Incredulous, one of the boys asks: "Why would we steal something?"
Video of this incident was shared on Facebook on Tuesday night and it has since racked up tens of thousands of views. To many, it stands as undeniable proof that racism is a problem in Australia – and that these teenagers, students of Maribyrnong College high school -- all between 15 and 16 years old and all born in Africa -- were asked to leave the store purely because of their ethnicity.
As Mohamed Semra, one of the boys involved in the incident, put it in a Facebook post on Tuesday: "Racial profiling has to stop, happens to often in America we don't need here in Australia too."
Another boy in the video, Mabior Ater, told Fairfax Media that while it wasn't the first time he'd experienced racism, "this is the first time it has been this big."
“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,” Abdulahi Haji Ali explained to Australia's 9News.
The incident occurred at a time of scrutiny about Australia's immigration policy, which has recently seen riots in Australia's Christmas Island migrant detention center. According to Mashable, all of the schoolboys removed from the store had been born abroad – in Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Eritrea and Egypt – before moving to Australia as children.
The video quickly prompted outrage online.
i'm trembling i'm so pissed off and i don't know where to redirect my anger. apple doesn't even have a twitter account how do i go off— helina (@hxlina) November 10, 2015
The boys did eventually get an apology. Fairfax Media reports that they returned the next day with their headmaster and a manager said she was sorry for the incident. Apple have said they will investigate the incident. "They apologized so we're chilling no need to take this further," Semra wrote in response to a comment on the video of the incident. "I'm not in the status to take apple a billon dollar company to court."
Australia is a deeply multicultural country, with over a quarter of the population born overseas. However, racial discrimination in Australia is a hotly debated subject. In 2013, comic John Oliver last year ridiculed Australians for living in the "most comfortably racist country" in the world.
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