A Chinese restaurant in downtown Toronto called Hong Shing is being accused of committing a human rights violation after asking a group of black customers to prepay for their food. The restaurant was ordered to provide $10,000 in compensation to one of their former customers.
Emile Wickham, the customer who filed the complaint, said that he and his friends went to Hong Shing to celebrate a friend's birthday. They were the only black customers in the restaurant. When they placed their order, the server told them that they'd have to pay for their meal in full immediately. After asking other customers in the restaurant if they had prepaid as well, Wickham realized that he and his group were being unfairly singled out.
Wickham's lawyer says that Wickham's mere presence as a black man in a restaurant was "presumed to be sufficient evidence" of his likeliness to commit a crime. He was treated like a "potential thief in waiting."
According to a study in 2017, privately owned and retail businesses make up 47% of where black respondents say that they experience racial profiling and discrimination. Wickham said that this incident left him feeling disappointed in Toronto, a city that's celebrated for its multiculturalism and diversity.
In their response, Hong Shing restaurant claimed that they only asked customers that they didn't recognize to prepay for their meal in order to prevent dine and dashing. Clearly, their "policy" completely backfired. The incident happened in 2014, and the Human Rights Tribunal of Canada has just now ordered Hong Shing to compensate Emile Wickham with $10,000.
Source: The Globe And Mail