“don’t bother to show the $25,000 purses to people of colour.”

Apparently the title above is a policy for at least one store clerk in a Swiss store. And when your customer is Oprah Winfrey, things probably won’t work out too well.

I’m wondering where such European bigotry comes from. There are a number of possible sources, but African-Americans until fairly recently described attitudes in at least some European countries a quite tolerant, though there seemed to be a fair amount of racism in the UK in the 60’s . I would guess, then, that the racism in Switzerland is due to immigration.

If that is so, then we probably won’t find implicit biases, race schemata, etc. The demands of being PC may have had a good effect in the states.

5 thoughts on ““don’t bother to show the $25,000 purses to people of colour.”

  1. Oprah Winferey has said this was an incident about one specific person. So why don’t you ask this specific person what was going on in his or her mind? Might find out something useful then. Loads of people get offhand treatment in such stores – the ugly, the poor, the merely well-off. One background issue in this specific case – and remember, Oprah herself said it was a specific case – is the insane money spent on such handbags and the obnoxious attitudes that such obscence wealth generates, full stop.

  2. I agree with both of you…….and my guess (maybe wrong) is that there aren’t many people of color in Switzerland…….and I suspect this woman’s response could be more from ignorance than bigotry……also that she may have treated Oprah (not recognizing her) — as she would have anyone she assumed doesn’t have quite the money………….and maybe she even meant well…….you know, to ‘save her the discomfort’ of liking it and only then ‘absorbing’ the reality of the price………i mean, most people would actually not want to waste energy shopping in places like that……. and forfeit frustration…..

    And, yes, when it gets to that level of insane spending, everything is so extremely distorted, and values are lost in the orgy……….

    But that woman is one of many who have a lot of lessons to learn about human-and-customer relations……..first and foremost……

  3. I’m getting a bit lost here. I don’t see why we would expect the clerk to be very rude to the wealthy customers. I would think she’d hold her job for one day at most. And OW was wearing designer clothes, though she didn’t have her eye lashes on.

    Lots of shops sell items for well over $25,000. I would imagine it has at least gold or platinum (spelling?) on it, with some gems. Maybe against alligator. I don’t see why we should think that’s insane to buy. Lots and lots of people
    spend comparable amounts on bracelets. And afterwards they get into cars worth $100,000 or more. One can see them in the Houston Galleria. They behave quite normally and they don’t have angry groups following them.

    It’s interesting to think why they don’t get treated like wicked people, and what it costs one to serve them graciously in a store. And of course the cost to us of surviving quite well in societies which treat many very unjustly.

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