A Black woman is suing Target for profiling in a Southfield Michigan store that forced her to strip down to her undergarments to prove she wasn’t a thief.
Male security officers grabbed, cuffed and dragged Ashanae Davis; yelled loudly that she was wearing stolen bikini panties under her clothing; and made her strip down before she could leave the store. The officer who cuffed and dragged Davis was white. The Black officer, who first grabbed Davis, 20, was fired the day after the incident.
It’s unclear, at this time, if any disciplinary actions will be taken against the other officer. Target issued an apology and promised to focus on issues in that store as well as continued trainings across the company.
Shopping while Black is a well-known experience, with over 40 percent of Blacks saying they are treated unfairly in retail environments.
Davis’ civil rights attorney Jasmine Rand, who claims that she will be revealing more stories to the nation soon from Black women concerning Target, told the Huffington Post: If Target fired only the African American male employee, I find the effort a compounding act of racial discrimination. Hate can’t drive out hate from corporate culture.” She also added that Target needed to close their stores for sensitivity trainings like Starbucks had done.
Given that Starbucks’ Chairman just stepped down, it seems that closing the stores for a day wasn’t necessarily the best move, however. This is a little different than what Starbucks did.
Target responded with a statement saying that unconscious bias trainings were started last year and are being rolled out to teams across the country. The company said: We’re continuing to make it a part of all of our company’s learning and development plans, including the ones we use whenever new team members come onboard.”
While companies across the U.S. have a form of diversity training, those like Starbucks realized that you can’t undo bias by just telling a person what to do and holding a one-day training. The company that consistently reflects a culture of transparency, problem solving and a continued commitment to helping people be better will get better.