A Brazilian-born Australian man claims he was denied a job at a Sydney coffee shop because the café owner didn’t think customers would want their coffee being made by a black person.
According to the Daily Mail, Nilson Dos Santos applied for a job as a barista at Forbes & Burton, a coffee shop and restaurant in Darlinghurst, Sydney. Dos Santos says that the owner, known only as Steven, told him that his customers wouldn’t want coffee “made by black people.”
Steven, the café’s owner, actually confirmed the allegations, saying that he doesn’t think locals would buy coffee that’s made by “Africans.”
“There are a lot of white customers at the café and I think the clients here want local people, not African people,” Steven, who originally comes from Shanghai, allegedly said. “In some people’s opinions African people can’t make good coffee. We need to offer good service at this café and I think the coffee culture is more about white people.”
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When Dos Santos was denied the job, he reportedly stood up in the middle of the café and told everyone what had happened. Outraged, many people walked out and some employees even quit on the spot.
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“I have never experienced anything like that in Australia,” said Dos Santos. “I love it here, I am free here, that’s why I chose to stay. I’ve always felt welcomed and accepted. For me, it was never a problem that I am black until today. I’m looking for a job as a barista so I rang him to organise [sic] an interview yesterday [Saturday] after I saw the ad on Gumtree. On the phone, he asked me where I am from and I told him I’m Brazilian.
"When I came to the café for the interview today, he looked at me and looked surprised. He didn’t like what he saw. We sat down and he said, ‘but you’re black?’ I said ‘yes’ and he told me, ‘but my customers are white. I don’t think they’d like to have their coffee made by black people. That’s not part of the coffee culture. You’re African.’”
Since the incident, negative reviews for Steven’s café have popped up online, and most people in the Sydney area are outraged by his blatant racism. Dos Santos tells the Daily Mail that he overwhelmed by the amount of support he has gotten since the incident.