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Following Barney’s Incident, Sharing Stories Of “Shopping While Brown” On Twitter

The most troubling thing about the story of a 19-year-old detained at a high-end Manhattan store may be that it isn’t all that unique.

1. Trayon Christian, a college student from Corona, Queens, was detained and questioned while shopping at Barney’s in New York.

According to a lawsuit, Christian was arrested and detained by undercover police officers after buying a $350 Salvatore Ferragamo belt at Barney’s. The officers reportedly asked Christian “how a young black man such as himself could afford to purchase such an expensive belt.”

3. While Christian’s story has gained national attention, it is clear that his experience of being profiled while shopping is not unique.

4. On Tuesday, BuzzFeed asked people of color to share their own experiences.


Rafat Sanni

@raesanni

@brokeymcpoverty as an 8th grader got followed around the tiniest of Duane Reade’s down the street from my fancy private school in Brooklyn

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Rafat Sanni

@raesanni

@brokeymcpoverty i insisted the (asian) man following me stop. a blk man in the store said, ‘stop complaining, it’s just bc ur jacket is big

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@brokeymcpoverty Too many times to recount. Shoppingwhileblack has always been an issue.

— ZahraTahirah (@Zahra)

Zahra

@ZahraTahirah

@brokeymcpoverty Too many times to recount. Shoppingwhileblack has always been an issue.

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@brokeymcpoverty My friends and I got followed around a Banana Republic up in Kentucky until a friend told her off #shoppingwhileblack

— tee_danja (@Double Bubble)

Double Bubble

@tee_danja

@brokeymcpoverty My friends and I got followed around a Banana Republic up in Kentucky until a friend told her off #shoppingwhileblack

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Been followed since childhood in drug, grocery & discount stores. Have had incidents where I had to confront manager @brokeymcpoverty

— starfishncoffee (@Starfishncoffee)

Starfishncoffee

@starfishncoffee

Been followed since childhood in drug, grocery & discount stores. Have had incidents where I had to confront manager @brokeymcpoverty

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Went to a high end stationary store & bought a quill pen stand. Lady asked me why I wanted it. I said 4 my crack pipe. @brokeymcpoverty

— NikkyLee83 (@Nikky)

Nikky

@NikkyLee83

Went to a high end stationary store & bought a quill pen stand. Lady asked me why I wanted it. I said 4 my crack pipe. @brokeymcpoverty

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@brokeymcpoverty I KNEW I was being followed..and said out loud...these people are following me. Sales person LOOKED at me, kept following.

— RichelleCarey (@RICHELLE CAREY)

RICHELLE CAREY

@RichelleCarey

@brokeymcpoverty I KNEW I was being followed..and said out loud…these people are following me. Sales person LOOKED at me, kept following.

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@brokeymcpoverty In high school, @ a store that sold golf clothing w 2 friends, 1 white/1 black. Other black guy & me tailed the whole time…

— BoyandPiano (@Fairy Magdalene)

Fairy Magdalene

@BoyandPiano

brokeymcpoverty In high school, a store that sold golf clothing w 2 friends, 1 white/1 black. Other black guy & me tailed the whole time…

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@brokeymcpoverty While our white friend got to browse in peace.

— BoyandPiano (@Fairy Magdalene)

Fairy Magdalene

@BoyandPiano

@brokeymcpoverty While our white friend got to browse in peace.

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@brokeymcpoverty Had sales lady pointedly tell me price of items I was looking at for my mom (wallets) 20-odd yrs ago. I was well-dressed.

— maatkare67 (@maatkare67)

maatkare67

@maatkare67

@brokeymcpoverty Had sales lady pointedly tell me price of items I was looking at for my mom (wallets) 20-odd yrs ago. I was well-dressed.

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@brokeymcpoverty Every time I walked down an aisle, an employee magically appeared. Never spoke to me. #shoppingwhileblack

— thatdamnboheme (@Queen Mother Reader)

Queen Mother Reader

@thatdamnboheme

@brokeymcpoverty Every time I walked down an aisle, an employee magically appeared. Never spoke to me. #shoppingwhileblack

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@brokeymcpoverty When I got to the register, another employee came to the register with the cashier. They stared at me. #shoppingwhileblack

— thatdamnboheme (@Queen Mother Reader)

Queen Mother Reader

@thatdamnboheme

@brokeymcpoverty When I got to the register, another employee came to the register with the cashier. They stared at me. #shoppingwhileblack

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@brokeymcpoverty I was friendly; no one spoke to me. I copped my shit and left; they came outside and watched me leave. #shoppingwhileblack

— thatdamnboheme (@Queen Mother Reader)

Queen Mother Reader

@thatdamnboheme

@brokeymcpoverty I was friendly; no one spoke to me. I copped my shit and left; they came outside and watched me leave. #shoppingwhileblack

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@brokeymcpoverty The only time I was ever treated badly at a high end store was when I had a black man with me. An eye opener, for sure.

— cindynorth1 (@DoctorCandyCrippen)

DoctorCandyCrippen

@cindynorth1

@brokeymcpoverty The only time I was ever treated badly at a high end store was when I had a black man with me. An eye opener, for sure.

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18. Some said they expected to be followed.

@brokeymcpoverty Yes, but when I was younger and wore a trenchcoat and looked like a miscreant, so I sort of understood.

— joshthestampede (@Josh Paulik)

Josh Paulik

@joshthestampede

@brokeymcpoverty Yes, but when I was younger and wore a trenchcoat and looked like a miscreant, so I sort of understood.

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@brokeymcpoverty once, but it was because I looked like I was 12 and they thought I was skipping school. (I was in college at the time).

— anarchistrev (@Fr. Shay)

Fr. Shay

@anarchistrev

@brokeymcpoverty once, but it was because I looked like I was 12 and they thought I was skipping school. (I was in college at the time).

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21. Some current and former retail employees said they are sometimes asked to follow specific types of people.

@brokeymcpoverty I've been instructed to follow young people, and black/brown people who "were like me"

— Kunsequens (@Keisha)

Keisha

@Kunsequens

@brokeymcpoverty I’ve been instructed to follow young people, and black/brown people who “were like me”

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@shoebootie @brokeymcpoverty Lane Bryant manager instructed us to tail black shoppers. I was written up for questioning it & quit.

— HelloPoodle (@hellopoodle)

hellopoodle

@HelloPoodle

@shoebootie @brokeymcpoverty Lane Bryant manager instructed us to tail black shoppers. I was written up for questioning it & quit.

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@brokeymcpoverty in a local sports shop by my parents house they give explicit instructions to follow poc. Also, they don't hire us.

— MrShift4 (@E®!ç Ç@$H)

E®!ç Ç@$H

@MrShift4

@brokeymcpoverty in a local sports shop by my parents house they give explicit instructions to follow poc. Also, they don’t hire us.

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25. Other employees said they were never asked to profile customers by race.

@brokeymcpoverty Definitely not. We look out for anyone acting shifty, and it's literally every kind of person there is. No one group.

— Ernie9000 (@Liz Thorstenson)

Liz Thorstenson

@Ernie9000

@brokeymcpoverty Definitely not. We look out for anyone acting shifty, and it’s literally every kind of person there is. No one group.

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To be fair i worked @ ONavy + UOutfitters was never told to profile by color just actions and fitting room scams. @brokeymcpoverty

— Lenore312 (@CLP)

CLP

@Lenore312

To be fair i worked @ ONavy + UOutfitters was never told to profile by color just actions and fitting room scams. @brokeymcpoverty

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28. Sometimes the affront wasn’t being followed around the store, but being ignored.

@brokeymcpoverty I find it very offensive. It feels like there is an assumption that I am just there and don't want anything.

— angelanicole74 (@Mariposa Malcria)

Mariposa Malcria

@angelanicole74

@brokeymcpoverty I find it very offensive. It feels like there is an assumption that I am just there and don’t want anything.

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@brokeymcpoverty yes., it's hurtful and frustrating. I leave if I'm not acknowledged within a minute.

— chrissycapone (@various chainz.)

various chainz.

@chrissycapone

@brokeymcpoverty yes., it’s hurtful and frustrating. I leave if I’m not acknowledged within a minute.

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Thirty-something from Louisville, KY. Made of bourbon and awesome.
Contact Tracy Clayton at tracy.clayton@buzzfeed.com
 
 
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