Unfortunately in the US, racial profiling happens anywhere, and anytime. It can be very humiliating for the offended, and leave traumatic emotional and psychological scars. This happened to 29 year old James Conley III. An employee of West Des Moines Old Navy accused him of not paying for the jacket he was wearing. Even though Conley is a regular customer of the store. Needless to say, Conley decided to share the story on social media.
His story got over 120,000 reactions and 150,000 shares on Facebook. He realized how widespread of an issue racial profiling is after all the reactions nationwide his Facebook post generated. He plans to file a civil rights complaint and a civil damages lawsuit. He definitely deserves to do so.
Check out his posts for the actual story. But in summary, Conley was purchasing some hoodies and the employee asked him if he wanted to also purchase the jacket he was wearing. The employee assumed that Conley was trying to steal the jacket. Conley laughed it off not believing the man to be serious, but the store manager Beau Carter was very serious. His stereotype assumption was based on the fact that Conley was an African-American. He insisted the jacket be scanned, even though Conley has been using the same jacket every time he goes to the store. And “non-blacks” ahead of him wearing something similar were not scanned.
The district manager came out and Conley explained the situation and asked her to check the surveillance tapes to prove he was wearing the jacket when he came in. When the tapes proved him right, the store manager as well as the district manager never even bothered to apologize to Conley.
The head office of Old Navy soon released a post apologizing for the incident. They mentioned that the 3 employees involved were duly terminated. Hopefully they were sincere in their apology and not just washing their hands. Racial profiling should never be tolerated. Unless laws apply punishment for such “crimes,” it will unfortunately continue to be a menace to society.
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