This news item just came to my attention.
I know security is always an issue, especially in this business, but
then there are bigger issues as well.
I wonder if anyone in the Orchid community has any comments, or even
better, creative ways to avoid this kind of occurrence. In my mind
the risk of monetary loss is far outweighed by the personal hurt to
the individual involved and the wider effects of such behaviour
throughout our society. Prudent caution can easily blur into
paranoia, racism, and ever more intense feelings of mistrust. Where
does that get us? Noting that this shop had been robbed previously
by a white man, I wonder why was the door locked to a black man?
People really do have to confront their own assumptions and
prejudices, not passively let their lives be run by them and hurt
others in the process.
Incidentally, if any sort of shop-owner behaved like this in my
neighbourhood I would retaliate (economically), perhaps organizing a
boycott or a picket line out front would inspire the shop owner to
Another day, another incident of racial profiling. Except, this
time, the person profiled happens to be NBA player John Henson, and
he’s not letting the profiler get away with it.
This particular incident occurred over the past several days in
Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin - a over 90% white, wealthy northern suburb
Here is the personal story from Henson’s Instagram account:
Text caption (formatted for easier reading):
@johnhenson31: Went to @schwankekasten jewelry today in
White-Fish Bay during regular business hours. They locked the
door and told me to go away. After I rang the doorbell twice
everyone went to the back. No answered the door or told me what
was going on. This was followed by two police cars pulling up
and parking across the street and watching me for 5 minutes (I
assumed they were called by the store).
I was then approached by 2 officers and questioned about the
dealer vehicle I was in which is apart of my endorsement deal
with Kunes country Chevrolet and asked me what I wanted amongst
other things that were just irrelevant to me being there just
trying to shop at the store like a normal paying customer would
do. I told them I was just trying to look at a watch.
He then had to go in the back and tell them to come out it was
safe but this is after they ran my plates and I overheard them
talking about doing more of a background check on the car. The
employees finally came out of the back and proceeded to conduct
business like they previously were as we walked up.
This was one of the the most degrading and racially prejudice
things I've ever experienced in life and wouldn't wish this on
anyone. This store needs to be called out and that's what I'm
doing. You have no right to profile someone because of their
race and nationality and this incident needs to be brought to
light and I urge anyone who ever is thinking of shopping here
reads this and doesn't bring any business to this discriminatory
A recap of the story is described here (summarized from the
Reddit /r/NBA sub-reddit):
Thursday, Oct 15th: Person calls store between 2PM and 3PM and
inquires about closing times. Closing time is 5.30PM
Friday, Oct 16th: Person (not known if same person as day
before) calls about closing times. Clerks decide to close at 5PM
because of suspicious calls. Police camp outside from 3.57PM. At
4.58PM Henson + entourage of 3 arrive, store is closed, lights
turned off, discussion with clerk (assuming something along the
lines of "You said you were open til 5.30PM over the phone?").
Henson+3 drive off.
Officers check Henson's plates. Dealer plates. "Might be stolen,
but not reported stolen." Tells this to store, lets them know to
inform the police if car returns.
Sunday, Oct 18th: Store owner tells police a jewelry store in
Green Bay got robbed by hooded white man, gives surveillance
footage. (Store owner's store was robbed once 2 years ago)
Robbery committed by a white male.
Monday, Oct 19th: Police arrives at store at 1.20PM. Henson+1
are outside, and the store won't let them in. Locked. Police
gets informed he's a Buck, and that Bucks get cars from
dealership. Police calls store to get them to open up front.
Store wants police to come out back. Police goes out back and
informs store that person is a Milwaukee Buck. Store re-opens,
but wants police to stand-by as Henson+1 shop. Police refuses
and leave the store and area.
TL;DR - store was worried about suspicious activity and called
police, but even when police told store person is an NBA player,
store still wanted police for safety.
John Henson is a multi-millionaire. To this date, he has earned
over $5 million in salary, and he will earn $2.9 million this
season. Also, just weeks ago he signed a contract extensionthat
will pay him a guaranteed $44 million!
Class and wealth does not and will not shield people of color
from racism and profiling. We see this time and time again. To
anyone reading this that says #AllLivesMatter, I ask this: Do
#AllLives deal with incidents like this? If a white NBA player
was browsing the outside windows of the store, would the store
close shop early?
I must say, however, credit the police for not bowing to the
requests of the store. They figured out why the store was
paranoid and explained the situation, and when asked to stay
around even after told Henson was a perfectly fine potential
customer, the police force basically told the store to fuck off.
Broken clocks and all.
But yeah, just another day in "post-racial" America...
ORIGINALLY POSTED TO MCONVENTE ON TUE OCT 20