SHOPPING WHILE BLACK: CRARR TO FILE THREE NEW COMPLAINTS OF CONSUMER RACIAL PROFILING
Montreal, February 29, 2016 — CRARR is filing three new complaints of consumer racial profiling on behalf of three English-speaking Black shoppers who were stopped, accused of theft and detained in the last two months while shopping at two major stores in the West-end of Montreal.
Black shoppers often complain of being under unjustified heightened surveillance and accused of theft in major department stores. These practices are a part of what many jurisdictions in North America qualify as consumer racial profiling (CRP).
A major study released in 2013 by the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission describes this phenomenon as “any type of differential treatment based on a perception of the consumer’s race or ethnicity that constitutes the denial or degradation of the product or services offered to the consumer. This practice may or may not be intentional… Consumer racial profiling can take many different forms, including avoidance (ignoring); rejection (refusing service); discouragement (providing slow service); verbal actions (using degrading racial epithets); and physical actions (subjecting to detentions, interrogations, or arrests).”
CRARR will launch on March 21st an initiative to have consumer racial profiling recognized in Quebec, which has avoided to acknowledge this form of racism, while Ontario is moving towards adopting a formal policy against the practice.
More information to come.