A Brazilian-born Australian man has told how he was denied a job as a barista after a cafe owner told him his customers wouldn’t want their ‘coffee made by black people’.
Patrons of the Forbes and Burton café in Darlinghurst, inner city Sydney, were stunned to hear Nilson Dos Santos, an Australian citizen, had been turned down for the job because the owner ‘only wanted locals’.
In incredible scenes, after being told by the cafe owner, who would only give his name as ‘Steven’, that he was not right for the job, Mr Dos Santos, 39, stood up and addressed the other customers at about 1.30pm on Sunday and told them why he had been turned down and asked if they would have a problem being served by a black man.
In a sign of solidarity, many walked out – and a staff member even quit on the spot.
There was also outrage among other customers who took to social media and urged others to boycott the cafe.
Steven, from Shanghai, China, who confirmed he was the owner, admitted to Daily Mail Australia that the fact Mr Dos Santos was black was the reason he didn’t give him the job.
“There are a lot of white customers at the café and I think the clients here want local people, not African people,” said Steven, who arrived in Australia from China this year.
“We need to offer good service at this café and I think the coffee culture is more about white people.”
Mr Dos Santos, who recently became an Australian citizen, has worked as a barista in Sydney for nine years.
“I have never experienced anything like that in Australia,” he said.
“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 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 Brazillian.”
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