Tonight at 11: A woman claims a Fred Meyer store is discriminating against people of color. This picture shows all of the stores "multi-cultural" hair products behind a security case. The woman says the problem is no other products are locked up. #koin6news pic.twitter.com/gKb8vAIgF3— Velena Jones (@velenajones) August 22, 2018
An Oregon hypermarket superstore chain has been accused of discrimination after a customer discovered hair products labeled "multi-cultural" were locked in a separate section.
Sade Rivers of Portland, walked into a Fred Meyer to buy shampoo and conditioner. However, she walked out of the store without buying any items after she saw the products she was looking for were locked in a separate section labeled "multi-cultural."
Rivers, who is black, found it offensive, more so, because all other products were not locked.
"Even if I was to ask for someone to open it, now will I be followed through the store," she told KOIN. "Will they look at me and think 'She is probably going to steal that so let’s keep an eye on her?'"
For Rivers, the locking away of "multi-cultural" hair product reinforced the stereotype about people of color capable of committing more crimes than white people.
"As a black person you are always taught you have to be aware how people look at you, what you say, what you wear, what you look like, because other people perceive you and will judge you based on a stereotype," she added.
KOIN also contacted the store over Rivers' claims, asking if locking up certain products was practiced across all its stores.
In response, the store told the news channel the products were locked away for "security" purposes and that "Decisions about product access in our stores are data-driven."
The statement also said embrace "diversity and inclusion."
But Rivers believes security can be strengthened by installing surveillance cameras instead of singling out people of color.
Rivers' story also caught the attention of the Oregon chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations:
In January, Walmart was also accused of racial discrimination after a customer alleged the retailer was segregating products according to the race of the people who use them.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Wikipedia