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Oprah's new standard for racism.

Whether Oprah Winfrey was turned away from a bit of after-hours shopping in Paris because of a racist employee or a special event, news of the confrontation outside a luxury store has evoked empathy and anger from many American minorities who say they are routinely treated poorly -- and sometimes with outright suspicion -- by sales staffs in this country.

She arrived after the store closed, and was miffed that the store employees would not let her in. Their explanation was not good enough, and this is an example of racial discrimination!

From the same article, I liked this even better;

''Emil Wilbiken, former editor of Vibe magazine, said it's not uncommon for black celebrities to receive poor treatment at high-end stores. Sean ''P. Diddy'' Combs has devised a tactic to avoid poor treatment, he said.

''Puffy sends his people ahead to stores and shuts them down so he can shop privately, so this kind of thing doesn't happen,'' Wilbiken said.''

In the future, I'm going to demand that stores close before I enter them. If they don't, I'm going to sue them for racial discrimination. I am really disgusted with those racist French. They need to clean up their act.
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You forget, for many minorities,

In reply to: Oprah's new standard for racism.

racism is simply refusing to treat them better than everyone else.

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Hi, KP.

In reply to: Oprah's new standard for racism.

You're not exactly correct, though I think she's over-reacting big-time. She reportedly arrived before the posted closing hour, but by only about 10 minutes. As many stores do at such times, they'd stopped allowing new customers to enter, but there were still customers shopping in the store. She claimed that she was discriminated because they didn't allow her in -- and I think that's nonsense!

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Hi DK. Please cite your source. The article I linked to in

In reply to: Hi, KP.

the Chicago Sun Times said she arrived several minutes after the store closed. It wouldn't make sense otherwise. Why would the store turn her away if she arrived before closing?

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why turn her away at all?

In reply to: Hi DK. Please cite your source. The article I linked to in

the store is in business to sell and you have one VERY rich person that wants to come in and spend money. If I owned the place the person(s) that denied her entry...FIRED!

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Stores closed, sorry come back again when we are open

In reply to: why turn her away at all?

If I am a "regular" customer and I see someone "special" getting in when I can't, I wouldn't come back. Store needs to treat ALL customers the same.

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Oooh, I'd like to be that employee...

In reply to: why turn her away at all?

fired for not giving Oprah special treatment. Such a lawsuit I'd have.

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(NT) (NT) I'll be your lawyer (for a "SMALL" fee)

In reply to: Oooh, I'd like to be that employee...

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Well I can't speak for Paris but

In reply to: Oooh, I'd like to be that employee...

if it were my store in Ga you got nothin'. I can fire you for any reason or no reason.

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And I still think it's stupid to turn away good business

In reply to: Well I can't speak for Paris but

especially because of a few minutes.

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(NT) (NT) Not in France you wouldn't, EdH!

In reply to: Oooh, I'd like to be that employee...

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Why not?

In reply to: (NT) Not in France you wouldn't, EdH!

Free health care, 35 hour work week. It's like a worker's paradise.

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I doubt he would get fired and thus

In reply to: Why not?

nothing to sue anyone for.

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Hi, KP.

I can't link -- it was a TV interview on "Entertainment Tonight" with a friend who was accompanying her. And my message explained exactly what happened, but I'll amplify. There's a problem with the closing hour -- when the store closes, customers want to buy what they've already picked out, while the employees want to go home. So many stores will lock the doors (with a clerk to let customers out) a set time before the posted closing time (typically 10-15 minutes). Those in the store can "finish up," but no one new is allowed in. That's apparently what happened in this case -- but Oprah felt that (being Oprah, and having bought several expensive items from them in the past) she deserved special treatment. And when she didn't get it, she claimed the reason was racism. Frankly, I'm disappointed in her.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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In all fairness

In reply to: Hi, KP.

to Oprah, of all the articles and TV Clips I've seen regarding this issue, I have NEVER heard Oprah (herself) or anyone speaking ON HER BEHALF say it was racism. I have read and seen some speaking for THEMSELVES hint at racism.

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All I can tell you is that the reports I've seen all say

In reply to: Hi, KP.

that she arrived after closing time. The employees didn't want to let her in because they were setting up for an after hours function. I'll bet they explained, but it wasn't good enough for her.

Obviously, the store doesn't see that it has anything to gain by explaining in more detail. BTW, I've not seen a store lock up before the posted closing time. I'm a bit sceptical that this one did and then wouldn't let a customer like Oprah in.

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Well, I have seen

In reply to: All I can tell you is that the reports I've seen all say

a supermarket in my area lock up before closing time. And with an employee with a key at the door to let people out. They wanted to stop me from coming in, but they let me in when I told them I only needed a gallon of milk. No, they didn't follow me around to make sure, but then, it was the truth.

Then again, since I'm a handsome white man, I guess my viewpoint could be colored by my own personal experiences.

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I have a possible answer, Dave...

In reply to: Hi, KP.

I think that I may have a possible answer to what happened, based on something that happened to me once. Once a TV sports broadcaster went positively ballistic when I didn't recognize him on sight.
Could it be that she got her kickers in a knot just because a sales clerk and/or store manager in Paris didn't recognize her on sight and kiss whatever she felt should be kissed due to her special "star" status?

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There was definitely an element of that, J.

In reply to: I have a possible answer, Dave...

at least in terms of her not getting "special treatment." One comment was that they should have recognized her as someone important because of the size of her retinue, and the number of accompanying photographers. Under the circumstances, that probably made things worse for the store, not better...

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Also Dave...

In reply to: There was definitely an element of that, J.

Also, Dave, her reputation for how she treats people like her crew hasn't always been the best. My best friend at my last job used to be on her crew and told me "never again". She needs to remember that all the little folks she walks over go on to other things in life and have memories.

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Eyewitness....

In reply to: I have a possible answer, Dave...

stated that the store acknowledge they KNEW who she was.

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High end

In reply to: Oprah's new standard for racism.

stores routinely make special considerations for ''celeberties/big spenders''. It had been reported that in the past Oprah had purchased 13 of Hermes famous hand bags as gifts ($6500 (each) X 13= $84,500) and had one on order at the time of this incident. God knows how much she would have spent on a watch for her frined Tina Turner (the reason she went to the store in the first place).

I doubt anyone on this board, self included, spends that kind of money on gifts.

How about the special treatment ''high rollers'' receive at Casinos, especially in Las Vegas. In case you didn't know it, a lot of the ''high rollers'' are set up in FREE SUITES and catered to like kings/queens. Because you and I can't afford to be ''high rollers'' should we protest this treatment also? I don't care one way or the other. When I was in the military we were told "Rank Has It's Privileges" in a capitalistic society so does Money. I don't find this concept strange.

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(NT) (NT) Fine, if arranged in advance.

In reply to: High end

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It's not the special treatment that rankles. It's the

In reply to: High end

suggestion that a lack of special treatment is racism.

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Until we've walked in someone's shoes,

In reply to: It's not the special treatment that rankles. It's the

I don't see how anyone can simply dismiss someone elses' reality. The following excerpt was taken from a news article:

''There have been countless stories of well-known African Americans feeling snubbed. Cornel West (former Harvard professor now Professor at Princeton University) in a three-piece suit couldn't get a cab in Manhattan. Vanessa Williams (former Miss America, singer, actress, etc.) was mistaken for a waitress at a private dinner party even though she was wearing an evening gown. Condoleezza Rice (current Secretary of State) -- before she became secretary of state -- reprimanded a salesgirl for showing her costume jewelry after she had requested the better pieces.''

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Boo Hoo Hoo!!

In reply to: Until we've walked in someone's shoes,

The examples you list are all black people.
When I was a Private in the Army I went to Seaside(next to Ft. Ord,CA)to buy a car.The dealer was going to close in an hour so I preceded to look around on my own.After about 30 minutes of browsing, nobody had come out to greet me.After all,as a Private in the Military,my salary or lack there-of,was low enough to qualify for food stamps!Little did the salesmen know that I had an $8000 bonus in my hand that I received after basic training.Eventually I did get service and the salesman..a nice commission.
I could go on forever listing examples involving white people
And you could go on forever listing examples involving black people
Neither has anything to do with RACE
And by the way Condy couldn't reprimand a 4 year old!

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I'm not dismissing someone else's reality. All I ask is that

In reply to: Until we've walked in someone's shoes,

they not intrude on my reality. IOW, don't cry racism as a social cause when your exalted treatment slips occasionally. I can complain about the many waitresses that have ignored me over the years, but I would not accuse them of doing it because of my race. People like Cornel West are just spoiling for a cause for action. Everybody can tell their favorite anecdotes, but those don't prove anything.

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(NT) (NT) I Couldn't Agree More!!

In reply to: I'm not dismissing someone else's reality. All I ask is that

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pride cometh before the fall?

In reply to: Oprah's new standard for racism.

The incident occurred when Winfrey stopped by Hermes in Paris on June 14 to buy a watch minutes after the boutique closed

tough ***** lady, next time come on time, or make arrangements with "management"...

but where's Oprah's equality?'' asked Bruce D. Haynes, a sociologist at the University of California-Davis

if a french housewife turned up at the same time and was admitted, i 'might' ask the same question...

Hermes said in a statement it ''regrets not having been able to welcome'' Winfrey to the store, but that ''a private public relations event was being prepared inside.'' is not enough? and is being called clearly bigoted by Luke Visconti, co-founder of DiversityInc, a New Jersey-based business that advises companies on diversity issues

but this made me laugh Think about what this did to their business. Think about all those people who have been oppressed [by this kind of behavior] who are going to be sympathetic to Oprah and not go back there

all i could think was, how many people will shop there and say "i got service at the store that turned oprah away" Wink

a storm in a tea-cup, and, IMO, a lot of people jumping on the wagon to display their own personal view point! also called "brownie-points"?

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Public Raltaions?

In reply to: pride cometh before the fall?

"Hermes said in a statement it ''regrets not having been able to welcome'' Winfrey to the store, but that ''a private public relations event was being prepared inside."

What better public relations could anyone ask for to have Forbes recently elected number 1 Power Celeberity shopping when this "event" is taking place.

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6 of one, 1/2 a dozen of the other?

In reply to: Public Raltaions?

The New York Post, in its Monday Page Six gossip column, reported she was turned away because the store had been "having a problem with North Africans lately."

In comments to CNN, an Hermes spokeswoman categorically denied that allegation.

"There was never any discussion of North Africans," she said. "The story is not true."

The spokeswoman said Winfrey came to the store 15 minutes after closing and a security guard informed her the store was closed and gave her a card, telling her she could come back the next day.

Surveillance videotape of the encounter supports the store's account, according to the spokeswoman.

She said the CEO of Hermes has called Winfrey's people to explain "the situation" and invited her to come back to shop in the store



makes me wonder how "happy" oprah was when she heard that 'someone' had spread the 'racist' rumour?


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