The Rite Aid Racial Profiling Article and What Should Be Done


Dr. John E. Warren

The recent article about the father and son shopping at the Rite Aid Store in Spring Valley with the clerk following the father into the men’s rest room should come as no surprise to those of us who have had the experience of being watched while shopping for no apparent reason other than color. What is even more insulting is the corporate reaction to the complaint praising the clerk and the delayed investigation into the allegations by the customer. What should be taking place is the withdrawing of all prescription accounts from that store, if not from all Rite Aids. The prescriptions are the blood line of all drug chains because they represent a direct pipeline to the healthcare dollars of America. But all of us have choices as to what stores we use and with the technology of today, accounts can be easily transferred to other drug chains. The real question is what will we do as a community when we know the issues raised are real, but don’t concern us personally.

If the people of Montgomery, Alabama had reacted the same way to the jailing of Rosa Parks, we might not have the Civil Rights gains of today. If we don’t take actions today to collectively keep our gains, actions like those by the Rite Aid Corporation as expressed in their apparent lack of real concern of this incident could continue to turn back the clock. We must remember that corporate America only understands lost profits and bad public relations. We can control both in this case.