In the early 90s I desperately wanted to blow the whistle on racism in the market research industry, but with no Internet, not as easy to do that as it is today. Basically the company that did most of the market research for consumer product advertising (pop tarts, for example) refused to allow us to turn in surveys with more than ten percent black people in the sample. They had no other restrictions, on anything like age or gender. They were 100% clear that 0% would be fine with them, and in fact, preferred. I was doing surveys in a mall with a customer base that was probably 30% black at the time. We often had to tell people that we recruited that we couldn’t use them when the manager told us that we were over quota. The office manager would ask them what their zip code was, and whatever they said, she would say, oh, sorry we’re over quota for that zip code. Then they’d tell us that we couldn’t survey any more ‘zips’. Sometimes black people would directly even stop and ask us why we didn’t survey them, if I ignored them and asked a white person that walked by after them. I never had a good answer.
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