A woman in California has launched a lawsuit against the supermarket giant Walmart for locking up black beauty products. Essie Grundy said she went to Walmart to buy some hair and beauty products, and was shocked to find out that many black brands were locked behind glass.
She said she could only get the products once an employee came to unlock the cabinet, and, to make things worse, insisted on following her to the checkout to pay.
Is this another case of the perils of 'shopping while black'? Grundy said she wondered why a comb costing 48 cents was locked away while other more expensive products, that were not aimed at black women, were freely available and not behind a glass.
So what did people think? Many thought it was a classic case of discrimination.
Another reason why I don’t shop at Walmart! 🙄— Bambam (@Bambam80141919) January 28, 2018
In this weeks episode of "breathing while black".....— Shasha (@shashamskana) January 29, 2018
The negative comments say a lot. Black hair care products R kept in locked cases or alarm cases & we R treated as though we're going to stuff shea butter down R pants.— Chevas D. Samuels (@regalchevas) January 28, 2018
That doesn't make her dumb or money-hungry. The "other" hair care products R on aisles & not Fort Knox guarded.
Many thought it was time for black customers to boycott Walmart, and spend their money elsewhere.
Walmart can keep its Black beauty products packed in the original shipping cases on its loading dock because I, for one, would never purchase one single .@walmart product, even if marked down 99.9%. #BlackTwitter #BoycottWalMart— Black History Heroes (@HistoryHeroes) January 29, 2018
Stay out of stores that disrespect and disregard you .... spread the word and stop giving them your money— Forever Fit (@ForeverFit72) January 28, 2018
DANG .............ORDER ONLINE .......DONT EVEN BUY THAT SHIT .....BUY BLACK— KELLYTVBRAIDS (@Kellytvbraids) January 28, 2018
Some people decided to share their own stories of black products being subject to an extra layer of security.
I also brought this to their attention on behalf of my Mom last year for a Walmart in Vegas. They basically ignored it. Said to DM them the location and said they would reach out. Never happened. pic.twitter.com/tBhANq8R0U— ]V[aiTye (@MaiTye) January 28, 2018
The Walmart in my city has a personal camera that hovers over the “ethnic” aisle, but the “other” shampoo which is one aisle over doesn’t.— Dr.J.Grey77 (@ThePhoenix_19) January 28, 2018
This is similar to how Dollar General puts certain hair care products (ones geared towards black people) under cases that chime when you open the case, and when they chime for too long store associates come "check" on you.— Call me C ❤ (@Ci_SoPetty) January 28, 2018
Some people weren't convinced that it was discrimination, however, and called for a greater focus on issues they considered important.
this is appalling. we literally have POC facing grievous situations, and #EssieGrundy is pissed about a store she doesn't have to shop at to begin with? forget outrage and support when black men, women, and children are literally DYING out there, she's targeting @Walmart ?!— John Smith (@1rylpydr) January 28, 2018
If this was the ONLY thing locked up then that would be discrimination. All of the high theft products are locked up, like Baby formula and pediatrics. Yall got us lookin stupid.— Justice N. Love (@citigroup06) January 28, 2018
Walmart gave a response to the unfolding legal situation. A spokesperson said:
“We’re sensitive to this situation and also understand, like other retailers, that some products such as electronics, automotive, cosmetics and other personal care products are subject to additional security.
"Those determinations are made on a store-by-store basis using data supporting the need for the heightened measures. While we’ve yet to review a complaint, we take this situation seriously and look forward to addressing it with the court.”
Grundy is being represented by Gloria Allred, who has represented many woman in high-profile lawsuits over the years. She's not going down without a fight!
What do you think?
Is this another case of discrimination, or are Walmart and stores just protecting high-risk items?
Join the conversation on Twitter, and let us know how you feel in the comments below.