Aris Folley, The Hill, November 14, 2018
A group of white women in Tennessee went viral over the weekend after they wore hoodies inside a mall in Memphis to challenge the shopping center’s clothing policy and “prove a point” about racial profiling.
The four women told a local Fox station they went to the Wolfchase Galleria in Cordova to bring attention to the mall’s policy after a group of black men were reportedly escorted off the premises last week for wearing hoodies.
“It just struck a chord on us that we could do that,” Sherry Ennis, one of the women photographed, told the station. “We could walk through there, we could take pictures, we could wear whatever we wanted.”
“We pulled them up on occasion and we were approached very politely and asked to remove them – that it was obscuring our identities, so we took them down,” Ennis continued.
The demonstration comes days after the mall drew a wave of criticism last week over a viral video that showed a group of four black men being escorted from the shopping center for wearing hoodies, with one of the men being placed in handcuffs.
Shortly after the incident, the mall provided a statement to the local news station, saying that its policy requires “customers to not conceal their identity while on mall property as a matter of public safety.”
The mall went on to say in the statement that “police are only called if a customer refuses or becomes belligerent.”
“In this instance, a Memphis Police Department officer repeatedly requested the individual to remove his ‘hoodie,’” the statement continued. “He did not comply with this directive and was removed from the mall.”