Online Shopping While Black (Racked)
Until racial profiling stops, the internet has an edge over the mall
By Nadra Nittle, Racked, November 25, 2015
Last November, I found myself at Walmart, covering its Thanksgiving sale for a California newspaper. But once I finished my reporting, I didn’t even consider following the customers I’d interviewed inside to score a deal on a TV or a tablet. Instead, I joined the hordes of shoppers who take advantage of discounts on Cyber Monday, the online supersale that brought in nearly $2.04 billion in 2014. With the click of a mouse, I bought a pair of Oxfords from the Levi’s website, along with some Pamela Love earrings. The purchases arrived at my front door in a matter of days.
See, I'm such an avid online shopper that I can't recall my last visit to a brick-and-mortar clothing store. I buy tops from the eco-conscious retailer Reformation because the nearest L.A. store is across town from me. And I can find anything from aspartame-free gum to aluminum-free deodorant on Amazon.com. Plus, comparison-shopping takes mere seconds on the Internet.
But there's another reason I shop on the web: my skin color. I'm African American, and purchasing online allows me to avoid the pitfalls of "shopping while black."