London is one of the most diverse cities in the world. With a long history of settled black communities you would expect that our city would be at ease with itself with such a long standing history of multicultralism.
But scratch the surface of these glib statements and another reality becomes all too apparent. Young black people face a routine and unacceptable level of discrimination within the City of London retail shopping and business areas, in employment within London's financial services sector.
Here is a tale on twitter of one such young man's experience as he tried to simply upgrade his phone in the London 02 store, Cheapside.
I have summarised a lengthy number of tweets from @ as he described his experience of 02 retail racism;
At 3.23 Eddie exited Canon Street Station and walked into 02 store. A young black business owner, he wanted to upgrade his phone to the iphone 6.
He was advised by the 02 sales assistant on what was required and told he would need a bank statement. So Eddie enquired as to where the nearest Barclays Bank was and set off to get a statement.
He then printed off all the necessary information and headed back to 02.
When arrived he presented the documentation, but was surprised to be told he then needed to provide more credentials,such as company letterhead, in order to prove he owned their business.
Eddie promptly called his office and had a business letter head sent to over to him.
The store then started to process the application and he sat paitently waiting.
Ubeknowns to them them store manager had secretly called the police, suspecting that Eddie was a fraudster.
To Eddie’s shock and horror, two City of London Police Officers entered the and began to question these young businessmen. Satisfied they were legitimate, they left.
The store manager then had the termerity to tell Eddie, that he had called the police as a precautionary measure, before he had even checked the authenticity of their credentials!
After waiting between 2/3 hours they were refused a contract despite providing all the necessary paperwork.
Eddie, now outraged asked for an apology and was refused.
Having suffered this disgraceful racism he left the store.
As he left they suffered on more humiliation, they were offered a ‘chocolate bar’ by 02 by way of reparation.
This is what racial profiling looks like. The police were called for Eddie because he was a young black man.
The police were called with no objective evidence of criminality, they were called prior to the 02 store manager having checked their credentials.
Such is the racism young black people face everyday in the City Of London and as an eager, young business man, Eddie suffered this total humiliation all because of the attitude and prejudice of the store manager.
Here's is a young black businessmen, striving for success, being treated as if he were nothing more than a common criminal.
Do 02 have a policy for calling the police when black people walk in their stores?
Do they monitior the ethnicity of their customers and the service they receive?
How many complaint of racist treatment have 02 had from black customers?
Whilst London remains the pre-eminent diversity capital of the 21st Century, the City of London retail and financial services sector, remains a strong bastion of white privilege and naked race discrimination.
We remain economically excluded from the City. Its time we took matters into our own hands and ended retail racism and broke down the doors of employment discrimination in the City.
I suggest we complain to both 02 and Ofcom, the phone regulator and ensure they get the message that such behavior is entirely unacceptable.
02 Customer Service
0800 977 7337
2a Southwark Bridge Road
London SE1 9HA
Switchboard: 020 7981 3000
Complaints: 020 7981 3040
(9am-5pm Monday to Friday),
Textphone: 020 7981 3043 or
0300 123 2024