An Apple store in Melbourne, Australia, is under fire after an employee asked six black teens to leave the premises, claiming that there was concern that they might steal something.
Twitter user @CrypticGirl_ was in the store at the time the incident happened. She decided to record the interaction and post it to her Twitter page, sharing the act of racism with all of her followers.
“So these men who work @ the Apple Store, refused to let in Somali/Sudanese students in. Racially discriminating them”
The post has been retweeted nearly 900 times since it was posted, and the video has been viewed over 330,000 times.
The six black teens were approached by the staff member shortly after entering the store. During the exchange between the teens and the Apple employee, the video shows the staff member saying that there was a concern that the teens would steal, so he asked them to leave, according to Metro.
“These guys are just a bit worried about your presence in our store. They’re just a bit worried you might steal something.”
The boys were caught off guard by the racist remark and asked what made the employee think they would steal. The Apple employee refused to respond the question, instead asking them to leave.
“Guys, end of discussion. I need to ask you to leave our store.”
— FD (@Crypticgirl_) November 10, 2015
The boys were offended by the exchange and never expected to be racially profiled in an Apple store. One of the teens, in his sixth year of college, was Mabior Ater. He told the local media, according to ITV News, that he has visited the shopping center for quite some time and was never treated in that manner. He was not only offended but confused as to why he and his friends were racially profiled with no explanation as to why.
“I’ve been coming to Highpoint for a long time and I never thought something like this would happen. Of course, I’m offended.”
The response on Twitter was in full support of the six black teens, claiming Apple should be ashamed for allowing an employee to treat customers in a racist fashion.
Although the individual employee’s views on the color of the teens’ skin is not necessarily a representation of the entire corporation, many Twitter followers are linking it to Apple directly.
The store manager of the Apple store reached out to the boys and offered an apology. She told them that they are welcome in the store whenever they would like to visit. The store manager and corporate officials are looking into the matter. However, there is no information as to the employment status of the male employee who ejected the black teens from the store.
News of the racist ordeal made its way all the way up to Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple. A spokeswoman shared his statement with the media.
“We want every person who joins our team, every customer visiting our stores or calling for support to feel welcome.
“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.”
Apple policies state that all customers in the Apple stores are equal. Tim Cook has stated that there is “equality for everyone, regardless of race, age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.”
Although Ater accepted the apology from the Apple store manager, it is unclear whether he and his five friends will visit the store anytime soon, or if they will let the incident calm down before visiting.
[Image via Vytautas Kielaitis/Shutterstock]