It's a blessed time of year, when "we all give thanks for our families and our health and prepare to beat the shit out of people to go shopping." So, noting several instances of highly publicized racial profiling in recent weeks, Daily Show correspondent Jessica Williams (who would be a sweet choice for Jon Stewart's heir apparent, should the time come) offered up some genuinely helpful shopping tips last night: how to go shopping on Black Friday when you're black.
"It's hard to take advantage of all the Black Friday steals when you are accused of stealing," Williams quipped while interviewing black shoppers on the street about their own experiences with racism. Her tips start simple and grow from there:
1. When entering a store, alert everyone to your presence.
Williams demonstrated this one by entering a convenience store and loudly proclaiming, "Hey everybody, my name is Jessica Williams and I intend to buy a pack of gum. Reaching into my pocket right now to pull out some money! Not a gun! Permission to approach?"
She received only baffled stares. So it worked! No undercover cops emerged to arrest her or accuse her of stealing.
2. Upscale stores are trickier. To ensure you don't get arrested, try making friends with security.
Williams approached one guard with a fresh batch of cookies. Didn't work. So...
3. If that doesn't work, ask a white person to shop for you.
This was also a bust. Turns out approaching strangers on the street with "Excuse me, you look white, can I ask you a favor?" produces some weird looks. One guy just took the money and dashed off.
4. Hire a middle-aged white lady as your personal shopper and equip her with a personal camera inside her neck brace.
Get it? So Williams can see what her dummy shopper sees and direct her purchases from afar. Unfortunately, the woman she chose has dreadful style, and it proved inconvenient to try on makeup while explaining to the store expert that it's actually for a friend who's, er, more tan. So there's only one option left:
5. Cover your skin.
On second thought, don't use a ski mask.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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