A Black woman is accusing a Target employee of racially profiling her while she was purchasing Black History Month items. Pamela Smith, who goes by @blackhomeeducators on TikTok, posted a now-viral video last week describing her experience at a Kalispell, Montana store.
"Don’t buy their Black History Collection," Smith wrote, tagging the retailer in the post. "They need diversity training. Tag Target and Black Businesses that we can purchase from."
The names of security and the store manager were dropped in the video, which has gained nearly 450,000 views as of Monday afternoon (January 24).
“I came in here for Black History items and I was treated like I was stealing these items. Target, if you’re seeing this, corporate, you definitely need to do some training here in Kalispell, Montana," Smith continued in the same video. In another TikTok, she claims a white clerk was accusing her of stealing the items and even tried to search her purse.
"She was invading my personal space. I had a mask, I was telling her please back up, her not having on a mask,” Smith recounted. “She proceeded to go into my bag that I had already scanned items... I’m embarrassed, I’m hurt, I’m shook up. The white people in there thought it was funny.”
The TikToker called on viewers to not buy Target's Black History Collection and to instead purchase directly from Black businesses.
"We don’t have to buy their Black History collection because if they’re spending millions of dollars for Black creators, why aren’t they spending money to teach diversity to their staff?" Smith continued. " How are you gonna sell these items and have us come in the store and not even train your staff on diversity?
Target's TikTok account responded to one of the videos in the comment section:
"This is definitely not the welcoming experience we strive for. We want everyone who shops at Target to feel respected every time they shop in our stores. Our team would like to connect with you and is committed to looking into this situation."
A Target spokesperson also emailed a statement to the Daily Dot, saying the company reached out to Smith to "apologize directly" and they're "looking into these serious allegations with the team member in question."
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