Things That Matter

Former Anthropologie Employees Accuse The Store Of Having ‘Code Words’ To Identify And Track Black Shoppers

The fashion industry has long faced accusations of racism and discriminatory practices. Retail is no different. And now, one popular retailer is facing the consequences of racist policies that victimized Black shoppers.

Earlier this week, Diet Prada, an Instagram account known for calling out bad or discriminatory practices within the fashion industry, reported that multiple employees from stores across the U.S. and Canada said they were told to watch Black shoppers and that the codename “Nick” was used.

Anthropologie is the latest fashion retailer facing allegations of racial discrimination.

Anthropologie was one of countless brands to share Black Lives Matter posts at the beginning of June — in solidarity with the growing movement in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. However, the iconic retailer was also one of several to get called out for hypocrisy in the comments, with both current and former employees revealing the nickname given to Black customers for the purpose of racial profiling.

From Free People to Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie, several retailers have missed the mark when it comes to actually showing that they care.

Across social media, previous employees have come forward to accuse the brand of racial profiling, using a code name for shoppers, and lacking diversity in hiring.

Those who worked at stores across several US states and Canada confirmed that they were told to watch people of color closely, and would refer to them as ‘Nicks’ to other employees

“Anthro’s culture needs to be seriously reformed,” wrote one user, who said the brand’s company culture was a systemic issue. “The ‘Nick’ codeword for Black shoppers that has been corroborated by unrelated former employees? Come on.”

But allegations of racist practices and “whitewashing” continued, with people accusing Anthropologie of culturally appropriating products and predominantly hiring white employees.

Another day, another boho Karen retailer showing their true shades of beige,’ the account wrote.

One of the most damning comments came from @flleurdeblooms, who wrote: ‘How are you going to stop racially profiling your “Nicks”? I worked at Anthropologie and the racial profiling was sickening. So many times the management told us to watch people of color over the headsets and I refused to follow around most black people who were just minding their own damn business and respectfully shopping. Please change.’

Customers have also come forward to corroborate the instances of racism they experienced inside Anthropologie stores.

For many Black shoppers, the now viral comments only confirmed what they had experienced as a shopper for years.

One customer wrote: “I’ve been followed in your stores before. The last straw was 4/2/2019 – that was my birthday. I couldn’t reconcile giving my money to an employee who never greeted me yet followed me on my birthday. I haven’t been back since.’

More commenters replied to say that they, too, had similar experiences. 

‘I was followed by one of your sales associates in your Harbor East Baltimore store fro no reason,’ said one. ‘The sales associate told me that her managers told her to do so!’

Anthropologie has issued an official response on Instagram to allegations of racial discrimination.

Credit: Anthropologie / Instagram

Anthropologie and their parent company Urban Outfitters denied their former employees claims despite accusations coming out of California, Chicago, Seattle, NYC, and their Canada stores. However, the brand made a statement promising to “continue to educate our teams in pursuit of a culture said better values and respects this diversity” with anti-discrimination training.

“You may have seen that we have been challenged to be more transparent, unbiased, and fair in our stores and with our business practices,” the statement began. It went on to say the company didn’t have a code word and had a zero-tolerance policy for racial profiling but was learning how to combat racism. “We are committed to doing better — to be being better,” it said.

Previously, the brand responded to the controversy with a post promising to stand with and support the Black community, including donating $100,000 to the United Negro College Fund and a commitment to diversifying its workforce.

All of this came after a rather vague and uncommitted response to the #BLM movement. On June 1st, the brand published a Maya Angelou quote to its Instagram feed and stressed that people were “equal in value no matter their color,” but followers expressed unhappiness for what they deemed a vague response that didn’t specifically address the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Disturbing Video Shows Workers Feeding White Kids First At A Georgia Daycare

Things That Matter

Disturbing Video Shows Workers Feeding White Kids First At A Georgia Daycare

marquis_dagreat / Instagram

Schools and daycares are supposed to be safe spaces for kids to be able to learn and to express themselves. However, we know that isn’t always the case. For years, children have had to fear gun violence on campus, bullying, and sexual assaults.

A recent video that’s gone viral shows that even younger kids aren’t safe from trauma, as a daycare in Georgia is being accused of blatant racism against its Black kids.

Young kids are experiencing hate and racism even at places meant to be safe for them.

The Kids ‘R’ Kids daycare center in Roswell, on the outskirts of Atlanta, has been accused of racism after a father checked in to the live feed at lunch time to see how his two-year-old son was doing and noticed that the white children were all fed first while the Black children were made to wait.

Adryan McCauley told CBS46: “They were skipping all of the Black kids it seemed like. All the white kids got their lunch, and all the Black kids had to wait. From the videos and pictures that we saw today, we are just completely disturbed.”

McCauley took a screenshot which he posted to Instagram, but the full video has not been released. He added that the boy’s mother asked the nursery what had happened and was reportedly told by the director: “I’m not really sure because I’m not in the classroom, maybe it’s a dietary thing.”

One of the families was sure to share what happened with the public.

According to the Daily Mail, the family of the 2-year-old posted the screenshot to Instagram, where it went viral.

“This is truly unbelievable. You better know this won’t be the last time you hear from me on this,” user @marquis_dagreat wrote, along with the screenshot. “Why does every white kid have their food? Not one black child has food in front of them! Thank God for cameras in classrooms because there is no way to hide this racism!”

“In the year 2021 this is truly unbelievable. As blacks we always strive to send our kids to schools in Suburban area’s [sic], but I’m telling you first hand that is not always best,” they continued. “This is not a black or white issue this is simply wrong!”

The brand behind the daycare has cut ties with the Georgia location.

The corporate office responded on Thursday by calling the screenshot “disturbing” and cutting ties with the location in question. 

“Our company has decided to terminate that franchisee’s Kids ‘R’ Kids contract and branding, effective immediately, leaving them to operate independently,” President and CEO David Vinson said in the statement, posted to Instagram. “We apologize to the family, the community and all of those impacted by this situation and will use this as a learning tool to remind our Kids ‘R’ Kids staff on the importance of diversity and inclusivity.”

Vinson added that the corporate office will help locate alternate preschool options for families displaced by the decision. 

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The Lead Investigator In Derek Chauvin Case Says He Heard George Floyd Incorrectly

Things That Matter

The Lead Investigator In Derek Chauvin Case Says He Heard George Floyd Incorrectly

Stephanie Keith / Getty

Updated April 7, 2021.

The opening statements of Derek Chauvin’s criminal trial took place in late March and revealed shocking details on the case of George Floyd. One of the biggest revelations came from the prosecuting attorney Jerry Blackwell that Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds rather than the commonly believed 8 minutes and 46 seconds. In addition to this, is the reveal that it was in fact a 911 dispatcher who witnessed George Floyd’s death last May.

Watching the incident through a nearby police camera, Jena Scurry was in fact the person who called the police on the police officer.

Jena Scurry is the dispatcher who first raised the alarm about Floyd’s death.

“You’re going to learn that there was a 911 dispatcher. Her name is Jena Scurry,” special prosecutor Jerry Blackwell stated during an opening statement on behalf of the state “There was a fixed police camera that was trained on this particular scene. She could see through the camera what was going on. You will learn that what she saw was so unusual and, for her, so disturbing that she did something that she had never done in her career.”

Watching what was happening, Scurry reportedly became so worried by what she saw Chauvin and the three other officers taking part in that she called Minneapolis Sgt. David Pleoger. Ultimately it was Pleoger who managed the officers involved in the murder

“My instincts were telling me something was wrong,” Scurry explained to prosecutors that took place during the trial at Hennepin County Courthouse this past Monday. “It was a gut instinct of the incident: Something is not going right. Whether it be they needed more assistance. Just something wasn’t right.”

Scurry testified that while she could not remember when she called police she was moved to take action after an uncomfortable “extended period of time.” 

At one point, the defense noted that it took some time for Scurry to call Chauvin’s sergeant. In fact, it took nearly 30 minutes from when the dispatcher received the first 911 call about Floyd. She also stated during her testimony that she became concerned when she saw the police vehicle “rocking bath and forth” while Floyd was inside.

Scurry was actually one of “at least three people who called for police intervention as she watched Chauvin kneel on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds during his May 25 arrest outside a downtown convenience store, according to Blackwell,” according to CNN.

On the eighth day of Chauvin’s criminal trial, the special agent who led investigation into George Floyd’s death changed his mind on what he thought he heard Floyd say while Chauvin was kneeling on his neck.

Senior Special Agent James Reyerson who led the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was shown a clip from Minneapolis Police body-camera footage of Floyd during his murder. In the clip, Floyd can be heard something while handcuffed, his stomach pressed to the ground.

“Did it appear that Mr. Floyd said, ‘I ate too many drugs?” Chauvin’s defense attorney Eric Nelson asked Reyerson.

“Yes, it did,” Reyerson replied.

After, what CNN describes as “a short break,” the prosecution played an extended clip of the video for for Reyerson.

“Having heard it in context, are you able to tell what Mr. Floyd is saying there?” the prosecutoing attorney Matthew Frank asked.

“Yes, I believe Mr. Floyd was saying, ‘I ain’t do no drugs,” Reyerson replied.

Top-ranking police officials from the Minneapolis Police Department, including the city’s police chief, testified that Chauvin’s use of force against George Floyd was a violation of protocols.

Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, Lt. Richard Zimmerman, and Chauvin’s currently-retired former supervisor, Sgt. David Pleoger, testified against him this week during his murder trial for his murder of Floyd. Arradondo testified against Chauvin on Monday said that he “vehemently disagreed” with Chauvin’s use of force against Floyd on May 25, 2020.

“There’s an initial reasonableness in trying to get him under control in the first few seconds,” Arradondo told the jury. “But once there was no longer any resistance — and clearly when Mr. Floyd was no longer responsive and even motionless — to continue to apply that level of force to a person prone down, handcuffed behind their back … that in no way, shape, or form is part of our policy, is not part of our training, and is not part of our ethics and values.”

The prosecution team played bystander video of Floyd’s murder during the opening statement and accused Chauvin of violating the oath of his badge.

The prosecutor stated that he also betrayed his post when he refused to help Floyd when he pleaded “I can’t breathe.”

“We plan to prove to you that he’s anything other than innocent,” Blackwell said in his statement.

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