Four white women from the Memphis suburb of Cordova, Tennessee, conducted a social experiment after a group of Black teenagers were targeted by Wolfchase Galleria’s alleged “No Hoodie” policy last week.
Sherry Ennis and her three friends saw the viral video captured by former journalist Kevin McKenzie, of four young Black men being thrown out of the Memphis mall on Nov. 3 for supposedly violating its code of conduct policy by wearing hoodies in the mall. One of the young men was even arrested within moments of the incident. The women decided to challenge the policy by wearing hoodies to the same mall to bring light to racial profiling.
Ennis told Fox 13 that she and her friends walked around with their hoodies inside of the galleria for more than a mile. At times they placed the hoodies over their heads just to see what would happen.
“We pulled them up on occasions and we were approached very politely and asked to remove them — that it was obscuring our identities, so we took them down,” said Ennis.
The local news station contacted the mall to get their view on the women’s social experiment. “We are still waiting on the mall to explain why the women were not forced out of the store as the teenagers were,” said the news anchor.
The four Black men who were thrown out of the mall never once wore their hoodies over their heads when they were told to leave according to McKenzie.
The Mall’s code of conduct policy states that people “must wear appropriate clothing,” although it does not say what the type of clothing is.
Ennis added, “There’s even apparel sold in there that a certain segment of society is not allowed to wear.”
McKenzie, who was also arrested after capturing the incident on tape, said he didn’t like the way the group of men were being treated. He first noticed the incident after a white male security guard began trailing the young men like “a cat after mice” inside of the Wolfchase. He said the Black men were definitely stereotyped when being escorted off the mall’s premises.
Ennis said the social experiment she and her friends performed was a huge eye-opener for her.
“It just struck a chord on us that we could do that,” she said. “We could walk through there, we could take pictures, we could wear whatever we wanted.”
Ennis and her friends were commended for their doings after their photo went viral on social media.
One person wrote, “Great job standing up for equality!”
Another added, “Good for you. I applaud your letter as well. Point well made. Should have been a front page story if we had a newspaper left.”