A group of Black teenagers were shocked when they were kicked out of an Apple store in Melbourne, Australia due to fears they would “steal something.”
The incident played out on Tuesday at Highpoint Shopping Centre, Maribyrnong, where Francis Ose and five of his friends walked into the Apple store. The high school students were then approached by an employee and a security guard and asked to leave, according to The New York Times.
Ose and his friends, all owners of Apple products, questioned the employee, maintaining they didn’t do anything to present themselves as thieves. Ose pulled out his phone and began recording the confrontation. Titling it “Simply Racism” on Facebook, the teens say their race is the reason they were booted from the store.
The teens were born in Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Eritrea, and Egypt respectively.
The New York Times reports:
“They are just worried you might steal something,” the employee said. “Why would we steal something?” asked one of the teenagers. “End of discussion,” the Apple employee said. “I need to ask you to leave our store.”
“Because we were a group of black males — teenagers — and teenagers do a lot of stupid stuff but you still can’t give black people that stereotype,” the young man, Abdulahi Haji Ali, said.
Apple has since released an apology.
Via The New York Times:
“Inclusion and diversity are among Apple’s core values,” the statement said. “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 will continue to do everything in our power to ensure all our customers are treated the way they should be,” it continued.
The students returned to the store with their principal and were given another personal apology. The manager said they were welcome back anytime.
Meanwhile, the teens plan to keep speaking out against stereotypes with their own line of t-shirts.
SOURCE: The New York Times | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform, Facebook
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