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It appears at least one Apple store didn’t get the memo to “think different.”
A Melbourne, Australia, location has drawn international attention after a group of six black teenagers claim they were racially profiled, and kicked out of the store.
One of the teens posted video on Tuesday of the confrontation between an Apple store employee and his friends; it has since garnered over 87,000 views:
“There’s no reason for this,” one of the students says at the beginning of the video.
“These guys [security guards] are just a bit worried about your presence in our store,” the Apple employee tells the teens. “They’re just worried you might steal something.”
“Why would we steal something?” one of the students says in disbelief, as another exclaims, “Whoa!”
Flanked by two imposing security guards, the Apple employee cuts off the conversation. “Guys, end of discussion. I need to ask you to leave our store.”
Ese, 15, told Mashable about the incident, noting that he felt the confrontation had “racist undertones.”
“It was just really offensive when he said, ‘We are afraid you are going to steal something.’ It was shocking; it was racism,” he said. “He didn’t even give us a chance.”
“Once that incident happened, I was just really shocked. I was in disbelief,” Abdulahi, another student in the group, told Australian television station SBS. I didn’t believe the employee said that. I thought I was daydreaming.”
“Racial profiling has to stop, happens to often in America we don’t need here in Australia too,” Mohamed, a third member of the group, posted to his Facebook.
Accompanied by Maribyrnong College principal Nick Scott, the boys returned to the store to get an apology from the manager, who “responded favorably and told them they were welcome any time,” according to SBS.
“We believe in equality for everyone, regardless of race, age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation,” Apple said in a statement, according to The Independent. “That applies throughout our company, around the world with no exceptions.”
The company is reportedly investigating the incident.
The boys’ principal praised them for documenting the moment, noting that they’ve clearly gone through this experience before. “They know it for what it is and they certainly felt they wanted to record this incident and I congratulate them for it,” Scott told SBS.
But at least one of the students doesn’t blame all of Apple for the actions of one.
“It was just one employee,” Mohamed said, “and we shouldn’t blame the [whole] company just for one employee’s mistake.”
Apple did not immediately respond to NTRSCTN’s request for comment.