BERLIN (AP) — German supermarket chain Aldi has apologized after a Black customer who had complained about another shopper’s racist slur was ejected from a Berlin store.
Prince Ofori, a German-Ghanaian dance teacher, posted a video on Instagram that showed other shoppers and a man described as a store manager haranguing him during the incident he said took place at an Aldi store in Germany’s capital on Thursday.
In the video, a man in a blue jacket is seen throwing a cardboard box at Ofori while other customers shout at him to stop filming.
Visibly agitated, Ofori explains that he had objected to a fellow customer’s use of a racist term to describe chocolate-covered marshmallows. The confections are called “chocolate kisses,” but in the past Germans commonly referred to them using a racist term for Black people.
“He wants to buy (racial slur) kisses,” Ofori says in the video. “I told him (racial slur) don’t exist anymore. They think that because they grew up with (the term), they have the right to say that.”
Toward the end of the video, the man in the blue jacket – described by Ofori as the branch manager – and a security guard push out of the store. Another store employee tries to intervene, telling the man in the blue jacket, “Calm down, boss.”
The video ends with the man in the jacket asking Ofori why he’s not allowed to use the racial slur and saying, “I don’t know what your problem is.”
In response to Ofori’s Instagram post, Aldi Nord said late Friday that it had contacted Ofori to apologize.
“But we also realize that an apology alone isn’t enough,” the company said.
“The incident in our Berlin store will be investigated so that further lessons can be drawn from it,” Aldi said. “As a first step we have severed ties with the staff member in the video due to his inappropriate behavior.”
The company said it would not tolerate racism, “neither in our own ranks nor in society.”