• Report: #1103654
Complaint Review:

J&R Cigars Smithfield

  • Submitted: Mon, December 02, 2013
  • Updated: Mon, December 02, 2013

  • Reported By: Kim — Raleigh North Carolina
J&R Cigars Smithfield
67 JR Road Selma, North Carolina USA

J&R Cigars Smithfield, NC Jane Vargas, David Silber Shopping While Black, racial profiling of black female customers, black customers are natural born suspects Selma North Carolina

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The following is a copy of the letter in which I mailed to the owner of J&R Cigars addressing a very serious problem which the store has with racially profiling black customers as shoplifters.  In light of several other retail stores which have been sued by several black customers as a result of this systemic practice, I have taken the liberty to inform the same civil rights organization that is in current litigation with Barneys New York and Macys, of J&R's policy of profiling all black customers as potential thieves.

I am encouraging other former black customers of J&R Cigars to first contact Jane Vargas personally, whose address is in the letter, to make her aware of their shopping experience; then, file formal complaints with the National Action Network as well as the NAACP.  The only way to eradicate the discriminatory practices of J&R Cigars is a class action lawsuit.

Jane Vargas

301 State Route 10

Whippany, NJ 07981

Dear Ms./Mrs. Vargas:

The purpose of this letter is to make you personally aware of the discriminatory and ill treatment in which I received on my very first, and undoubtedly, last visit to J&R Cigars in Smithfield, North Carolina. 

On or about October 26, 2013, I was a customer at this retail establishment and from almost the moment I entered the place, I felt uncomfortable.  In fact, there was a strangeness and feeling that I was being followed, and after about 30 minutes of browsing within the store, I was sure that at least one employee, a blonde woman, was following me.  In fact, this individual walked almost in sync with my footsteps following me from section to section until I ended up in the books.  The atmosphere was so uninviting, I decided to make my selection of three women’s Old Navy shirts and quickly left the store.  Apparently, the employees of J&R Cigars believed that by virtue of my race, I was a shoplifter.  Otherwise, there was no reason for me to have been treated like a thief.  What does a thief look like to people in Smithfield?  All African American female? Or, all African Americans?  I am a 46-year-old woman who is probably more educated than you.  I hold two Master’s degrees, and work as a researcher for a large corporation in the Research Triangle Park. To say that I live well, have high standards and expect the best, is an understatement.  I drive a Mercedes Benz, which I did not steal.  I live in a home in an affluent community (which happens to be one of the best in the country), and one that was purchased from the salary in which I earn due to my intellectual ability, education level, and hard work.  I live and work in an area where people look and behave differently toward one another than in Smithfield, and I should not have expected anything good to have come from my visit at J&R Cigars.  I visited J&R Cigars on the advice of a relative, however the experience was one in which I will never forget or relive.    

Unfortunately, one of the shirts that I purchased contained a flaw and I decided to drive back to Smithfield to exchange it for another.  I arrived driving the same car, by the way, entered the building and asked an employee where exchanges were conducted.  Once I approached a cash register, I informed the clerk that I wish to exchange the shirt, and found one which looked better.  I took the shirt back to the register and allowed the clerk to complete the transaction, after which time, I proceeded to leave from the same door from which I entered.  Upon approaching the door, I noticed a woman who was standing guard.  Apparently, I was not allowed to leave the premises unless this employee unlocked the double doors to let me out.  Interestingly, the employee was not at the door when I arrived at the store.  Again, more of the same treatment, but worse the second time and for no logical reason other than ignorance and stupidity.

When will white America stop placing labels on and generalizing African Americans?  I venture to say never since it is 2013, and the same treatment that black people received in the 50s, 60s and 70s, still prevails today; even though, we have made educational, economic, and social strides equivalent to those of other races.  Yet, all black people are still perceived and stereotyped as a race of people whose behavior and actions are homogeneous, antisocial and criminal.  Degrading all African Americans is ignorant, and it is sickening! Neither you, nor your poor, minimum wage-earning employees in Smithfield have any idea how I live.  But, I know for a fact that the majority of J&R Cigar employees will never achieve my level of success and economic prosperity – mainly due to their Jim Crow, backwards mentality.  The surroundings in and around my home are exceptional because I deserve the best.  As such, I will never, ever patronize J&R Cigars again.  My standards are too high to step foot in such a lascivious, disgusting place.

I do not expect for the policies at J&R Cigars to change as a result of this letter, even in light of similar situations which have occurred at Barneys New York and Macys; both of which are parties to civil lawsuits brought by black customers whom were subjected to “Shopping While Black.”  The intentions of J&R Cigars are very clear and indicative of the culture of its employees.  The notion that all black women shoplift is actually quite comical, especially knowing how many white females go in and out of that establishment, ripping it off like a thief in the night; except it is done in broad daylight and in plain sight.  But, they are never caught because the employees are too busy following all of the black customers around.  Sometimes, common sense does prevail. But, then again, not in Johnston County.

I appreciate the time and attention in which you afforded in reading this letter, and allowing me to inform you of this very important matter.  By the way, I intend to post the entire contents of this letter on the Internet.

Very Best Regards,


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/02/2013 12:40 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/jr-cigars-smithfield/selma-north-carolina-27576/jr-cigars-smithfield-nc-jane-vargas-david-silber-shopping-while-black-racial-profilin-1103654. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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