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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Ben Affleck Gets Candid About the ‘Racist, Sexist’ Attacks JLo Faced When They Were Together

Entertainment

Ben Affleck Gets Candid About the ‘Racist, Sexist’ Attacks JLo Faced When They Were Together

Photo via Getty Images

Ben Affleck is opening up about the early 2000s when he and Jennifer Lopez were Hollywood’s It Couple. The duo–formerly known by the moniker “Bennifer”–captivated the world with their glamourous and somewhat surprising courtship.

But the relationship eventually unraveled under the intense pressure of public scrutiny.

In a recent podcast appearance, Affleck revealed just how terrible and racially-charged the criticism on their relationship was.

“People were so f–king mean about her,” he said on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast. “Sexist, racist, ugly, vicious s–t was written about her in ways that if you wrote it now, you would literally be fired for saying those things you said.”

“At first At first it was like Dick and Liz [Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor], it was this sort of infatuation: ‘What an interesting couple‘. And then there was a ton of resentment. A ton of resentment against me, a ton of resentment against Jennifer.”

He went on to explain that what was so fascinating about the relationship to the general public–namely, how they had such vastly different backgrounds–wasn’t something he thought twice about.

Affleck went on to sing JLo’s praises, saying that she deserves all of the praise and adulation she now receives.

“Now it’s like, she’s lionized and respected for the work she did, where she came from, what she accomplished–as well she f**king should be!” he said.

“She was very much like the kind of girl I went to high school with,” he explained. “It was a very socioeconomically mixed, ethnically mixed place–those kinds of differences that just seem to shock America were meaningless to me.”

“I would say you have a better shot, coming from the Bronx, of ending up as like [Justice Sonia] Sotomayor on the Supreme Court than you do of having Jennifer Lopez’s career and being who she is at 50 years old today…just on a pure odds level.”

He concluded: “I never met anyone who worked harder than Jennifer Lopez.” On that, we can definitely agree.

Jennifer Lopez has also been candid about how traumatic the public response was back then to her relationship with Ben Affleck.

“I was eviscerated,” she told Vanity Fair in 2017 about the media coverage of her and Ben’s relationship we well as their much-maligned film, “Gigli”. “I lost my sense of self, questioned if I belonged in this business, thought maybe I did suck at everything. And my relationship [with Affleck] self-destructed in front of the entire world. It was a two-year thing for me until I picked myself up again.”

But now, it appears they’re both in happier places. Ben Affleck has two children with his ex-wife, Jennifer Garner and JLo is happily engaged to Alex Rodriguez.

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UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Things That Matter

UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Photo courtesy Forward Latino

An unnamed UPS delivery driver has been fired after being caught using racist language when delivering a package to a Latino household. The incident occurred on December 17th.

The video, which was caught on a doorbell camera’s security footage, shows a white UPS driver appearing to be angry when delivering a package.

“Now you don’t get f—–g nothing…You can’t read and write and speak the f—–g English language,” he says while writing a “failed to deliver” notice and pasting it on the house’s front door.

The Aviles family says that the footage shows that the UPS worker never even attempted to deliver the package in the first place. He never rang the doorbell or knocked on the door. Based on that, the family has come to the conclusion that the driver intentionally withheld the package from the family out of prejudice and spite

They believe that the only way the driver could’ve known that the family was Latino was by making assumptions based off the name on the package.

“The only information this driver had that could serve as a trigger for this deep-seated hate was the name on the package,” said Forward Latino President Darryl Morin at a press conference addressing the incident.

“So what we have here is a very intentional act to ruin Christmas for somebody, for someone to spew this hateful rhetoric, and quite honestly to deceive their employer,” Morin continued.

Per UPS, the employee has now been fired. “There is no place in any community for racism, bigotry or hate. This is very serious and we promptly took action, terminating the driver’s employment. UPS is wholeheartedly committed to diversity, equity and inclusion,” UPS said in a statement. They also said they contacted the family to apologize.

But the Aviles family is still rattled that such bigoted people are out and about, letting their petty prejudices effect other people’s lives.

“The package was a Christmas gift that we eventually received after Christmas Day, but what if it happened to have time-sensitive content like an epipen or a book I needed to take a final,” said Shirley Aviles, the mother of the man who lives at the address, told NBC News. “I don’t get it. It’s just sad.”

Aviles seemed disturbed about what this incident says about human nature. “This is about the things people do when they think no one is watching them. That’s important because that’s when you see people’s true colors and that’s what’s scary,”

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