For the second time in as many weeks, an Indigenous woman has spoken out after she was allegedly racially profiled at a Sydney Kmart – leaving her ‘humiliated’.
For the second time in as many weeks, an Indigenous woman has spoken out after she was allegedly racially profiled at a Sydney Kmart – leaving her ‘humiliated and hurt’.
Alicia Johnson, a First Nations doctoral student, content creator and “rehabilitator,” detailed the incident in a instagram video on Saturday, which took place at the budget retailer’s Marrickville store in the city’s mid-west.
The retailer has since responded, contacting Ms Johnson directly and telling news.com.au that Kmart “takes reports like this very seriously”.
Ms Johnson said she was inspired by her ‘sister’, Australian rapper and wife Malyangapa and Barkindji Barkaa, to speak out about the incident on her platform, after the latter was subjected to similar treatment at her Kmart local at the beginning of the month.
After shopping at the Marrickville store for ‘over 10 years’, Ms Johnson explained it was not the first time she had been racially profiled there – ‘but never so intrusive and overt’ .
“The service attendant was watching me very closely and then checked that I had scanned a 30c bag. Which I did,” she said in the video.
“She then grabbed my receipt and read it in front of everyone. She hadn’t checked anyone else’s receipts… I asked the staff member in front of everyone, “Why am I being checked?
“A Maori lady was injured for me. She then insisted that the staff member check her receipt out of solidarity.
The incident left Ms Johnson so ‘humiliated’ and ‘distressed’ that she called her mother after leaving the store.
“The first thing she said was, ‘Imagine if this happened to a young native girl. How traumatic would that be? “, She said.
“That’s why I speak. These racial stereotypes must stop and I demand a formal apology.
“In 2022, Indigenous peoples should be treated with respect, like all other customers – paying extra.
A Kmart spokeswoman told news.com.au in a statement that the retailer was “aware of an incident at our Marrickville store on Friday and has been in conversation with the customer to discuss further.”
“We take reports like this very seriously and (investigate) internally and arrange a time to meet with the client,” she added.
Researchers from Monash University, on behalf of Inclusive Australia, found last May that major discrimination against First Nations people remains at high levels.
The investigationconducted over several years, examined (among other things) “everyday discrimination”, defined as “more chronic, routine and relatively minor experiences of unfair treatment”, such as “being treated with less respect and courtesy, receiving less good than others in restaurants or shops, or being insulted”.
Daily discrimination was highest for Indigenous people among the groups surveyed, increasing dramatically since December 2018.
Take stock of the situation on Sunday in a second videoMs Johnson said she was contacted by Kmart and they discussed the matter.
She also thanked “everyone” of her followers for their support following the incident.
“It’s not an easy subject and one that I don’t talk about publicly, the degradation and abuse I’ve suffered in this country is something I deal with in private,” she wrote in the caption to side of the message.
Ms Johnson cited what her mum told her as the reason ‘why I speak out’ and ‘why I hold @kmartaus accountable’.
“All the comments on the post from people sharing their testimonial are living proof of the racially discriminatory practices that are maintained and enforced in their stores,” she added.
“I will continue to document this process and share with you any results and next steps that @kmartaus will implement.
“I fight for change. I fight for freedom.