Have you ever been followed in a store?

Ezekial Bigknife

Ezekial Bigknife

Have you ever been followed in a store? If you are a person of colour in North America undoubtably you have. If you are white, you probably think this happens somewhere else, but not where you live and shop.

This is what I thought until I started to go places with my indigenous friends. It is not uncommon. At Casa Gelato in Vancouver, a well known Gelato store known for its myriad of unusual flavour and the popularity of trying samples a group of kids were being chased out of the store by the owner, "You kids aren't welcome here!" he shouted as I came around the corner. "They are with me" I responded, which caused a lot of back-pedaling on his part. We went somewhere else for gelato that day.

This past week in the news the story of Ezekial Bigknife in Regina hit the news when he got fed up with being profiled in this way. The news article is here.  And then there was the story of Catherine Doctor in Yellowknife.

If you do not experience this type of discrimination directly pay attention to when others do. Is a boycott on a certain store being asked for because this is a systemic problem? As you try to become more aware of how others are being treated raise the issue with management if you witness someone being treated unfairly. 

 

Jodi Spargur