Khalid Breezy, Petros Smalls, Deebo Ater Abdulahi Haji Ali Mohamed, Andy Gambino Nelson Mahad MohamudSimply Racism, made them apologise thoPosted by Francis Ose on Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Racial profiling is not a dilemma limited to the United States — it seems to be well and alive in Australia too.
Case in point: Employees at an Apple store in Melbourne denied entry to a group of black students, all dressed in their school uniforms, over fears that they might shoplift.
“These guys are just a bit worried about the presence in the store,” an Apple store staff member, reportedly one of the security guards, told the boys. “They are just worried you might steal something.”
The incident took place at the Apple Store in Highpoint Shopping Centre in the suburb of Maribyrnong. The six teenagers — Petrie, Mabior, Mohamed, Ese, Abdulahi and Gereng — were able to film the last part of their interaction with the staff members, which has since gone viral.
“It was just really offensive when he said, 'We are afraid you are going to steal something.' It was shocking; it was racism,” Ese, one of the teens, told Mashable. “He didn’t even give us a chance.”
The boys, all aged 15 and 16, firmly believe the store employees targeted them for being dark-skinned.
Another student, Mabior Ater, said that he had been going to the Highpoint shopping center for a long time.
“I never thought something like this would happen ... of course I was offended,” he explained, adding that their school principal later accompanied them back to the Apple store to help them in seeking an apology. “[The manager] apologized to us and told us that we are welcome here anytime.”
The video sparked
The video, first uploaded on Facebook by one of the teens involved in the incident, sparked an outrage on social media where several people labeled it “blatant racism.”
So these men who work @ the Apple Store, refused to let in Somali/Sudanese students in. Racially discriminating them pic.twitter.com/yomYNpSpCg— FD (@Crypticgirl_) November 10, 2015
i'm trembling i'm so pissed off and i don't know where to redirect my anger. apple doesn't even have a twitter account how do i go off— helz belz (@hxlina) November 10, 2015
Im so disgusted rn, he even had the audacity to say 'mm its okay' when they asked why they'd even steal. Wow https://t.co/yBtREcI42z— Azalea (@azalea_vinegar) November 10, 2015
So 3 Somali & Sudanese boys were refused to enter a store because the man said "we're afraid your gonna steal something" ew I'm so disgusted— FD (@Crypticgirl_) November 10, 2015
when ppl try to act like Australia is some multicultural paradise 😊😊😊😊😊 https://t.co/aOesIO4Wcx— angela anaconda (@shutuprebka) November 10, 2015
The viral video caught the attention of Apple CEO Tim Cook who wrote a company-wide email condemning the actions of the store's employee. In the he letter, published by BuzzFeed, Cook emphasized "Apple is open" and committed to inclusion and diversity. While he stated he believed it was an "isolated incident rather than a symptom of a broader problem in [Apple's] stores," he expressed using this unjust incident as an opportunity to strengthen customer service and promised all teams "will be refreshing their training on inclusion and customer engagement."