey and the people accompanying her to give them all the attention and service that Hermes is committed to giving each of its clients in the world," said the statement, released Tuesday. "Hermes expresses its sincere regrets for any misunderstanding that these circumstances could have caused."

A spokeswoman for Winfrey's Chicago-based Harpo Productions told The Associated Press Thursday the talk-show host plans to discuss her "Crash" moment when "The Oprah Winfrey Show" returns to the air in September.

"Crash" is a film dealing with race relations.

Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: Rudy Huckleberry on June 23, 2005, 04:30:19 PM
Hey y'all, racial issue or not - how much you wanna bet that clerk and manager are in TROUBLE...?  The CEO is prolly going to chew them out for allowing this kind of publicity to be generated.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: twarga on June 23, 2005, 04:31:12 PM
And the minute she opens her mouth about her 'crash' experience, Hermes should sue her ass off for libel and slander!  And those 'shoppers' in the store were probably employees setting up for the event and not really shoppers at all.  Oprah's just embarassed that someone didn't bow to her highness and wants to make it about something it's not.

How much do you want to be that her lawyers advise her against opening her fat mouth about it next season... either that or face another beef/cattleman fiasco.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: Rudy Huckleberry on June 23, 2005, 04:41:35 PM
Twarga, you seem to bear some deep-seated hatred for Oprah.  Is this something we should talk about? :-\ :P
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: _____ on June 23, 2005, 04:41:55 PM
I was just about to post a copy of that article myself...  Considering that the article mentions nothing about race relations, even from Oprah's people, I'm beginning to think this was all a big misunderstanding...

She got turned down, yes, but I don't know that this particular instance was due to race--especially if Oprah's not even saying it was...
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: One Step Ahead on June 23, 2005, 04:46:41 PM
I was just about to post a copy of that article myself...  Considering that the article mentions nothing about race relations, even from Oprah's people, I'm beginning to think this was all a big misunderstanding...

She got turned down, yes, but I don't know that this particular instance was due to race--especially if Oprah's not even saying it was...

you misunderstood the point, the question was one of deconstructing the binary nature of French citizenship with includes elements of a social pact à la Rousseau as well as a underlying racialization of the French national identity.  please stay on topic.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: twarga on June 23, 2005, 04:46:53 PM
Twarga, you seem to bear some deep-seated hatred for Oprah.  Is this something we should talk about? :-\ :P

Maybe we should.  She's just such a pretentious snob who seems to me to be sooooo out of touch with the black community... that is, until it suits her fancy.  Her show is so self-serving, like a big I Love Oprahthon.  

I need therapy.  I realize that now.  Do they make shrinks that help with my specific disorder?
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: One Step Ahead on June 23, 2005, 04:48:19 PM
Twarga, you seem to bear some deep-seated hatred for Oprah.  Is this something we should talk about? :-\ :P

Maybe we should.  She's just such a pretentious snob who seems to me to be sooooo out of touch with the black community... that is, until it suits her fancy.  Her show is so self-serving, like a big I Love Oprahthon.  

I need therapy.  I realize that now.  Do they make shrinks that help with my specific disorder?

we could sign you up to see Dr. Phil  :D
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: Rudy Huckleberry on June 23, 2005, 04:52:22 PM
Twarga, you seem to bear some deep-seated hatred for Oprah.  Is this something we should talk about? :-\ :P

Maybe we should.  She's just such a pretentious snob who seems to me to be sooooo out of touch with the black community... that is, until it suits her fancy.  Her show is so self-serving, like a big I Love Oprahthon. 

I need therapy.  I realize that now.  Do they make shrinks that help with my specific disorder?

Yeah I don't like her show.  Love the magazine though.  One of the reason's I'm inclined to believe she may have felt it was *something* racial is precisely because she's so race-free, in most situations.  Her fan base is mostly White women!

Hey, Oprah really went through a lot so I won't begrudge her the love-athon.  I'm glad she can love herself now.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: twarga on June 23, 2005, 04:56:09 PM
Twarga, you seem to bear some deep-seated hatred for Oprah.  Is this something we should talk about? :-\ :P

Maybe we should.  She's just such a pretentious snob who seems to me to be sooooo out of touch with the black community... that is, until it suits her fancy.  Her show is so self-serving, like a big I Love Oprahthon.  

I need therapy.  I realize that now.  Do they make shrinks that help with my specific disorder?

we could sign you up to see Dr. Phil  :D

He scares me a little.  He'd say, "You hate Oprah?  How's that workin' for ya?" and I'd run screaming, just like I do in my dreams.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: Rudy Huckleberry on June 23, 2005, 07:25:09 PM
Twarga, you seem to bear some deep-seated hatred for Oprah.  Is this something we should talk about? :-\ :P

Maybe we should.  She's just such a pretentious snob who seems to me to be sooooo out of touch with the black community... that is, until it suits her fancy.  Her show is so self-serving, like a big I Love Oprahthon. 

I need therapy.  I realize that now.  Do they make shrinks that help with my specific disorder?

we could sign you up to see Dr. Phil  :D

He scares me a little.  He'd say, "You hate Oprah?  How's that workin' for ya?" and I'd run screaming, just like I do in my dreams.

ROFL.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: ViagraSaint on June 23, 2005, 07:30:24 PM

so now the only support for the argument is, "Oprah was discriminated against because I was discriminated against" ?
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: Rudy Huckleberry on June 23, 2005, 07:42:22 PM

so now the only support for the argument is, "Oprah was discriminated against because I was discriminated against" ?

Where did this come from? ::)  None of us were there, the point is all y'all don't need to automatically assume it didn't happen just like we can't assume it did.  Stop flaming.  This thread is dead.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: amarain on June 23, 2005, 07:48:35 PM
It's ok, twarga. I admit it too: I don't like Oprah. While I admire the fact that she has made herself incredibly successful out of virtually nothing, her ego just seems ENORMOUS. Even when she's doing 'generous' things, it's still all about her. Like, "loook what a woooooonderful person I am!! Look at me giving money to these poor people! Look at me holding this crippled child! I am a saint!" Barf. Martha Stewart may be a grade A female dog, but at least she's never pretended to be Mother Teresa.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: ViagraSaint on June 23, 2005, 07:51:36 PM

so now the only support for the argument is, "Oprah was discriminated against because I was discriminated against" ?

Where did this come from? ::)  None of us were there, the point is all y'all don't need to automatically assume it didn't happen just like we can't assume it did.  Stop flaming.  This thread is dead.

sorry, no one is automatically assuming anything.  In fact we accepted Oprah's story as fact until the camera evidence showed her story was mistaken.  At that point doubt on her story is established (no assumption here).  Now the onus of proof is on the other side since one can't prove a negative.  that is the reason the thread is dead
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: ViagraSaint on June 23, 2005, 08:20:08 PM
It's ok, twarga. I admit it too: I don't like Oprah. While I admire the fact that she has made herself incredibly successful out of virtually nothing, her ego just seems ENORMOUS. Even when she's doing 'generous' things, it's still all about her. Like, "loook what a woooooonderful person I am!! Look at me giving money to these poor people! Look at me holding this crippled child! I am a saint!" Barf. Martha Stewart may be a grade A female dog, but at least she's never pretended to be Mother Teresa.


Ha! The same reasons you dislike Oprah are the reasons I like her.  Any time the Southern Baptists go after a person, you know this person demands respect.  If Oprah wasn't in entertainment, she'd be a BIGLAW partner.  Pride, Vanity, Glory, all admirable traits.   ;D
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: Victor on June 24, 2005, 03:28:31 AM
A question . . . why bring up the fact that Oprah is a billionare? Thats irrelevant. The issue here is whether the store was being racist. I believe Oprah was just mad because someone actually said no to her. She probably thinks that since she's a billionare she's not allowed to be treated like the rest of us.

All those who cried racism should face the wall and hold your hands up for an hour.


Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: One Step Ahead on June 24, 2005, 03:41:05 AM

so now the only support for the argument is, "Oprah was discriminated against because I was discriminated against" ?

Where did this come from? ::)  None of us were there, the point is all y'all don't need to automatically assume it didn't happen just like we can't assume it did.  Stop flaming.  This thread is dead.

sorry, no one is automatically assuming anything.  In fact we accepted Oprah's story as fact until the camera evidence showed her story was mistaken.  At that point doubt on her story is established (no assumption here).  Now the onus of proof is on the other side since one can't prove a negative.  that is the reason the thread is dead

if you haven't seen the camera "evidence," you need to shut the #@!* up. :o  The fact remains based on these two articles we still can't tell what happened.  And like they couldn't have spliced the tapes.  Let's be real now.

Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: ViagraSaint on June 24, 2005, 05:01:25 AM

so now the only support for the argument is, "Oprah was discriminated against because I was discriminated against" ?

Where did this come from? ::)  None of us were there, the point is all y'all don't need to automatically assume it didn't happen just like we can't assume it did.  Stop flaming.  This thread is dead.

sorry, no one is automatically assuming anything.  In fact we accepted Oprah's story as fact until the camera evidence showed her story was mistaken.  At that point doubt on her story is established (no assumption here).  Now the onus of proof is on the other side since one can't prove a negative.  that is the reason the thread is dead

if you haven't seen the camera "evidence," you need to shut the #@!* up. :o  The fact remains based on these two articles we still can't tell what happened.  And like they couldn't have spliced the tapes.  Let's be real now.



not only are you accusing them of racism, but also splicing the tapes?  And then you say "Let's be real now" ?  Everyone knows it's impossible to argue against the paranoid conspiracy minded argument. 

You're absolutely right.  The tapes were spliced, and since it was in France, obviously the Priory Sion is involved, with links to Knight Templars and the holy bloodline.  In fact, Oprah would have stumbled across the Holy Grail within a store named "Hermes", which is obviously a pagan front.  Obviously the CIA and FBI, which has a racist past, wouldn't want this power to be wielded by a non-WASP person such as Oprah, which is the reason Bush is cutting funding from Iraq and diverting it to Intelligence.  I bet you've also uncovered the secret CIA project named PHORA, specifically designed to stop Oprah in her quest for the Holy Grail.  And it is no coincidence that George Bush hasn't made a comment on this issue.  It can only be inferred from silence that he is a part of this clandestine racist conspiracy against Oprah.

"Tape splicing"? Give me a break  :D
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: jdohno on June 24, 2005, 08:57:19 AM
Speaking of what if it happened to Tom Cruise......

Oprah's Paris Put-Off


It wasn't quite a 'Pretty Woman' snub, but executives at the legendary Hermès label are still scrambling to apologize to millionaire OPRAH WINFREY after she was reportedly turned away from their Paris store on June 14. And now Oprah's pals are speaking out!

TOM CRUISE told PAT O'BRIEN Thursday night that he was "just shocked" by the incident.

"I know that those kinds of people are not the majority," he said. "For that happen to Oprah, we all love Oprah. Oprah is such a great woman. I'm sorry that happened. I'll call her tomorrow."


The high-end designer boutique publicly apologized this week for denying the TV queen, her friend GAYLE KING and others entry to the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore store when they arrived 15 minutes after its regular closing time at 6:30 p.m.

On that particular night, "a private public relations event was being prepared inside," the statement said. But Oprah's friend Gayle tells "The Insider" that there's more to the story.

"I was there, I saw it," Gayle says. "It was really, really bad. People were in the store and they were shopping. Oprah was at the door and she was not allowed into the store. Oprah describes it herself as one of the most humiliating moments of her life."

A power player worth at least $225 million, Oprah is known for her deep pockets and generosity with gifts.

"This is someone who has bought 12 Birkin bags, none of them for herself," Gayle says. "All of the Birkin bags she has bought in the past have been gifts for friends. She had a 13th on order, which has now been cancelled."

In its apology, the luxury leather and designer goods merchant said, "Hermès regrets not having been able to welcome Madame Oprah Winfrey and the people accompanying her to give them all the attention and service that Hermès is committed to giving each of its clients in the world."

Gayle promises that Oprah will talk personally about the incident when her daytime talk show begins shooting in the fall.

"No one will tell this story better than Oprah," she says. "I'm sorry she's not taping now!"
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: One Step Ahead on June 24, 2005, 09:23:57 AM

so now the only support for the argument is, "Oprah was discriminated against because I was discriminated against" ?

Where did this come from? ::)  None of us were there, the point is all y'all don't need to automatically assume it didn't happen just like we can't assume it did.  Stop flaming.  This thread is dead.

sorry, no one is automatically assuming anything.  In fact we accepted Oprah's story as fact until the camera evidence showed her story was mistaken.  At that point doubt on her story is established (no assumption here).  Now the onus of proof is on the other side since one can't prove a negative.  that is the reason the thread is dead

if you haven't seen the camera "evidence," you need to shut the #@!* up. :o  The fact remains based on these two articles we still can't tell what happened.  And like they couldn't have spliced the tapes.  Let's be real now.



not only are you accusing them of racism, but also splicing the tapes?  And then you say "Let's be real now" ?  Everyone knows it's impossible to argue against the paranoid conspiracy minded argument. 

You're absolutely right.  The tapes were spliced, and since it was in France, obviously the Priory Sion is involved, with links to Knight Templars and the holy bloodline.  In fact, Oprah would have stumbled across the Holy Grail within a store named "Hermes", which is obviously a pagan front.  Obviously the CIA and FBI, which has a racist past, wouldn't want this power to be wielded by a non-WASP person such as Oprah, which is the reason Bush is cutting funding from Iraq and diverting it to Intelligence.  I bet you've also uncovered the secret CIA project named PHORA, specifically designed to stop Oprah in her quest for the Holy Grail.  And it is no coincidence that George Bush hasn't made a comment on this issue.  It can only be inferred from silence that he is a part of this clandestine racist conspiracy against Oprah.

"Tape splicing"? Give me a break  :D

obviously irony and sarcasm are not your forte. 
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: jdohno on June 24, 2005, 11:27:13 AM
Well it looks like Twarga was right. The Washington Post, a credible newspaper, just released this article.

Oprah and the view from outside Hermes' door
Fruitless trip to Paris boutique shows fame doesn’t open all doors

FASHION
By Robin Givhan
The Washington Post
Updated: 7:11 a.m. ET June 24, 2005


WASHINGTON - The one thing that Oprah Winfrey and Hermes agree on is that the talk show host did not get a chance to do any early-evening shopping recently at the company's Paris store. Why she was denied an opportunity to spend her money at the expensive boutique is what has gossip columnists, radio commentators and, in particular, the Internet reverberating with a chorus of girrrrrrlllll.
On June 14, Winfrey arrived at the Hermes shop at 24 Faubourg Saint-Honore. The street is well traveled by tourists and the well-to-do because of its abundance of famous designer boutiques. In the first (and untrue, both sides say) version of the incident, reported Monday in the New York Post, Hermes staff members stationed at the door failed to recognize Winfrey, as she was not in full glamour makeup with her TV hair. They denied her entry and, the gossip item claimed, told her that they have been "having a problem with North Africans lately."
The bloggers raced to their computers: "Oprah Musta Forgot She Is Black." "Oprah w/out makeup, hair done, etc. is really ugly. Seriously, I love Oprah, but what we see on TV is very different from how Oprah really looks."

"That's France for you."

On Wednesday, the New York Daily News weighed in with a different version of the story, saying Winfrey arrived just after the store had closed at 6:30 p.m. and there was no doubt about her identity. She saw shoppers still milling about inside and asked the Hermes staff at the door if she could dash in to make a quick purchase. A clerk said no, and so did a store manager. An unnamed "friend" quoted in the Daily News didn't use the term racism but suggested that if Celine Dion or Barbra Streisand had made a similar request, there wouldn't have been a problem. In this telling of the tale, the entire population of northern Africa was not maligned.

Internet postings often blended the two versions and were accompanied by outraged commentary, indignation and suggestions that Hermes start putting together an especially nice gift basket in the form of a crocodile Birkin. (The company had no comment on the subject of apologetic bouquets, jewelry or handbags.)

A spokeswoman at Winfrey's Harpo Productions confirmed the Daily News version of the story, saying that the incident was "Oprah's 'Crash' moment" -- a reference to the film in which racism unfolds in complex, subtle and surprising interactions. Winfrey also contacted Hermes' U.S. president to inform him of the incident. She plans to tell the story on her show when it returns from hiatus in September.

With the Internet painting an ever-grimmer portrait of the 168-year-old French company, Hermes issued a statement from its Paris headquarters apologizing for "not having been able to accommodate Ms. Winfrey and her team and to provide her with the service and care that Hermes strives to provide to each and every one of its customers worldwide. Hermes apologizes for any offense taken due to such circumstances."

The company also tells a slightly different version of the story. Hermes shuts its doors at 6:30, but on this particular evening the staff was preparing the store for a private event -- a presentation of ready-to-wear. As a result, there was a significant amount of activity in the boutique, which may have given the impression that shoppers were still browsing.

A Hermes spokeswoman said Winfrey arrived about 6:45, accompanied by three other people. A clerk and security guard were at the door and there was no discussion of North Africans or anyone else, according to the store's security videotape, which the company inspected after the incident. The guard explained that the store was closed. The clerk offered up her business card with an invitation for Winfrey to return the next day. The store manager, preparing for that evening's event, was not at the door.

Hermes regularly lavishes celebrities with all of the attention they have come to expect, the spokeswoman said. But Winfrey's visit was an after-hours surprise at a particularly inopportune moment.


One could argue that perhaps this was simply an example of employees not empowered to be proactive, even for a celebrity who could purchase every watch and handbag in the place and come back the next day for more. (The clerk, by the way, has not been forced to take up with an organ grinder on Boulevard Saint Germain; she remains gainfully employed.) It could be an example of a store treating a wealthy celebrity just like anyone else. It could be a case of rudeness. It could be racism. It could be a complicated blend of all that and more.

Hermes is a family-owned business that was founded as a harness shop in Paris in 1837. It is known for its luxuriously printed silk scarves and its handmade bags, namely the Birkin and the Kelly bag. It is one of fashion's most exclusive brands thanks to its high prices and its years-long Birkin waiting list that has risen to near mythic importance among high-end shoppers. The company makes little effort to reach a broad demographic. One of its silk squares retails for $320. A simple tie is $145. A basic Birkin costs about $6,000. A starter handbag is still a thousand-dollar investment.

Brands that cultivate an air of exclusivity breed paranoia, insecurity and suspicion as a byproduct. If the brand is perceived as being for a select few, there's a heightened sensitivity to the perception that the brand is not for you -- even if you happen to be extremely wealthy.

The fashion industry also is particularly ruthless about choosing its customers. Through sizing, pricing, geography and attitude, companies attempt to weed out those they don't deem representative of their image. There's a reason why so many designers steer clear of plus sizes. Fat women are not part of their fashion fantasy.

And there have been countless stories of well-known African Americans feeling snubbed. Cornel West in a three-piece suit couldn't get a cab in Manhattan. Vanessa Williams was mistaken for a waitress at a private dinner party even though she was wearing an evening gown. Condoleezza Rice -- before she became secretary of state -- reprimanded a salesgirl for showing her costume jewelry after she had requested the better pieces.

It is easy to believe that a clerk in a fancy store could be plagued by prejudices. But is it utterly naive to think she could also be indiscriminately brusque, dismissive or inflexible? The public probably will never know precisely what transpired in the case of Winfrey versus Hermes. The story has been taken over by the Internet, a forum not known for its subtlety and accuracy. (One posting had Winfrey going to Hermes to "get her hair done.")

People have argued that no matter what was going on inside the store, no matter what time it was, Winfrey -- the billionaire with millions of devoted fans who ask "How high?" when she says "Jump" -- should have been allowed to shop. It certainly would have been beneficial for the Hermes bottom line. But after-hours shopping is a favor, a perk. Not a right. There's nothing wrong with a store saying not tonight, madame, as long as the reason doesn't have anything to do with skin color. It's okay to say no to a celebrity, even when her name is Oprah.
© 2005 The Washington Post Company
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: Victor on June 24, 2005, 11:51:11 AM
Just as I figured.


Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on June 24, 2005, 11:59:47 AM
I've never been thrown out of a store. Even the fancier ones. Stared at? yes. followed? yes.
I'm white and cannot know what it is too be black. I have always been white and will always be so. I can only speculate what it must feel like to be treated like dirt in the contexts of which this thread speaks.

However, one could ask wether or not one gets the attention they expect.

Perhaps oprah expected to be denied access, thus the world around her confirmed her expectations.


I just had my first "hurry up and buy" of the 2005 yesterday in this store downstairs from my building.  This asian cat literally told me to get out of the store if I wasn't going to buy anything adn that if I wanted to read something I should go to a library.

To be honest, I had to laugh at that one.

Then I gave him the "Getthefukkkoutaheeeeeeere" and kept on reading the magazine I had picked up.  He kept talking, of course, and got even more agitated but whatever. 

Mind you, I was in full suit & tie, so objectively he had no reason to suspect that I did NOT have the intentions or ability to buy something.  Some people...

Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: Roxie on June 24, 2005, 12:22:12 PM
How much money do the full-timers in the really upscale boutiques make? Are they salaried with benefits plus commission? I have always wondered that but could never really find out.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: jdohno on June 24, 2005, 12:39:02 PM
D.a.m.n. And you were in a suit and tie. The magazine was probably only 3 or 4 dollars.
>:( >:( >:(



I just had my first "hurry up and buy" of the 2005 yesterday in this store downstairs from my building.  This asian cat literally told me to get out of the store if I wasn't going to buy anything adn that if I wanted to read something I should go to a library.

To be honest, I had to laugh at that one.

Then I gave him the "Getthefukkkoutaheeeeeeere" and kept on reading the magazine I had picked up.  He kept talking, of course, and got even more agitated but whatever. 

Mind you, I was in full suit & tie, so objectively he had no reason to suspect that I did NOT have the intentions or ability to buy something.  Some people...


Quote
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: twarga on June 24, 2005, 01:16:45 PM
I went to this Vietnamese nail salon one time to get tips, and the @sshole doing my nails was so bitter and angry.  He's over-filing my nails (and hurting me pretty badly) while saying, "You rich white lady.  You come get nails done.  You husband must be very rich."  I said, "No, I'm a paralegal and my husband is retired from the Air Force.  We're not rich, and you're hurting me."  He kept on going, saying, "You live in big house, rich white lady with rich white husband."  I was in shock!  I left there with throbbing fingers and he didn't get a tip, needless to say.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: Victor on June 24, 2005, 01:58:42 PM
I've never been thrown out of a store. Even the fancier ones. Stared at? yes. followed? yes.
I'm white and cannot know what it is too be black. I have always been white and will always be so. I can only speculate what it must feel like to be treated like dirt in the contexts of which this thread speaks.

However, one could ask wether or not one gets the attention they expect.

Perhaps oprah expected to be denied access, thus the world around her confirmed her expectations.


I just had my first "hurry up and buy" of the 2005 yesterday in this store downstairs from my building.  This asian cat literally told me to get out of the store if I wasn't going to buy anything adn that if I wanted to read something I should go to a library.

To be honest, I had to laugh at that one.

Then I gave him the "Getthefukkkoutaheeeeeeere" and kept on reading the magazine I had picked up.  He kept talking, of course, and got even more agitated but whatever. 

Mind you, I was in full suit & tie, so objectively he had no reason to suspect that I did NOT have the intentions or ability to buy something.  Some people...




WTF? What spot were you at?
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: amarain on June 24, 2005, 02:01:16 PM
I just had my first "hurry up and buy" of the 2005 yesterday in this store downstairs from my building.  This asian cat literally told me to get out of the store if I wasn't going to buy anything adn that if I wanted to read something I should go to a library.

To be honest, I had to laugh at that one.

Then I gave him the "Getthefukkkoutaheeeeeeere" and kept on reading the magazine I had picked up.  He kept talking, of course, and got even more agitated but whatever. 

Mind you, I was in full suit & tie, so objectively he had no reason to suspect that I did NOT have the intentions or ability to buy something.  Some people...



That's happened to me too. I can kind of understand why they don't want you to come into a bookstore, read stuff and then leave, but come on...no need to be the magazine nazi.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: Victor on June 24, 2005, 02:43:57 PM
Its funny how you can do that in NJ and theres a problem but if you do this in NYC its not an issue. You can catch me at Newport News reading a SLAM magazine while sitting down on a stack of newspapers while some Pakistan workers walk by and say absolutely nothing. I'll be there for a good 30 minutes too.

Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on June 25, 2005, 09:05:46 AM
Yeah, these cats over here are wack, yo.  Vic, it was that newstand downstairs from Prudential by that dunkin donuts down there.  I think I'll go in there and mess with cat on Monday and read the paper right in front of him.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on June 25, 2005, 09:21:40 AM
But yo, getting back on the main topic, the FRENCH love black women.  Take it back to Josephine Baker days.  If anybody loves black women its the french, so she more than likely just got shut out of the store on account of it being after hours and her ass got mad b/c she's a celebrity and the store should bend over backwards for her.  If this is the worst thing Oprah's had to endure as a black woman then she's been out of touch for a minute. 
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: One Step Ahead on June 25, 2005, 09:24:55 AM
But yo, getting back on the main topic, the FRENCH love black women.  Take it back to Josephine Baker days.  If anybody loves black women its the french, so she more than likely just got shut out of the store on account of it being after hours and her ass got mad b/c she's a celebrity and the store should bend over backwards for her.  If this is the worst thing Oprah's had to endure as a black woman then she's been out of touch for a minute. 

the French love to bang some black women that doesn't mean they want them shopping in their elite stores.  Have you ever seen some of the imagery they had of Josephine Baker?  very eroticized.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: One Step Ahead on June 25, 2005, 09:30:08 AM
But yo, getting back on the main topic, the FRENCH love black women.  Take it back to Josephine Baker days.  If anybody loves black women its the french, so she more than likely just got shut out of the store on account of it being after hours and her ass got mad b/c she's a celebrity and the store should bend over backwards for her.  If this is the worst thing Oprah's had to endure as a black woman then she's been out of touch for a minute. 

the French love to bang some black women that doesn't mean they want them shopping in their elite stores. Have you ever seen some of the imagery they had of Josephine Baker? very eroticized.

LOL. Wow, exactly what I was about to say.  You remember when I was almost molested that night?  SCARY. :o  No fooling with French men for me!

I thought you thought French men were très adorable...  :-*
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: One Step Ahead on June 25, 2005, 09:35:54 AM
homie, you need to fix your glasses if you thought that man was anywhere close to being fine.  :D 
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: blk_reign on June 25, 2005, 12:22:47 PM
that's disgusting




The fashion industry also is particularly ruthless about choosing its customers. Through sizing, pricing, geography and attitude, companies attempt to weed out those they don't deem representative of their image. There's a reason why so many designers steer clear of plus sizes. Fat women are not part of their fashion fantasy.

Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: LittleRussianPrincess, Esq. on June 25, 2005, 01:32:24 PM
But yo, getting back on the main topic, the FRENCH love black women.  Take it back to Josephine Baker days.  If anybody loves black women its the french, so she more than likely just got shut out of the store on account of it being after hours and her ass got mad b/c she's a celebrity and the store should bend over backwards for her.  If this is the worst thing Oprah's had to endure as a black woman then she's been out of touch for a minute. 

Do you mean that the French like African-American women, or just Black women in general?

When I go to France, I have to always note how stunning the Black women are there.  And the men aren't so bad either. ;)
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: elegantpearl01 on June 25, 2005, 07:03:34 PM
But yo, getting back on the main topic, the FRENCH love black women.  Take it back to Josephine Baker days.  If anybody loves black women its the french, so she more than likely just got shut out of the store on account of it being after hours and her ass got mad b/c she's a celebrity and the store should bend over backwards for her.  If this is the worst thing Oprah's had to endure as a black woman then she's been out of touch for a minute. 

the French love to bang some black women that doesn't mean they want them shopping in their elite stores.  Have you ever seen some of the imagery they had of Josephine Baker?  very eroticized.

Yes very Venus Hottentot...which is a very disturbing and sad story...
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: Victor on June 26, 2005, 11:09:10 PM
Yeah, these cats over here are wack, yo.  Vic, it was that newstand downstairs from Prudential by that dunkin donuts down there.  I think I'll go in there and mess with cat on Monday and read the paper right in front of him.

Oh that little mall? with Blimpie and a diner? Faggots!
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: jdohno on June 28, 2005, 03:19:28 PM
Oprah Gets Empathy After Boutique Rebuff
By ERIN TEXEIRA, AP National Writer
 8 minutes ago
 
Whether Oprah Winfrey was turned away from a bit of after-hours shopping in Paris because of a racist employee or a special event, news of the confrontation outside a luxury store has evoked empathy and anger from many American minorities who say they are routinely treated poorly — and sometimes with outright suspicion — by sales staffs in this country.

In living rooms and Internet chat rooms, the Winfrey case has sparked discussion of what many see as a chronic problem for minorities — particularly in high-end stores — no matter how educated, wealthy or accomplished the customer.

"The presumption in America is that if you have the wealth, you'll get equality — but where's Oprah's equality?" asked Bruce D. Haynes, a sociologist at the University of California, Davis. "It picks up on every inkling of discrimination that a black person might experience in daily life."

He added: "Many people are saying, 'I don't have the money, but Oprah represents what I could be ... She's like the black Donald Trump. And if it can happen to Oprah, it could happen to anyone."

The incident occurred when Winfrey stopped by Hermes on June 14 to buy a watch minutes after the boutique closed. Though she and three friends said they saw shoppers inside, neither a sales clerk nor manager would let them in.

Winfrey believes the store's staff had identified her, according to a spokeswoman from Harpo Production Inc., her company. Winfrey's friend, Gayle King, who was there, told Entertainment Tonight, "Oprah describes it as 'one of the most humiliating moments of her life.'" Harpo says Winfrey plans to discuss the incident in the context of race relations on her show this fall.

Hermes said in a statement it "regrets not having been able to welcome" Winfrey to the store, but that "a private public relations event was being prepared inside."

Winfrey has often plugged Hermes products — a $135 tea cup and saucer was featured in her magazine in 2001 and was still on her Web site Tuesday, along with the company's phone number. But she has said she will no longer be shopping in its stores.

Many other minorities boycott stores where they receive poor service, according to Harriette Cole, author of "How To Be," a book on black etiquette that recommends this tactic to counter biased treatment. Cole also recommends dressing well and, if followed, asking for shopping assistance.

"Unfortunately, this proves how deeply ingrained in global culture racism is," Cole said. "There is the assumption that a black person will do you harm, and/or the assumption that a black person has no place in a luxury establishment, cannot afford to buy the luxury item."

Michael Leake, a black pharmaceutical salesman in Toledo, Ohio, knows this experience all too well. "It happens all the time," he said. "That's just life."

Once, at a high-end shopping center in Los Angeles, he said, a sales clerk referred to a white customer as "sir," but turned to Leake and greeted him with, "What's up, homes?" He confronted the clerk.

"I was like, 'How's he "sir" and I'm your homey? I'm interested in why you speak to him in a more respectful way than you speak to me. We've all got money to spend here,'" Leake said.

Indeed, many companies fail to grasp that big-spending customers now come from every background imaginable, said Luke Visconti, co-founder of DiversityInc, a New Jersey-based business that advises companies on diversity issues.

Hermes, in its treatment of Winfrey and its response, "blew it to a degree that's hard to imagine," he said. "It's clearly bigoted. ... Think about what this did to their business. Think about all those people who have been oppressed (by this kind of behavior) who are going to be sympathetic to Oprah and not go back there."

Winfrey's influence is enormous: She reportedly earned $225 million last year, her daily talk show is seen in 111 countries and Forbes magazine recently named her America's most powerful celebrity. Some commentators have suggested that her extraordinary wealth, usually a buffer from the everyday trials faced by most blacks, has fueled her outrage.

But Emil Wilbiken, former editor of Vibe magazine, said it's not uncommon for black celebrities to receive poor treatment at high-end stores, where there are virtually no minorities in top positions. Sean "P. Diddy" Combs has devised a tactic to avoid poor treatment, he said.

"Puffy sends his people ahead to stores and shuts them down so he can shop privately, so this kind of thing doesn't happen," Wilbiken said.
"I've worked with young people who wanted to be stylists and work in fashion and they've never gone into a high-end boutique ... because they were afraid. They didn't think they were allowed. What flashes in my mind are images of water fountains that say 'whites only.'"

___
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: amarain on July 05, 2005, 09:23:51 AM
Quote
Sean "P. Diddy" Combs has devised a tactic to avoid poor treatment, he said.

"Puffy sends his people ahead to stores and shuts them down so he can shop privately, so this kind of thing doesn't happen," Wilbiken said.

Isn't it more likely that he shuts down the stores because he would rather have the whole store to himself and not have to mingle with those common people?
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: faith2005 on July 05, 2005, 10:27:24 AM
hey, my advisor in college is quoted in that article. interesting...thanks for posting it! :D
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: Muse on July 07, 2005, 08:10:30 AM
Whoa how did I miss this thread? I know Hermes is regretting turning Oprah down now. She's a very influential woman and can get her celeb friends to stop shopping there. My only concern about this incident is that I don't want celebrities of color to start crying wolf every time they don't get their way because it draws attention from real incidents of racism.

As for the French, my experience with them has been very positive. When I was in Paris for spring break I was literally catered to even after they found out that I was American. I think my general knowledge of the language helped as well. HOWEVER, the Parisians treat African Refugees like crap. They hate them because they feel as though the refugees are using up all the free social services without paying taxes. (I believe France has an agreement with member of their formal colonies to provide education and automatic asylum to their citizens). I will say that the French have a terrible reputation of discriminating against Muslims and Arabs. Perhaps that is where the North African comment came from.

I remember one incident when I was shopping with my mom at Saks 5th Avenue in NY about two years ago. Despite the fact that my mom spent around 8K at the store in preparation for my cousin's wedding, one of the store clerks and SECURITY kept following us around. Mind you she wasn't asking us if we needed help, the broad was spying to make sure we weren’t stealing anything. We were actually shopping while there were other customers (who happened to be white just browsing the store) How insulting. My mother ended up calling the manager and filing an official complaint with corporate headquarters. I believe the clerk and the security guard were fired and Saks sent us gift certificates.

On a daily basis black people are forced to be aware of their skin color. We have to deal with society stereotyping all of us as criminals. Oprah probably assumed that Hermes was being racist because usually celebrities are catered to. I mean Oprah is a BILLIONAIRE for heaven's sake. Most companies usually bend over backwards to cater to clientele like Oprah, which is probably why she was shocked when they wouldn't allow her to buy a simple watch.
Title: Re: Shopping While Black--- Doesn't matter if you are a billionaire
Post by: jdohno on July 07, 2005, 07:20:21 PM
First of all, bringing an animal into a restaurant or a grocery store is disgusting. There is food there and the dog's hairs, etc doesn't need to be around the food. If this resturant was in CA then they were following the law. In CA, there's some law on the books prohibiting animals from resturants, etc. I worked in a deli for a short period in snotty Brentwood and we would bring up the law when people would try to come in with their dogs. Especially the people with the small dogs that can be put in a purse or bag.


The argument from her camp seems to be that if it were a white celebrity, they would have been allowed in.  That is completely false.  Uncommon to popular belief, even white celebrities aren't allowed to do whatever they want.  Since Gayle King used Britney Spears as an exapmle, I will reiterate the one I gave a few weeks ago, when Britney, a long time customer of the resturant in question, wasn't allowed to bring her dog to dine.  Just a few weeks ago, Jessica and Ashlee Simpson weren't allowed into a party because there was a mistake on the guest list.  Despite their demands, they had to go somewhere else. 

Frankly this situation makes Oprah look like an out of touch celebrity, while the real victims of racial profiling suffer on.  It reminds me of when Kobe Bryant quoted Martin Luther King, Jr. during his rape trial.