A security employee at a Giant Tiger store in Regina, Canada, was suspended after his employer learned he had stalked an indigenous customer.
The customer in question, Ezekial Bigknife, is a regular at the store where he and his wife go often to buy diapers for their son, and according to CBC, this is not the first time he was followed by the staff member.
In a video showing the employee following the customer, Bigknife is seen picking up groceries as the employee follows behind. Eventually, Bigknife tells the employee, “there’s more brown people here, you should follow them, too.”
With hundreds of thousands of views, the video, which has now gone viral, helped to bring awareness to the security employee’s deliberate racism, showing what indigenous people still face on a regular basis.
Telling reporters he feels harassed, Bigknife said he’s grown tired of the abuse.
“I just wanted to show people that this is what I’ve been going through for the several weeks, me and my wife, and I just got sick of it,” he said.
The first time Bigknife noticed he was being followed was in October. He said he did confront the employee, but nothing came of it. That’s when he decided to start filming what he went through.
After the video went viral, the store’s spokesperson, Alison Scarlett, personally contacted Bigknife to apologize. She also said that the employee’s behavior is not condoned by the company.
“What occurred in the video in question is a direct contradiction of our brand values, as well as our policies and quite frankly, never should have occurred,” Scarlett said in a press release.
The company is now looking into investigating the incident.
Bigknife said that despite the actions the store took after the video went viral, more needs to be done.
“I would like to see them handle situations like that more professionally and not treat their customers like that, that are just trying to come and spend their hard-earned money and buy stuff for their kids,” he said.
It’s disheartening to learn that in 2017, indigenous people still suffer this type of abuse, but in this era of identity politics, now has never been a better time to hold companies accountable for the racist actions of their teams.