Video from a McDonald’s fast-food restaurant located in Guangzhou, China, went viral after the location put a sign on their front door saying that black people were banned as patrons due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The shocking notice was laminated and read: “We’ve been informed that from now on black people are not allowed to enter the restaurant. For the sake of your health consciously notify the local police for medical isolation, please understand the inconvenience caused. Police TEL:100.”
After the video was shared on social media, many users online found it hard to believe it was real. However, McDonald’s put out an apology on Tuesday morning for the mistreatment of the black community at their China restaurant location.
McDonald’s official statement said, “As a brand, as a company and as more than 2.2 million people serving nearly 120 countries around the world, this is not representative of our inclusive values. Immediately upon learning of an unauthorized communication to our guests at a restaurant in Guangzhou, we immediately removed the communication and temporarily closed the restaurant.”
The fast-food chain also noted that they would be taking steps to make sure an incident like this never happens again. “As part of the temporary closure of this restaurant, we will take the opportunity to further educate managers and employees on our values, which includes serving all members of the communities in which we operate.”
Guangzhou, as reported by BBC, is home to one of China’s largest African communities and serves as a hub for African imports and exports. The Guangdong provincial government also put out a statement on Tuesday after learning of the discriminatory sign at McDonald’s saying that they consider the African community to be their good friends and partners.
According to the Daily Mail, city officials have reported that there are 13,652 black citizens living in Guangzhou as of December 2019, and nearly half of that community has fled the city since the coronavirus outbreak.
A U.S. Embassy alert sent out on Saturday stated that “police ordered bars and restaurants not to serve clients who appear to be of African origin.” In response, Guangdong’s government said it “attached great importance to some African countries’ concerns and is working promptly to improve” their operating systems.
Chen Yongqui, deputy chief police officer of Guangzhou said, “We have provided African nations with the same nucleic acid testing procedures as we do for Chinese and other foreign nationals. We appointed the same quarantine hotels and staff members. There is no discrimination or racism.”
The African American Community Has Been Hit the Hardest Amid the Coronavirus Outbreak
On April 7, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases in America and a key figure on the White House Coronavirus Task Force, did not have good news to deliver on why African Americans seemed to be at higher risk for infection.
He said, “It’s an exacerbation of a health disparity. We’ve known literally forever that diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity and asthma are disproportionately affecting minority communities, particularly African Americans. … We’re very concerned about that. It’s very sad. There’s nothing we can do about it right now except to give them the best possible care to avoid those complications.”
Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted about the concerning disparity last week. “It is unacceptable that African Americans are getting sick and dying from the coronavirus at such disproportionately high rates. We must solve the horrific racial disparities in health that we have in this country.”
There’s A Concern Among African American Communities About Having To Wear Face Masks In Public
Trevon Logan, an economics professor at Ohio State University, told CNN that African Americans fear wearing the CDC-recommended face masks in public. He said, “We have a lot of examples of the presumed criminality of black men in general. And then we have the advice to go out in public in something that … can certainly be read as being criminal or nefarious, particularly when applied to black men.
“This is in the larger context of black men fitting the description of a suspect who has a hood on, who has a face covering on,” Logan continued. “It looks like almost every criminal sketch of any garden-variety black suspect.”