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California woman sues Walmart for ‘segreated’ black products

By AFP

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(AFP) – A Californian woman sued supermarket chain Walmart on Friday, accusing the company of implementing extra security measures on products marketed toward black people.

Essie Grundy, 43, says all beauty products marketed for black people are placed in a locked glass case, while cosmetics targeting other ethnicities are freely available at the Walmart near her Perris home, about an hour southeast of Los Angeles.

When she asked a shop employee why the products were under lock and key, Grundy was told it “was a directive from corporate headquarters,” longtime women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred told reporters.

The employee also told Grundy “she would need to be escorted to the cash register with the product so she could purchase it,” Allred added.

When Grundy raised the issue with a store manager, she says she did not receive a clear response, and no action was taken.

Grundy says she also visited two other Walmarts close to her home, and in one cosmetic marketed for African Americans were freely available, but monitored with security surveillance, unlike other products.

“As a result of this discriminatory business practice and policy, we filed a lawsuit this morning against Walmart,” Allred said, without specifying the damages being sought.

“It perpetuates a racial stereotype that African Americans are thieves.”

The lawsuit demands an immediate stop to the practice — noting the humiliation and psychological trauma Grundy was made to feel.

Grundy, a 43-year-old mother who owns an online clothing business, returned to the shop after the initial incident and filmed the beauty department.

The video was played during the press conference — showing men’s and women’s shampoos, body creams and combs of little retail value among other products with labels featuring black models, all arranged in a locked glass case.

“We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind at Walmart. We serve more than 140 million customers weekly, crossing all demographics,” the retail giant told AFP in a statement.

“Some products such as electronics, automotive, cosmetics and other personal care products are subject to additional security,” which Walmart said individual stores determined “using data.” The issue of Walmart securing beauty products marketed toward black people has already been a topic of controversy in the US — most notably in Virginia, where the practice was denounced by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

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3 comments

  1. Didn't know that there were hair products for black people and hair products for white people ..how did she determine that the products being locked up was the one the black race uses like they're the only one it was made for.??? People pull the race card for every little incident. So Walmart is suppose to let their products be stolen because they don't want to offend the black race?? Sit down and shut up, not everything is a racial issue. People no longer want to take any responsibility for their actions or u can no longer call on people for their actions because they're black??? That sense of entitlement that being black should give u a pass because some white people who died hundreds of years ago, enslaved our ancestors is being perpetuated to much these days which explains our attitudes and our children's attitude today and why they use their color as a crutch for anything wrong that happens in their life.. we are beoming what we despise...judgeing people by the color of their skin or seeing victimisation in every thing. it's OK to fight for your rights when it's a genuine racial issue but I'm upset that being black is blamed for everything or every incident..

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  2. Well lady, let us think about this for a minute. Wallmart Headquarters reviews their shoplifting and store crime reports and these particular items appear repeatedly, at the top of the list. So management decides to increase surveillance on these items to reduce their losses. Seems perfectly reasonable to want to protect your property from thieves.

    Your big issue is that Wallmart is trying their property against thieves who may be predominantly black. It is your expectation that if black people are stealing your sht, you should not protect your property because it is racist?

    Come out of dreamland lady. You don't get a free pass because you are black.

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  3. She's an idiot. Money hungry.

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