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Shopkeeper in Zurich tells Oprah she can't afford a $38,000 handbag

Sykes

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The head of corporate communications for Zürich Tourism, Christian Trottmann, told CBSNews.com the incident was “obviously very regrettable.”

Meanwhile, the Zürich Tourism representative said he would encourage African-American families to not be put off by the Winfrey incident because the shopkeeper’s attitude isn’t reflective of the city as a whole.

“You’ll find here very friendly people,” Trottmann told CBSNews.com. “We are, I would say, quite an open-minded city. We are used to having people from all nations and all cultures.”
Zurich Shopkeeper Tells Oprah $38,000 Handbag ‘Too Expensive’ For Her | News One

People and their preconceived silly notions. Did the clerk NOT see "Pretty Woman"?!
 

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I can't get the article to load, but what exactly makes people think its a racial thing?

Also who the hell buys a 38,000 dollar hand bag?
 

Fisher

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I think Oprah is wrong that it was racism. They were willing to show her other purses. She admitted that she was dressed casually and some of the photos I have seen of Oprah dressed casually would make me not want to hand a $38K item to her or anybody else dressed like that.

On the other note, why the hell would someone spend $38K on a freaking purse?
 

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I think Oprah is wrong that it was racism. They were willing to show her other purses. She admitted that she was dressed casually and some of the photos I have seen of Oprah dressed casually would make me not want to hand a $38K item to her or anybody else dressed like that.

On the other note, why the hell would someone spend $38K on a freaking purse?
Why would anybody put a car elevator into their home.

She's a multi-billionaire. She can do with her money as she wills. And SOMEBODY lost a lovely commission because she was a bit of an idiot.
 

ttwtt78640

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I can't get the article to load, but what exactly makes people think its a racial thing?

Also who the hell buys a 38,000 dollar hand bag?
While the store clerk may have, indeed, made a very poor business decision, calling that "comsumer advice" racism is a stretch. Very rich folks often do not dress up for casual strolls about town, but deciding not to help any customer make a major purchase may get that clerk a place in the unemployment line. ;)
 

Fisher

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Why would anybody put a car elevator into their home.

She's a multi-billionaire. She can do with her money as she wills. And SOMEBODY lost a lovely commission because she was a bit of an idiot.
It was their purse and they had the right to do with it what they will, including not handing it over to Oprah whom they probably did not recognize since lots of people look a lot different in person than they do on TV :2wave:
 

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Around here, some of the wealthiest people walk around in overalls and **** kickers, with the **** still on them.

As someone else said, they lost a nice little commission because they judged the book by it's cover.
 

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I can't get the article to load, but what exactly makes people think its a racial thing?
Honestly? Because she's one of the kind of people of color who turn everything into race if they don't get their way. If I were to walk in there and the woman not deal with me, I'd think it was because I was dressed slouchy or something. Not because of color. Not everything is about race, but some people will always think that it is. That's why we will always have racism. It will never go away. Ever.
 

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Here she is arriving at her hotel for the wedding.



If this is how she dresses/looks when out and about it isn't any wonder she would be treated in such a manner in a high end shop.
 

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I saw that today and laughed. No way this was racism. First of all, you'll be hard pressed to find more than a handful of people here who actually know who Oprah is. Second, this is a shop on one of the most expensive streets in the world. Third, Oprah was shown a whole bunch of other expensive bags and was invited to the shop's first floor to see some more. Then she noticed the one behind the security screen and said she wanted to take a look at it. That was the 38K purse. The shopgirl, thinking that Oprah is just a regular well-to do person and having no idea she's actually a multi-millionaire, naturally assumes the bag would be too expensive for her. I don't see anything racist here.
 

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Honestly? Because she's one of the kind of people of color who turn everything into race if they don't get their way.
I think it's a bit of a stretch to assume it had anything to do with race.
I saw that today and laughed. No way this was racism.
I think Oprah is wrong that it was racism.
... which is why the store owner is pleading forgiveness and the country's tourism department is apologizing? If Oprah was not "dressed" enough as you all are contending, she would not have been let in the store by the boutique's security in the first place. Yet she was let into the store and had requested to see the bag at least three times. Each time the clerk refused to show Oprah the bag, stating that the bag was too expensive. Which clerk would do that with such assertiveness? The clerk was applying -- probably completely unaware of it even -- a racial stereotype to the person in front of her, and that just happened to be the wrong person.

More to the broader issue, a lot of white people seem to believe that racism is only an explicit expression or situation. That's not true. It can be a very subtle, but obvious behavior where others are simply treating you differently. For a black person, it's a white woman who will take a look at you and clutch her purse tighter while edging away. People avoiding sitting next to you on crowded trains. Police following you or watching you. As a white person, I have only experienced it secondhand through the association of black and Arab friends and traveling with them. I can even understand it somewhat being gay. Whenever I am visiting my parents in my hometown, I make certain to wear an LGBT livestrong armband when I'm out in public. You would not believe how different it is going to the grocery store. People gawk, employees act awkward when you ask questions and parents will even subtly shield their kids. But I can get easily get rid of the stigma by just taking off the armband. Black people don't get that convenience. They get to spend their entire lives conscientious of the fact that people are treating them differently because they are black.

In this situation, it doesn't matter one way or another to Oprah. It was just a minor inconvenience. It's just trying to get people to stop doing that in the first place.
 

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... which is why the store owner is pleading forgiveness and the country's tourism department is apologizing? If Oprah was not "dressed" enough as you all are contending, she would not have been let in the store by the boutique's security in the first place. Yet she was let into the store and had requested to see the bag at least three times. Each time the clerk refused to show Oprah the bag, stating that the bag was too expensive. Which clerk would do that with such assertiveness? The clerk was applying -- probably completely unaware of it even -- a racial stereotype to the person in front of her, and that just happened to be the wrong person.

More to the broader issue, a lot of white people seem to believe that racism is only an explicit expression or situation. That's not true. It can be a very subtle, but obvious behavior where others are simply treating you differently. For a black person, it's a white woman who will take a look at you and clutch her purse tighter while edging away. People avoiding sitting next to you on crowded trains. Police following you or watching you. As a white person, I have only experienced it secondhand through the association of black and Arab friends and traveling with them. I can even understand it somewhat being gay. Whenever I am visiting my parents in my hometown, I make certain to wear an LGBT livestrong armband when I'm out in public. You would not believe how different it is going to the grocery store. People gawk, employees act awkward when you ask questions and parents will even subtly shield their kids. But I can get easily get rid of the stigma by just taking off the armband. Black people don't get that convenience. They get to spend their entire lives conscientious of the fact that people are treating them differently because they are black.

In this situation, it doesn't matter one way or another to Oprah. It was just a minor inconvenience. It's just trying to get people to stop doing that in the first place.
But it's not always about race. Not everything is about race. "OMG, she wouldn't let me buy a $38K purse. I guess it's because I'm black." or "OMG. I didn't get that job. I guess it's because I'm black." or "OMG. I didn't get the scholarship. It's because I'm black."

Maybe you didn't get the purse because you walked in looking like a freaking slob, or you didn't get the job because someone was more qualified than you, or you didn't get the scholarship because your grades weren't good enough.

It's not always about race, but oftentimes, when a black person, or an Arab, or a fat person, or whatever, gets butthurt because they don't get their way, it's always the other person's fault. It's a lot easier to blame the other person.
 

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Zurich Shopkeeper Tells Oprah $38,000 Handbag ‘Too Expensive’ For Her | News One

People and their preconceived silly notions. Did the clerk NOT see "Pretty Woman"?!
Actually - I don't blame the shop keeper. Why did anyone assume it was because Oprah was BLACK? I read the article and didn't see that written anywhere.

What I saw: a woman walks into a store, wants a 38,000 $ item, and the shop keeper is use to tourists with American Accents asking to see their junk because they don't realize how expensive the damned store is.

I bet you MORE OFTEN she encounters people who want to 'look at touch the expensive merchandise' - just for a hoot . . . rather than people who want to buy it because they can afford to spend a small fortune on a handbag.

Much ado about nothing - especialy when Oprah didn't explain herself, or ask more questions like 'how much is it?' . . she just walked off.

If someone said that to me - my natural response is "oh yeah, out of curiosity, how much is it?" - maybe they're right, maybe they're wrong.
 

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I wonder who alerted the press about this.
 

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But it's not always about race. Not everything is about race. "OMG, she wouldn't let me buy a $38K purse. I guess it's because I'm black." or "OMG. I didn't get that job. I guess it's because I'm black." or "OMG. I didn't get the scholarship. It's because I'm black."

Maybe you didn't get the purse because you walked in looking like a freaking slob, or you didn't get the job because someone was more qualified than you, or you didn't get the scholarship because your grades weren't good enough.

It's not always about race, but oftentimes, when a black person, or an Arab, or a fat person, or whatever, gets butthurt because they don't get their way, it's always the other person's fault. It's a lot easier to blame the other person.
No, it's not always about race. However when my Arab and black friends tell me that they're uncomfortable, or that they'd like to avoid a situation, or that someone is acting odd around them ... I tend to believe them. I don't point at them and say, "OMG, why do you always think about race!?" Why? I trust them. I believe people when they tell me something is wrong.

I mean, let's assume that we believe all people are created equal and think alike. Gallup asks, "Is the American justice system baised against black people?" We see that 68% of blacks say it is, and 69% of whites say it's not. Do we white people actually believe that the justice system is unbiased, and the only reason that the poll skews is because 70% of black people are just dishonest? That a huge percent of black Americans are intellectually lazy and spend their lives blaming others and pretending to be victims?

... I mean we've suddenly gone from assuming that black people are equal to us, to believing that they are dishonest, race-baiting Gallup poll answerers. We're doing exactly what we're being accused of doing! Labeling another person with a negative trait simply due to their skin color. Why not actually listen to what they are saying and see what issue is, instead of slagging them off as butthurt whiners? Is that somehow going to violate some unwritten rule or waste our time?
 

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... which is why the store owner is pleading forgiveness and the country's tourism department is apologizing? If Oprah was not "dressed" enough as you all are contending, she would not have been let in the store by the boutique's security in the first place. Yet she was let into the store and had requested to see the bag at least three times. Each time the clerk refused to show Oprah the bag, stating that the bag was too expensive. Which clerk would do that with such assertiveness? The clerk was applying -- probably completely unaware of it even -- a racial stereotype to the person in front of her, and that just happened to be the wrong person.

More to the broader issue, a lot of white people seem to believe that racism is only an explicit expression or situation. That's not true. It can be a very subtle, but obvious behavior where others are simply treating you differently. For a black person, it's a white woman who will take a look at you and clutch her purse tighter while edging away. People avoiding sitting next to you on crowded trains. Police following you or watching you. As a white person, I have only experienced it secondhand through the association of black and Arab friends and traveling with them. I can even understand it somewhat being gay. Whenever I am visiting my parents in my hometown, I make certain to wear an LGBT livestrong armband when I'm out in public. You would not believe how different it is going to the grocery store. People gawk, employees act awkward when you ask questions and parents will even subtly shield their kids. But I can get easily get rid of the stigma by just taking off the armband. Black people don't get that convenience. They get to spend their entire lives conscientious of the fact that people are treating them differently because they are black.

In this situation, it doesn't matter one way or another to Oprah. It was just a minor inconvenience. It's just trying to get people to stop doing that in the first place.
No the store owner said that the sales person did not recognize Oprah. There are bigger issues than this, and if these are the battles you choose to fight, then it is no wonder blacks are moving backwards in the country.
 

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Eh, the clerk was fairly foolish to refuse a customer request. However, if lily-white me sauntered into that store wearing the same cheap-looking outfit that Oprah wore, I doubt the clerk would have allowed me to manhandle a $38,000 item either. I have nothing against Oprah. In fact I admire her tenacity and business acumen. However, she is a woman who is used to having people cater to her every demand, and has a reputation of being a perfectionist not adverse to snapping at her employees when the mood strikes her.

It's not like the paparazzi bugged her bosom and broke the story. Oprah broke it herself, and she is the one who presumed it was racism without even considering that it might be the fact that she looked like an unkempt cow at the time. Not meaning to be derogatory, we all look like unkempt cows at times after all, but her ego didn't allow herself to consider that there could be any reason her wish was not granted other than racism. :shrug:
 

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... which is why the store owner is pleading forgiveness and the country's tourism department is apologizing? If Oprah was not "dressed" enough as you all are contending, she would not have been let in the store by the boutique's security in the first place.
I'm not sure what things are like in Zurich, but if they're anything like the US, I really doubt there are security guards at the front of the store to keep out anyone who isn't dressed well enough.

Yet she was let into the store and had requested to see the bag at least three times. Each time the clerk refused to show Oprah the bag, stating that the bag was too expensive. Which clerk would do that with such assertiveness?
I don't know, maybe because Oprah wasn't dressed like someone who could afford to buy a purse that costs as much as an entry-level luxury car?

The clerk was applying -- probably completely unaware of it even -- a racial stereotype to the person in front of her, and that just happened to be the wrong person.
Which seems more likely? That the shopkeeper assumed "That lady's black, so she can't possibly have any money, because everyone knows that all black people are poor". Or that she assumed "That lady's wearing sweatpants, there's no way she's got enough money to afford this and dresses like that".

The thing is that there's no evidence whatsoever that race played a part in the shopkeeper's decision. It's just an assumption on some people's part.
 

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But it's not always about race. Not everything is about race. "OMG, she wouldn't let me buy a $38K purse. I guess it's because I'm black." or "OMG. I didn't get that job. I guess it's because I'm black." or "OMG. I didn't get the scholarship. It's because I'm black."

Maybe you didn't get the purse because you walked in looking like a freaking slob, or you didn't get the job because someone was more qualified than you, or you didn't get the scholarship because your grades weren't good enough.

It's not always about race, but oftentimes, when a black person, or an Arab, or a fat person, or whatever, gets butthurt because they don't get their way, it's always the other person's fault. It's a lot easier to blame the other person.
So, it's never about race? You should actually read up on Switzerland (they actually have a racism problem in their country).
 
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