Racism is a kind of discrimination or prejudice based on someone else’s race or skin color with a notion that one’s own race is superior. While racism sounds barbaric, it’s easy to argue that this kind of discrimination is alive and well in most parts of the world. In 2013, news broke out that U.S media mogul and billionaire Oprah Winfrey was subjected to racism while on a trip to Switzerland to attend Tina Turner’s wedding. As one of the few VVIP guests to the wedding, Oprah wanted a special handbag to compliment her elegant outfit. She visited an uptown boutique in Zurich by the name Trois Pommes. Zurich is recognized as one of the most expensive cities in the world. The woman at the store refused to get down a bag Oprah requested to see claiming that it was too expensive for her. The saleslady then kept tossing cheaper bags to Oprah despite her numerous attempts to insist on seeing the expensive bag (Thompson and Magnay).
This scenario is a good illustration of prejudice at its highest level. The Italian sales assistant at the store had a preconception that the $38,000 crocodile leather bag was too expensive for a black person who also happened to be a lady. We can argue that the lady had a preconceived opinion that the designer bag (Tom Ford Jennifer) was only affordable to and meant for certain races that were superior to the African Americans thus discrimination against skin color/race.
The White saleslady also believes in stereotypes including a notion that African Americans are generally poor and cannot afford expensive stuff. That explains why she continually tossed over cheaper bags to Oprah because she was black. Oprah even explains how she had her hair nicely kempt and was dressed up extra special in a Donna Karan (designer) outfit because she understands how snobby those kinds of stores are; She thought all along that most salesladies would look at the type of clothes the customer wears to judge for themselves. But she learned how wrong she was and got flabbergasted as the woman judged her by the color of her skin (Hall).
Hall, Allan. "Now Oprah Winfrey Insists She WAS Victim Of Racism At Swiss Store And Reveals How She Nearly Called Her Friend Jennifer Aniston Who The $38,000 Bag Was Named After." Mail Online. N.p., 2013. Web. 18 Apr. 2018.
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