"We're worried you might steal something": Black students denied entry to Apple store in Aussie
A group of African students were ejected from an Apple store at Highpoint shopping centre in Melbourne on Tuesday, because the store security staff were afraid they would steal something from the store. A video of this incident which was posted on Facebook has caused an uproar on social media with people commenting that racially profiling blacks is blatant racism.
The video shows an Apple staff member telling the boys from Maribyrnong College: "These guys are just a bit worried about your presence in our store. They're just a bit worried you might steal something." The students seemed shocked that something like this was happening. And even after protesting, they were still asked to leave the store. "Guys, end of discussion, I need to ask you to leave our store," the staff member told them.
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Most people were in disbelief. Some of the comments on social media were:
"Racial profiling innocent African/Australian students,mind you it's impossible to steal from Apple" - KJ
"Australia's logic: darker pigmentation correlates with stealing" - Yaqub Ahmed
"That's what people do, racial profiling happens a lot, and white Australians want to ignore that. Smart of u guys for recording it." - Fardawsa Shanino
One of the students, Mabior Ater, told Fairfax Media that much as he had experienced racism before, "...it has never been this big." They were amazed by the amount of support they received on social media and in school because of the video saying: "A lot of people shared it and they were very angry that this was still happening in 2015."
The principal of the college Nick Scott accompanied the six boys to the Apple store at Highpoint where they demanded for an apology on Wednesday.
A spokeswoman from Apple said Apple was committed to cultural diversity and inclusion and was looking into the matter. She also showed them a quote from Apple chief executive Tim Cook, which reads: "We want every person who joins our team, every customer visiting our stores or calling for support to feel welcome."
A separate statement from Apple said, "inclusion and diversity are among Apple's core values. We believe in equality for everyone, regardless of race, age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. That applies throughout our company, around the world with no exceptions. We've looked into the details of the situation and we apologise to the customers involved. We will continue to do everything in our power to ensure all our customers are treated the way they should be."
Glad this incident was brought to light. Shaming such acts of racism is the best way of handling this. We all deserve fair treatment.
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