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Report: Amazon Same-Day Delivery Only Available in White Areas, Black Neighborhoods Left in the Dust



A new report reveals that Amazon’s long-standing same-day delivery option is only available in white areas. The company’s website says the service is provided in 27 metro areas for Amazon Prime members.

Amazon Prime allows users to pay $99 per year to qualify for free two-day shipping. Same-day delivery is an option for customers in eligible areas for orders over $35.

Bloomberg published a report April 21 that revealed Black cities do not get those benefits. Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New York City, and Washington D.C. are less likely to offer same-day service. These cities house Black residents who are victims of decades of racial discrimination and financial inequality.

But Amazon claims it treats all customers the same way.

Greg Berman, a company spokesperson, told Bloomberg, “We don’t know what you look like when you come into our store, which is vastly different than physical retail.”
Even though there is no one to physically follow Black customers around the store, their algorithms create discrimination.
“The Amazon algorithm operates off of an inherited cartography of previous redlining efforts,” the University of California, Berkeley professor Jovan Scott Lewis told USA Today. “Which created pockets of discrimination, the consequence being that the discrimination continues to be reproduced.”
The report backs up Lewis’ housing statements. It shows Black citizens are half as likely as whites to live in areas where items are accessible. White Americans usually have access to quality stores to buy their goods, but Black communities are often left with Family Dollar. In Atlanta, areas from Buckhead to downtown get same-day delivery. West End and South Atlanta – where many Black people reside – do not have that option.

The issue extends up north to Boston. There, the same-day service shows the clearest gap. Roxbury is a primarily Black neighborhood made up of three ZIP codes. It remains excluded from the service while its surrounding white areas are able to opt-in.

Roxbury resident JD Nelson has used Prime for three years.

“Being singled out like that and not getting those same services as they do in a 15-minute walk from here is very frustrating,” he told Bloomberg.

But Amazon vice president for global communications Craig Berman told the website that race is not a consideration with services.

“Demographics play no role in it. Zero.”

Still, it seems they have caved to pressure from two Massachusetts leaders. Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey have demanded same-day shipping be provided to Roxbury. Amazon agreed to extend the service to all of Boston’s neighborhoods on April 26.

The company told Bloomberg in a statement that they “are actively working with our local carrier to enable service to the Roxbury neighborhood in the coming weeks.”

According to Inquisitir, there is no word on when the service will begin in the Black community.

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