If you have visited a local Walmart recently, you know that your region has been profiled by this company — and profiling is a very demeaning action. Not that a company like Walmart would ever care, but you, the customer, should.

Bristol is a small town, in a small region. And as such, there is a wage gap. There are residents who are upper middle class, but many, many more who are lower middle class, or poor. A true middle class doesn’t actually exist anymore, even though some people are drowning in debt with a nice house and two cars to “appear” middle class. Does that mean that the residents of the region are more likely to steal? Who knows? But what cannot happen is the presumption of guilt.

At local Walmart stores, if you have items in your cart that have not been scanned, a buzzer sounds and a prerecorded voice asks you to return to a cashier. Now, however, Walmart has started giving every customer the equivalent of a pat-down. Once you pay for your items, via cashier or self-service, only a few feet away you must present your receipt to a Walmart employee, and that employee must verify your purchases on that receipt. It is, in effect, socio-economic profiling.

Fortunately, Walmart is not the only game in town — at least not anymore. As an Amazon Prime customer, I’ve recently started ordering all toiletries via Amazon. Shipping is free.

Walmart can argue that it is losing money due to theft, but I cannot imagine that the amount is significant, and I do not believe that theft is more likely in a rural area. If Walmart wants to continue its current policy of humiliating every customer, everyone should begin looking for other options. Did I?

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