Oprah says her racist experience in Zurich is what people of color experience daily

Posted by Ria, 19 Aug 13

oprah racism zurichIf a woman of Oprah's stature can experience racism for being black, what's to happen to the rest of us?

Well, the media mogul Oprah Winfrey is an example of the things “people of black or brown color experience daily”, she says. Oprah claims to have encountered racism in Zurich, Switzerland, while attending the wedding of Tina Turner last month. Apparently, while shopping, a shop assistant refused to show her a Tom Ford crocodile leather purse she had asked for, saying it was too expensive. "The woman did not want to get down the bag which I wanted to look at. She said to me, that the bag was simply too expensive. And I said: ‘I want to see it anyway.’ Instead she tossed me cheaper bags," says Oprah.

Did this woman really have no clue who Oprah is and how much she is worth? Well it doesn't really matter. I don't think anyone should be treated with such prejudice; not in this age and era because no one has their net worth plastered on their faces. Oprah however admitted that because of her stature, she rarely encounters such in-your-face kind of racism. The Switzerland incident has only happened to her once before.

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Well, guess what Oprah admits: "To be honest, if I had known upfront what this damned bag cost, do you know what? The woman was right: I would not have bought the thing — far too expensive! Too expensive! $38,000! I would have fainted when I saw the price tag."

The shop owner claims it was a misunderstanding. Do you think the incident was purely racist or did the shop assistant refuse to take the bag down because Oprah didn't look like she could afford it? (O.K. I am talking Oprah here. That last part of the question just seems wrong. :lol: )

Do you encounter such racism in your daily life?

50 responses to "Oprah says her racist experience in Zurich is what people of color experience daily"

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  1.   SurpriseMEE says:
    Posted: 11 May 14

    Didn't this experience happen to Oprah many years ago? Is this article being printed here not to inspire a discussion, or is this yet another experience that happened exactly like the one that occurred over 10 years ago? In any event, it's sort of surprising because it's Oprah, but not a surprise at all that this happened, it happens every day.

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  2.   Ironman5 says:
    Posted: 05 Feb 14

    Racism is as dangerous as Global Warming! It is still alive and still an ugly epidemic that some people have to encounter. The sad part is people seem to have not learned from the past or choose to turn ignore it! =

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  3.   statician says:
    Posted: 05 Sep 13

    @Dave74 actually iam a Ugandan and i don't know any single word in kiswahili though we share boarders with kenya.In equality for all Uganda is the same with Tanzania.Our culture is based on kingship.I have ever been to kenya and if they realise you don't speak kiswahili expect unfairness in every thing as to my experience also i would never go back.You would never see a Ugandan marrying a kenyan though kenyan men would struggle atleast to get that chance of dating a Ugandan gal.

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  4. Posted: 05 Sep 13

    I have encountered that a few times when I go in some of the department stores, but I always make them look stupid or I threaten to go to the manager and make them afraid of me. It always seems to be the white girls and the white women. They follow you or watch you more than the other customers. You don't have to be a dummy to know when a person is insulting you because of your race. My whole mission is to buy what I want and leave. You just don't refuse to show somebody an item for whatever reason. The owner was wrong and tried to play it off like it was a misunderstanding, cause that's what some of them do.

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    • DarkHoney1 says:
      Posted: 06 Sep 13

      I have had such experiences - nearly every time I go shopping. It is soooo annoying to be followed around like that. When that happens I just turn around and shoo them off! Verbally. I tell them to go away and that I am perfectly able to do my shopping myself without their assistance and that if I need help I'll be sure to call them. That usually works - they understand that I understand what they are doing and if they persist I will make them regret it. It is sad, but true.

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  5.   statician says:
    Posted: 03 Sep 13

    I wish the way how whites are treated in Africa is the way how blacks are treated in Europe.In my country our culture emphasise equality for all.You would never find any judgemental issues of any kind as Oprah recieved from a swiss sales clerk who judged her pocket.In business a customer remains the same and treated the same since all of them wants a value from your product.So the ignorancy among people who are racists, would always remain ignorant till God comes back to rescue them.

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    • dave_74 says:
      Posted: 04 Sep 13

      Statician, as a white resident in Kenya I can assure you that you don't want the same treatment. Let's see, 1) You speak the local language (Kiswahili) been here 2+ years yet most of the sales people still treat you like an ignorant rich tourist that just got off the plane and want to charge you double or triple for everything from an Apple to a Zanzibar trip. 2) You get to avoid security checks, even after last years Nairobi terror attack was done by a European! 3) You go into a place to eat/drink and the waiters do ridiculous things like fight to serve you and even insist on moving already seated customers in the hopes that you will leave a Ksh 10,000 tip for a Chai and Mandazi. Here in Kenya as you probably know, we are still stuck in Tribal issues. We can't treat people of the same skin tone Equally IF they are of different tribes. Look at our past presidential elections, I think even Rwanda has surpassed Kenya in terms of Equality. I don't expect Equal treatment anymore, and I doubt if by 2030 the Kenyan people will see an increase in Equality between their 43 tribes. I think Equal treatment is something we should really wish for. Or ask yourself this , do you really want the same treatment I receive in Kenya in Europe? Lastly God created us all equal and he didn't make any of us racist. Love is natural. Hate/ racism is a negative learned behavior. (Nelson Mandela)

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  6.   xiumara says:
    Posted: 02 Sep 13

    Terrible... i was BORN in Switzerland, went to school there and lived there until i was 12. I speak the language perfectly. After many years i went back there to visit my family. i remember going to the store to buy cigarette and they asked me for an ID ... I showed them my Croatian ID (even though im born there they dont give us cytizenship)... The look on the vendors face!!! The Swiss are very weird and cold people and still dont understand why my family is still living there... Oh... Did i mention i am white??

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  7.   matkins4268 says:
    Posted: 31 Aug 13

    if no one knew what racism was what will it be . OPHAH have made in in a white and never said once thank you white folks so she make my child feel that someone is against them why we our kids dont need to believe that someone is against them they need to believe that they have the same rights as any american have not to be handicaped with a notion that only exist in one mind SHAME ON YOU OPRAH SHAME ON YOU you make it and now cause another to stumble SHAME ON YOU

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    • sxybrwnsuga says:
      Posted: 02 Sep 13

      What did you just say???

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      • DarkHoney1 says:
        Posted: 02 Sep 13

        He completely lost me with the lack punctuations and all! The message got lost in translation - completely - at least for me!

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  8.   jimtwobees says:
    Posted: 30 Aug 13

    Yawn. All of us...All Of Us...ALL OF US...need to grow thicker skins and stop looking for reasons to accuse others of being racist. This is an interracial dating site and should not be a forum for black, brown, yellow or white propaganda. This site should hire people with better judgement to manage this end of their business. Bottom line...there are people that make a lot of money by throwing the words racism and racist around in the public forum - - and that includes people who own talk shows, publish magazines and make movies. Personally, I am offended that an interracial dating site is paying someone to perpetuate the same biased garbage that many of us joined this site to get away from. And before the attacks begin...we should all be reminded that WE ALL CAME OUT OF AFRICA. Stop the madness!!! The woman who served Oprah was attempting to be helpful by not ripping off a customer. The cultural bias and prejudice, in this case is Oprah' s. In this case she was the quintessential "ugly American" - - demanding that everyone bow down to her own world view instead of appreciating the beauty of a culture that is different from her own. Y'all should get out of the State's and travel more, it might help some of you get that "racist" stick out of your butts.

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    • sxybrwnsuga says:
      Posted: 02 Sep 13

      White folks kill me wanting to brush racism under the carpet. It is still a big problem in this country. You can try to run from it but it will continue to exist no matter how you try to convince yourself otherwise. You don't have to deal with it but black people have no choice. Why should people have to grow a thick skin. Why don't racist grow up and realize we are not going no where. Why not tell them to stop hating. That's too much like right. You just rather blacks grow thicker skin. It's a ticking time bomb that will eventually have to explode.

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    • DarkHoney1 says:
      Posted: 02 Sep 13

      Whilst you might want to yawn over a disgusting and real problem that you have never and will probably never encounter, the fact remains that racism is alive and well and should not be trivialised. You may not be racist, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't exist and that those of us that have had to endure it are "....looking for reasons to accuse others of being racist." That is extremely insensitive and callous! If you see someone being raped, you are going to pretend it isn't happening and when it is over and done with you accuse the victim of not developing a thick enough skin to ignore the impact of such an unwanted abuse??? If you do not stand up against an ill, and you speak down on the victims of such an ill, you are equally culpable of such an ill in my books! If Oprah's experience wasn't racism - the shop assistant was being helpful - what do you call my own experience in the Downtown Milan Louis Vuitton shop then? And you won't find someone with a thicker skin than mine! But I do know racism when I see it - at least I am an expert in it having been subjected to it for nearly 4 decades! You on the other hand are not because you have no clue what it means to be a victim of racism. Lucky you.

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      • jimtwobees says:
        Posted: 03 Sep 13

        It is unfortunate that you or anyone feels that they can safely assume that a person has NEVER been a victim of racism...because of the color of their skin. That being said, I apologize if anyone imagines that I was attempting to sweep REAL racism under the carpet. Nothing could be further from the truth. But I will not apologize for criticizing the low tolerance that some people exhibit for anyone from a different cultural/ethnic background or (God forbid) anyone who has a different point of view. I understand that my remarks stirred a hornets nest...but then...isn' t that what the author intended? And didn't this website understand what it was doing when it placed the article in this arena? No worries anyone, I won't be making anymore remarks on this site. But for the record, if anyone of any race, creed, culture, gender or color was mistreated in my presence - - he wouldn't have to worry about defending himself because I would be the first to defend him; if I failed to fight for what is righteous, not only would I be ashamed but my family and friends would be ashamed of me, too. However, I would always be sure to never confuse poor customer service, rudeness or a cultural misunderstanding with Racism. Peace and love. I'm oughta' here.

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        • dave_74 says:
          Posted: 04 Sep 13

          Thank you, very well said! Couldn't agree with you more. In my years of IR dating, I learned one thing you can NEVER say to a black American woman is she is having a bad hair day(even if she is) and now I learned NOT to have an opinion outside of Oprah.... Good thing is Caribbean and African women are not as sensitive to such issues as their American counterparts. Good Luck!

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          • DarkHoney1 says:
            Posted: 06 Sep 13

            Dave, I am British and not American, and though I cannot speak for the sensitivity of the African American woman to racism as you seem to put it, when I see racism, I know it. So, I do not sugar coat it, white wash it or trivialise it. And I certainly would not blame the victim for not developing a thick enough skin! Victim blaming is part of the problem just like the rape analogy I gave in my response to the 'Yawn' comment! If you do not condone racism, then do not condone it - don't turn on the victim and blame them for being too sensitive. Maybe African American women are more outspoken or vocal against the racist abuse they have to endure than Caribbean and African women! That does not make them the problem, racism is the problem. Afterall if there was no racism at all, then there would not need to be race-o-meter reading of slightly sensitively, moderately sensitive, or highly sensitive, would there? I don't walk around looking for racism and I am blessed in that people in the part of the UK where I come from are way too posh to show me their racist side if they have one. It is something that would be publicly decried for sure! But if anyone was ever racist to me, I will deal with it effectively. That is not being overly sensitive - it is calling a spade a spade! It is worrying that your gripe seems to be more with why African American women [according to you] are more sensitive to racism that the fact that racism being a problem in itself. Racism is a disease, the sensitivity of African American women to it is only a symptom of that disease. You can spend all the resource you have treating/tackling the symptoms, but it will never treat or cure the disease. Treat the disease and the symptoms will disappear.

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        • DarkHoney1 says:
          Posted: 06 Sep 13

          'Yawn' said it all. And I made no assumptions that are no based on facts. Since you are gone - all I can say is - bye..

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  9.   jod212 says:
    Posted: 27 Aug 13

    Thank's sweetgirlth, you are so spot on!!!! We have to remember that Oprah is not a size 2 kind of woman. I am sure thet the issue of physical apperance had more to do with her not being taken care of and her complexion more than likely was a secondary issue. We assume that everyone know's who she is as well but outside of North America, that is not necessarily the case. As for the sales clerk, she may have been treating her with a disdain that felt like racism. All of us who are Black/Brown are sadly familiar with that sensation. Personally, I never let a single individual dictate my decision as to where I spend my money. Instead, I send email and snail-mail letters to corporate headquarters. The bottom line is these people are employed to "serve" and if I am not served in a manner that I am comfortible, I let the "powers that be" know that some lowlevel "worker Bee" of an employee is standing in the way of them getting my money. When they get that information...things usually change.

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  10.   sweetgirltn says:
    Posted: 26 Aug 13

    Last time I was in Denver, I was out shopping with a friend who is about a size 2 and we were in the area of the store that had clothes in her size. Now I am not huge, but I'm no size 2. A clerk came up to me and said, "We don't have anything for YOU here." How does she know I'm not shopping for a daughter, a niece, a friend, hell anyone!!! How did she know I wasn't buying the clothes for my friend? We walked out in disgust. Anyone, anywhere at anytime can act like a jerk sometimes a snooty clerk is just a snooty clerk.

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    • DarkHoney1 says:
      Posted: 03 Sep 13

      Sweetgirl, I get your point, but if Oprah was desperately trying to squeeze her 'bulk' into a size 1 dress and risked tearing the precious dress and she got told off, I guess I will understand that. She was looking at a bag and these are 'sizeless' fashion accessories! It is what it is - disdain, racism, bigotry. They are not acceptable!

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  11.   dave_74 says:
    Posted: 24 Aug 13

    @YourNiceGirl, , first off , I never claimed to know every Swiss person nor did I deny that even a Swiss person could ever be a racist. Racists are everywhere, and I'm sure Switzerland even has a few. However my own interaction with the Swiss is much higher than that 0.0001% you suggested. I was an exchange student in Switzerland, my first wife was Swiss and even my first daughter was born in Basel. I spent about 1/2 my life either in Switzerland or in very close neighboring countries and might even go back for post Grad studies. I know that the Swiss people in general are very much opposed to racism. If you watched some of the Swiss videos instead of only the American media ones you might understand that. Of course the Swiss didn't want the negative association, not because they fear a possible invasion nor boycott nor cut off of foreign aid.(I hope no one actually believes that...lol) No, it's because they are for the most part a people that don't tolerate racism. Hence their neutralism for the past century duh...! European, Swiss shops especially the specialty shops of this caliber actually instruct their clerks to ward off customers that they think aren't potential customers, many potential customers at such shops indeed make pre- arranged appointments where background checks are made etc... totally snobby yes! but racist not here. Like I said, Oprahs treatment wasn't due to her skin tone, as 99.9% of others of this shop most likely got similar treatment and they weren't African american. What I am saying is I don't think this was a racial issue at all. I sincerely think it was MORE of a cultural and linguistically misunderstanding, and while I am against racism , I am part Swiss/German/ American and wanted to give my input since I am one of those who actually understands these multiple sides. Racism is huge and I could write a book on the different treatment I have received because of my skin tone. I have even lived in places where albino Africans are hunted down like Elephants to get their body parts illegally sold to witchcraft. The linking to Nazis wasn't all that much out of line as Oprah ignorantly originally linked her experience to Apartheid South Africa then later apologized. What I truly sadly feel is your need to blindly follow any media person to this extent without even trying to understand any other party. Your ignorance only fuels the racist issues that continue to plague America. You should be ashamed of yourself, looking for racism when it isn't there , and trying to throw fuel when there isn't a flame. Your words are indeed the most disgusting.

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    • DarkHoney1 says:
      Posted: 02 Sep 13

      Dave, I am extremely well travelled and I was raised on 3 different continents, with multiple European, African and American heritage and with 4 different nationalities. As a result of my international upbringing, I am highly tolerant of different cultures, attitudes and way of life and philosophy. I see no reason why you should think that this poster should be ashamed of her comments more than you yours. In my estimation, she is not fuelling anything - she is merely stating the obvious - that racism exists and should not be trivialised. We all agree on that point so let's move on.

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  12.   DarkHoney1 says:
    Posted: 21 Aug 13

    Oh my God! The exact same thing happened to me in Louis Vuitton shop in Milan's downtown shopping centre near the Duomo di Milano! I walked into this shop with my then 2 year old son and my then husband (now my ex-husband). I went there with the intention of purchasing a handbag, so I looked at some of their collections as other shoppers and/or window shoppers were doing. The offending shop assistant who was very pleasant to all the other shoppers [who by the way were all white] getting them stuff and being generally attentive and all smiles. Then he singled me out and turned on me. Telling me in a stern voice and a deep scowl that I was not allowed to look at their collections of bags or scarves or anything in the shop because they were simply too expensive for me! He told me I could never afford these items!! I was in shock! I am relatively beautiful, extremely sophisticated, and highly educated professional Black British woman whose usual wardrobe and accessories are all designers products. And when I walked into the shop, I was wearing a Rolex watch, carrying a Gucci bag, a Michael Kors shirt, Salvatore Ferragamo's slippers and a short from my all so British Marks & Spencer - so I wasn't exactly looking like some trashy person. So I asked him how he came to the decision that I couldn't afford it and asked him if it was because I was Black and he answered in the affirmative! I have never honestly been treated like that whilst shopping in the UK, Belgium, Germany and New York (and the USA at large) where I usually do my shopping so this was very new to me, but I am so used to racism so I was just going to walk out of the shop, but not before telling him that as a shop assistant, I can pay 10 of his salaries so the issue of expense was not an argument I would engage with him about! All the white shoppers turned around to survey the situation because the moment he roped himself in and confirmed that his decision about me was based on my race my then husband hit the roof! He did not accept that I walked out and he wanted to make an example of the ignorant guy. In the end after escalating the matter to Louis Vuitton management and the management of the shopping centre, the little ignorant man was made to apologize profusely and they offered me an opportunity to come back to the shop and be given customer service like none other, but I graciously declined. I was sick to my stomach. It suffices to say that whilst up until that day I was a Louis Vuitton collector, after that day, I completely switched off Louis Vuitton and I would never spend a penny of my hard earned money on anything Louis Vuitton. They've lost my patronage, that of my ex-husband and those of my friends. And we all used to be big spenders.

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    • dave_74 says:
      Posted: 22 Aug 13

      I am in no way defending racism nor denying your experience, I have myself experienced quite a bit due to my skin tone. What I am saying is the store clerk didn't know Oprah AND most likely would have treated all other foreigners of all other skin tones not speaking the local language(s) very similar. The fact that both the owner and the director of the Swiss board of tourism made a statement shows to me that the Swiss are not Nazis. A lot of us get treated wrong (or at least different) due to our skin tone, I think this was more of a language barrier / cultural misunderstanding. Then again, I am not Oprah nor the Swiss store worker therefore I don't really know what went on that day. I am just guessing based on my experience of the Swiss people. I never met a racist Swiss person.

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      • YourNiceGirl says:
        Posted: 23 Aug 13

        I am stunned dave_74 that you are so invested in defending *an entire nation* of people based on your interactions with, what? less than 0.0001% of their population? The fact that the Swiss government made an official statement does not prove anything. it only proves that, unlike the ignorant store employee, they know exactly who Oprah Winfrey is and how that incident could sully their reputation. They moved quickly because they are not stupid. With social media and a 24hr news cycle, news travels around the world quickly and they don't want the negative association. Why do you think it is acceptable for a retail *sales*person to deny showing an item for *sale* to a *customer* in the store where they are *working* in a position with a primary function to *sell things*? Oprah was pretty clear about what went down. Do you really think that any person of her acumen and discernment (let alone her experience as an African American of her age raised in the Southern U.S.) does not know when she is on the receiving end of racist behavior? When you try to diffuse and minimize a racial incident by claims that, "A lot of us get treated wrong (or at least different) due to our skin tone..." you are committing an offense equal or greater than the original incident and completely ignoring the definition of racism. Many talk of racism, bigotry and discrimination as if they are interchangeable. They are not. Further, likening the Swiss to Nazis in the wake of this incident is a blatant way of trying to make it seem ridiculous. Oprah was refused service - not sent off in a cattle car to the gas chamber. Sadly, her experience is all too common for people of color. As bad as the behavior of the sales clerk was, I actually find yours more disgusting.

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        • sxybrwnsuga says:
          Posted: 02 Sep 13

          It's call3d white male privilege syndrome. White men like him think they are not racist because they date interracially. I don't even try to help educate them anymore. A waste of my time.

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          • dave_74 says:
            Posted: 03 Sep 13

            Nice try suga, and you suffer from "Ignorance syndrome" Try judging a person on their merits and not on their skin color and even you might not follow your countries media so blindly. I learned the hard way that not one sided following 100% what Oprah says to some American black woman such as yourself is a crime equivalent to burning of a Qur'an would be to a Muslim. You are really ignorant enough to call me a racist and say that I suffer from some disease because I don't share ALL your biased one sided media views? Really? and then you go on to speak of education? May I suggest acquiring some education before trying to "educate" people ? You clearly have some unsolved racial issues that I suggest you find a way to solve before entering a relationship of any kind, especially and IR relationship. (hint contrary to your belief, not all white men are racists...you might want to learn that before renewing your membership) I absolutely agree with jimtwobees "Yall should get out of the States and travel more, it might help some of you get that racist stick out of your butts."

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        • DarkHoney1 says:
          Posted: 02 Sep 13

          I found his comments without basis or credence. The lady is in the shop to sell and sell she should! Anything short of that is unacceptable. It was never her job to turn customers away. That does not seem to appear clear enough to Dave 74, in this story! And I think that is significant enough.

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          • dave_74 says:
            Posted: 03 Sep 13

            Darkhoney1, You choose selective reading comprehension, however I won't repeat myself again since you and one or 2 others follow suit, however I will include an example which since you were in Italy might be able to relate to , to what I think happened to Oprah. In Modena Italy , there is a Ferrari dealership. I went there and was refused customer service. I'm sure it was based on the fact that I drove a Volvo V70 station wagon there and I didn't appear to be a potential customer. Sure it could be based off a magnitude of other reasons, but accepted the cold "may I help you? and we are not open to the public today", I'm sure the treatment I received wasn't unique to my skin tone. (Unlike your case, and as far as I know also Oprah's case, the salesperson didn't flat out say , "I refuse to serve you because you are black" (or any other skin tone) ) My point was if similar treatment (good or bad) happens to all. Is it really racism? I say No.(sorry you and others disagree) Yes, what happened to YOU in Italy was clearly racism (and I've sorry people possibly closer to my skin tone vs. yours treated you that way, I hope your bf knocked him out) But was racism involved in Modena to me? No, bad service yes, racism no. I think the exact thing happened to Oprah. (again I previously stated I don't know but is my educated guess) Why are my points so difficult to comprehend?

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          • DarkHoney1 says:
            Posted: 06 Sep 13

            Dave, Your points are not difficult to comprehend - at all. And I do not choose selective reading comprehension - that would be akin to calling me partially brain dead. The trouble with your analysis is that there is no evidence whatsoever that everyone else was treated that way - if that was the case I think Oprah would have noticed and mentioned it and that would have made a better headline in my opinion - so I would not rush to the conclusion that others may have been treated in the same way. If everyone was given same treatment then of course that isnt racism, but the trouble is Dave you do not have that evidence. So I wouldnt go there. What happened to you in Italy isnt racism for 2 reasons as annoying as it would have been: 1. The person who turned you away is of the same race as yourself. 2. There was no mention of your race or skin colour. It could be discrimination based on their perception of you; it could be anything. If I was the one they said that to, I would never even think racism - the first thing that would occur to me would be that perhaps Michael Jackson [when he was alive] or some other celebrity was shopping and they've closed shop to the public. Dave, more than you might believe, I agree with some of your points - fundamentally - but I disagree with your assumptions that have no credence or evidence. I hope this makes it easier for you to understand. I am not here to aggravate you, but to have a constructive discourse on what might be a sensitive subject for some.

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    • balfour says:
      Posted: 01 Sep 13

      I cant believe this! its unreal: similar situation happened to me in the Prada store in Milan in May. I was in the Galleria Vittorio mall Prada store. I went in financially prepared and planning to purchase a bag. The Italian sales woman came to assist me but when an Asian woman and husband came in the store the sales woman left me and went to wait on her hand and foot. I just looked on. Another sales person came over and helped me. I bought a 1,500 Euro ( $2,000 US) bag and walked out of the store past the First sales lady who was still pandering to the Asian woman who apparently didn't have the money to buy the bag she was clutching on to. The stereotype of all black people being poor has to stop. It is truly sickening

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      • DarkHoney1 says:
        Posted: 02 Sep 13

        It's indeed sickening! The fact that White people pretend that this isn't happening is a real Ostrich - head in the sand - shame! An ill is an ill and should be condemned and not excused just because one's race has mostly been noted or reported to be most likely to perpetrate it. I have wonderful shopping experiences in the US, Belgium, and the UK. I am highly unlikely to ever return to Milan in this life time so they won't be seeing a penny of my hard earned money.

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    • DarkHoney1 says:
      Posted: 02 Sep 13

      Did you see how many RED ARROWS I got for telling my story of RACISM??? If I or anyone else - black, yellow, brown or white - was in doubt, there is your answer! A victim of a clearly disgusting racist abuse tells her rather sad story of abuse, stating the facts of the sordid incident - she gets RED ARROWED down! I think that more than tells you how alive and well RACISM is today!

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  13.   dave_74 says:
    Posted: 21 Aug 13

    Let's boycott Swiss Miss, Swiss cheese, and the Swiss Army knife or rename it "non-racist Miss" and "non-racist cheese" and the "non-racist Army Knife" and we can further show that we don't support the racist actions of this Sovereign Alpine Nation by opening packets of "Swiss Miss" and pouring it into the gutter! On a more serious note, the Swiss have been pretty much neutral for the past century or so, and if I'm not mistaken at least one prince, duke or the like from Switzerland has a black wife (or was that Lichtenstein?) Also it is worthy to mention that many Swiss and most Europeans for that matter haven't seen nor heard of Oprah. Think about it how many Americans run up to Thomas Goltscheik a famous German actor who happens to have a residence in Florida, not many Americans know him. Lastly, imagine you are an employee and a stranger (or someone you don't recognize, hence = stranger) walks into your store doesn't speak your language and wants to see a bag which cost 20 times your monthly salary. Hmm, pretty sure anyone would be at least hesitant right? I don't think this is a racist issue, I'm sure if a white, latin, arab, asian foreigner not speaking the local language wanting to see the same $38k bag would have received the same treatment. Prove me wrong and I am ready to spill the Swiss Miss down the gutter!

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    • DarkHoney1 says:
      Posted: 22 Aug 13

      If Oprah's experience was racism, would you deny that my Louis Vuitton experience racism? The shop assistant confirmed same to me! It was too expensive for me because I was a Black woman - so what do you say to that? Not racism?

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      • sxybrwnsuga says:
        Posted: 02 Sep 13

        White people will never understand what black people go through period...stop trying to explain it. They obviously live in a world where racism no longer exist and black people live in the real world.

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        • DarkHoney1 says:
          Posted: 02 Sep 13

          You are absolutely right!

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        • dont_know says:
          Posted: 03 Sep 13

          As a "white" person, I perhaps, see more blatant racism that certainly exists in full force as a white man. Because as a white man racist white people "assume" that they can speak freely about all of their racist views and theories of the world in front of you. Not for a moment realizing that the person they are speaking to is not a "fellow racist" like them. And FYI, they don't live in a world where racism no longer exists" because it never went away. Racist white people just got more clever about hiding it or showing it in public and think they've become so clever at hiding it and insist that anyone who would suggest otherwise is mistaken, just because they've not yet been caught. A thief is a thief if they steal. One is not only a thief once they get caught. They're a thief even if no one ever catches them. It's sort of like illegal drug use. It hasn't gone away either. It's perhaps higher than ever, but people have just gotten more creative/clever about letting it be seen by anyone and completely deny it's existence, sometimes even in the face of getting caught red handed.

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          • DarkHoney1 says:
            Posted: 06 Sep 13

            I blow you a million kisses for your honesty!!! You have called it as it is. Thanks a lot.

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    • Brianten says:
      Posted: 24 Aug 13

      First of all, a single "racist" or "socioeconomic prejudice" event especially in a store does NOT make or imply that the whole country or government are racists or prejudiced. Neither does one person (a prince or not) marrying a black person (or person of another race) make the whole population not racist. Your argument (dave_74) about the store employee being skeptical to show a very expensive bag to Oprah due to the fact that she was a stranger and did not speak the language is weak. First, most of the customers she deals with are strangers (you and I speak the same language yet we're still strangers to each other). Also, Oprah is a woman who does not look threatening (unless just being black is threatening enough for the store clerk). So, do not try to justify wrongdoing based on racist or socioeconomic stereotyping/prejudice or language or national background or whatever you want to call it.

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      • dave_74 says:
        Posted: 25 Aug 13

        @Brianten, I agree that Oprah doesn't look threatening at all and of course most customers in most stores are indeed strangers. However my main point is that I am sure that scores of other people received similar treatment and service (or lack of it) in that same store regardless of skin tone. If Oprah were white, Arab, Asian, etc her Swiss shopping experience would have been the exact same. Therefore unlike DarkHoney1s Italian shopping experience which was clearly a racist encounter, I think what happened to Oprah while wrong doesn't classify as being racist encounter if it happens to everyone else. Oprah didn't get the celebrity treatment in Switzerland that she is accustomed to in the USA. Instead she got treated like everyone else that walked into that particular store and Oprah originally interpreted that as racism. I sincerely believe that it wasn't the case this time and I stated why I felt that way. If this happened in China, India , USA, South Africa, or that same Louis Vuitton shop in Milan that DarkHoney1 mentioned then I would without a doubt concur that racism was involved. I am sure Switzerland has racists, as every other country in the world. Also like I mentioned before , I am not justifying racism. I am sure real racists incidents occur daily like what happened to DarkHoney1 in Italy. If we all get similar treatment from a particular store clerk(good or bad) then it isn't racism right? The store clerk told Oprah that the bag was too expensive, not that you are black and therefore I refuse to show you the bag. There is a big difference in the shopping experiences between DarkHoney1 and Oprah, if you don't agree then I am sorry you feel that way. We don't always get the treatment we think we deserve, however it isn't always based on our skin color. I made an educated guess in that this case it was really more of a cultural/linguistic misunderstanding and not racism.

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      • sxybrwnsuga says:
        Posted: 02 Sep 13

        Thank you.

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      • DarkHoney1 says:
        Posted: 02 Sep 13

        Brianten - I could not have put it better! Very eloquent, succinct and balanced, indeed!

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  14.   teeball says:
    Posted: 21 Aug 13

    stupid, happens both ways more or less. White woman gets taunted because they are dating black man. Oprah should known better than making an issue out of it

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    • Dnise says:
      Posted: 21 Aug 13

      While that may be true,your comment doesn't speak to the issue. It's off topic. Furthermore, Oprah's commentary demonstrates that racism still exists. And because it still exists, then some of the very challenges that you attempted to address will also exists.In short,one occurs because of the other. White women can end the "taunting" by simply Not dating black men--which is a personal choice by the way. Blacks cannot stop their "taunting" as easily because the thing resulting in the taunt is a matter of genetics,social construction,but not choice.

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    • DarkHoney1 says:
      Posted: 22 Aug 13

      I'm sorry teeball - your comment is really not relevant to Oprah's experience. Agreed that racism can happen both ways, but that is purely due to who is in the minority and the disposition and enlightenment of the perceived minority. However, I must confess that I have seen more racism against Blacks in Europe, USA and the West than I have seen against Whites in Africa or Asia. Most of my white friends and colleagues have never experienced the shocking horrific experiences of racism that I have suffered. My friends are wonderful and supportive and they decry these abuses, but they acknowledge it is something they would and have never experienced; and they think the world of me for my stoic and poise approach in dealing with these rather frequent racist abuse!

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