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Shopping while black, let’s talk about that.

Every time it hits the news, every time it happens; even when it’s someone famous, there are people who loath to believe that this even happens in America and because we’re so skeptical that it happens, we perpetuate it even encourage it.

In our personal lives, some of us believe these people are exaggerating or embellishing the circumstances or may be seeking publicity.

Trust me; this is not the publicity anyone wants, not the accuser nor the accused.

In the news business we always want to wait to report such stories until there is a response from the accused, the police department, or the store and so on.

Fair enough in principle but having been in the game from more than 20 years, we rarely if ever await responses from all parties involved before reporting a story. We’d never get anything on the air.

So, take a moment to listen please. I have some unique insight on this particular issue of shopping while black. Why? I’m black.

I work in media and have since 1991, 22 years. I know what happens in newsrooms when someone, some organization, or some company is accused of racial profiling.

I have been racially profiled myself “shopping while black”; just Google it.

So here are five things for America to think about when it comes to racial profiling, especially when it comes to racial profiling in stores, “shopping while black”:

1. It is one of the most degrading things that can happen to you.  To spend your hard-earned money, or try to spend it, and then have someone basically tell you that you don’t deserve to be able to spend that money because of who you are and how you look, it’s awful.

2. It happens, it happens more than we or any of us, no matter our ethnicity would like to admit.

3.  This isn’t something that people of color, especially African-Americans make up. No one boasts of being humiliated.

4.  Stop being so skeptical about it!  Stop denying it, it’s insulting and it perpetuates the insanity.

5.  The people who do steal or defraud department stores or hard-earned merchants only perpetuate the cycle of stereotyping and profiling.

While no one should or deserves to be profiled; the African-Americans and Hispanics and the white people who do steal, make it bad for those of us who don’t. They also contribute to the problem

If a security guard or store clerk constantly witnesses young white kids or young Asian kids stuffing things into their backpacks, right or wrong, they’re going to look suspiciously on those particular demographics. It’s human nature.

So the solution is that skeptical white people must open their minds to the reality that shopping while black happens and it happens A LOT.

And people of color must open their minds to the reality that while it’s dreadful to be profiled, there are factors beyond racism which contribute to the profiling problem.

And on a lighter note to end this commentary; just something for you to think about; to be fair I don’t like to tell anybody how to spend their money, they can spend it whatever they want but here’s the truth: you know who buys $300 dollar belts and $3000 purses, people who don’t have real money or wealth.

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