Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Macy's and Barney's: "Shop" and Frisk Scandal (2014)

Macy's logo
Just last year Macy's and Barney's have been accused of Shop and Frisk. Shop and Frisk is where an police officer gives a person a "pat down" to check if person has a weapon or has stolen items from the store. These two major retailers have been targeting African Americans who have been purchasing expensive items to make sure that they are not stealing them. One Person that they stop was was famous actor Rob Brown of the HBO series Treme, came forward after he heard that others where experiencing the same treatment.Brown told New York Daily News on Friday that he had been "paraded" through a midtown Manhattan Macy's in handcuffs in June, and held for an hour, after purchasing a $1,350 gold Movado watch for his mother. Brown also said that he "implored" cops to check his ID, but "they kept telling me, ‘Your card is fake. You're going to jail.'" 75 percent of the two retailers crime comes from grand larceny and grand larceny, shop lifting, and credit card fraud are main concerns for the NYPD officials. Another of this is a young nurse student Kayla Phillips. She was surrounded by four undercover in February after leaving Barneys with a $2,500 Celine handbag she had purchased, Kayla plans to sue Barney's. 19 year old Trayon Christian said he was detained for two hours and questioned by New York police in April after buying a $349 Ferragamo belt at Barneys. All three of these cases became lawsuits for the company. Barney's posted an apology it's Facebook page and said it was hiring civil rights attorney Michael Yaki to review the store's practices and procedures. In 2005, Macy's paid $600,000 to settle similar allegations that many of the chain's New York stores had targeted blacks and Latinos for particular scrutiny of theft.

Milton Friedman Economist came up with the theory of Individualism. he though that the goal of business is to profit, so the only obligation that the business person had to maximize their profit for the owner or the stockholders. Macy's and Barney's have tons of major stockholders that invest their time and money into their companies. I my opinion this certain scandal case hurt the profits of Macy's and Barney's because they were accused of a hate crime of treating African American like thugs and criminals when they enter the store. When in reality these are people just like you and me. for example one of the victims is college student who is trying to become a nurse and she gets accused of stealing from one of these stores is just very sickening to think about. People need to see that you can not judge a book by it's cover and listen to all the stereotypes. It also hurt the companies profit because it made national news and people were very upset with the way the stores were treating people of different race. People started not to shop at these two stores until the fix the way they treated people of different skin.

Protestors responding to "Shop and Frisk" allegations at Macy's
The definition of Utilitarianism is to have happiness or pleasure are the only things of intrinsic value. We ought to bring about happiness and pleasure in all beings capable of feeling it. The happiness for Macy's and Barney's was the fact that they were bringing down the crime rate in theirs stores. People seek for this happiness because happiness is valuable to people, it is something that everyone wants in their lives. The only problem is that Macy's and Barney's caused embarrassment and humiliation to others and also started racial profile towards African Americans and Latinos. Barney's and Macy's logic was once they caught one African American or Latino they assumed that if one stole they all had try to steal. This did not make the African Americans or the Latinos in the store happy because they were the ones who felt embarrassed because they where getting arrested for something they did not do. Macy's and Barney's are Egoism because they maximize their own happiness and did not really care much about other people if their had less crime the happier it made Barney's and Macy's. African Americans especially where very upset with who these two stores have done. Reverend Al Sharpton has these companies shaking in the boots because he has given them a deadline to get them to stop being so harsh on African Americans while they are shopping in their stores.“I feel like I’m holding my Christmas shopping money until I see what happens,” Sharpton said. 
Sharpton said he wants people from the stores and the civil rights community assigned to the task force and he wants clarity on retailers’ policies regarding the level of access the NYPD has to their stores. At a meeting Retailers gave the civil rights advocates a packet of documents they said are policies that they are enacting to address alleged profiling in stores. In my opinion Macy's and Barney's did not follow Utilitarianism because they only made themselves happy and did not care about anyone else.

Immanuel Kent was born in 1724 and came up with the theory what we call Kantianism. Kant came up with four principles when coming up with Kantianism. The first one is Act rationally, meaning do not act inconsistently in your own actions or consider yourself exempt from rules. The second principle is allow and help people to make a rational decisions. The third principle is respect people, their autonomy, and the individual needs and differences. The fourth and final principle is Be motivated by good will, seeking to do what is right because it is right. Macy's and Barney's did not act rationally. They did not act rationally because they just assumed that blacks were stealing from the store so they made sure that when an African American walked into the store the police made sure that they did not steal and put a credit card fraud on the store. So Macy's and Barney's would treat the blacks like suspects instead of customers in the store and that is wrong everyone should be treated equally. Barney's and Macy's also allow people to make irrational decisions because they told police in the stores who to watch out for when someone entered the store. They told police to watch blacks extra careful because they have the stereotype of stealing and a life a crime. Also Macy's and Barney's did not respect people, their autonomy, and individual needs and differences because they treated people differently based on skin color which is not right. People should not be treated differently because they are black, they should have the same respect as every other person who is shopping in the store. The definition of a maxim is a will do action in order to achieve a purpose. Kant has three shopkeeper maxims which are I will be honest with my customers in order to gain their trust and get repeat business, I will be honest with my customers because I like them, and I will be honest with my customers because that is the right thing to do. In this scandal Macy's and Barney's did not follow any of these three maxims. First of all they were not honest with the African Americans as to why they were stop them. These two stores did it for their own good because they looked out for themselves before their customers and the African Americans did not repeat business with the two stores. The second rule they also did not follow because they did not like the African Americans because Macy's and Barney's thought that they were stealing from their store. They also were not honest with the customer because it was the right thing to do. The black community wanted an explanation as to why the blacks were being treated so poorly in these stores. Barney's and Macy's were not honest with the shoppers because it was the right thing to do.

Protesters at Barney New York responding to "Shop and Frisk" Allegations

Virtue Theory
The characteristics that allow things to function properly are called good making features or virtues. They depend on two things one is the thing's function and the other is the thing's circumstances. There are four main virtues of character. The first one is Courage. Courage is risk taking and willingness to take a stand for the right ideas and actions. Macy's and Barney's and the NYPD to the courage to do whatever it took to try and stop the crime in the stores and bring the crime rate. They were being very stereotypical when they did this because they mostly stop black shoppers after the bought very expensive inside the store. Also courage was shown by the black shoppers because they had the courage to step up and speak out for this kind of abuse. The next virtue is Honesty. Honesty is in agreements, hiring and treatment of employees, customers and others companies. Macy's and Barney's were not honest with shoppers. Right when a person of different skin came into the store the police officers were all over them like white on rice. In one case one of the shoppers was detained in a room for questions for two hours long after buying a an item in the store. These two retailers were not treating everyone equally. The next virtue is Temperance. Temperance means having reasonable expectations and desire. Barney's an d Macy's had expectations to keep the store crime free and made sure nothing would be stolen. With that being said the NYPD was a little tough on people which hurt the store's reputation of treated black like suspects when they should be checking on everyone to make sure nobody was stealing. The final virtue is Justice. Justice is hard work, quality products, good ideas, fair practices. Justice was served in the case to the African American community because these two store made rules on how to treat of different race and the two store had to add a Civil Rights expert to explain to the company the rights and wrong on how to treat people with different skin.Macy's and Barney's learned from their mistakes on being too hard on the black shoppers and finally realized that they were being racist towards the blacks when they came into the stores. Even this happened the crime rate in both stores went to 30 percent.  

Work Cited
Cunningham, Jennifer H. "Barneys, Macy's among Stores given Deadline by Sharpton, Others to Create Racial Profiling Task Force." NY Daily News. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2014.

Galbraith, Robert. "Macy's Joins Barneys in NYC 'shop-and-frisk' Scandal." Reuters. Thomson Reuters, 26 Oct. 2013. Web. 01 Apr. 2014.

 Khan, Sabrina. "Shop And Frisk? Barneys and Macy's Under Fire for Racial Profiling." New Day RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2014.

 Skinner, Curtis. "Boycott Threatened after Racial Profiling Claims at Macy's, Barneys." Chicago Tribune. N.p., 04 Nov. 2013. Web. 01 Apr. 2014.

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