MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities woman says she was harassed last week on her coffee run at a Target store in St. Paul.
Nineteen-year-old Aishah says she and a friend went to get a coffee inside the Midway Target’s Starbucks booth, which is managed by the Minnesota-based company.
She said before she could finish telling the employee behind the counter her name, she saw the employee write something on the side of the cup and hide it from view. She got the beverage, which read “ISIS.”
“When I first received the drink I was in shock that in a day and age something like this could be written,” Aishah said.
She asked the employee about the cup. She says the employee told her she didn’t hear her name correctly. She said the manager sided with the employee.
“I felt humiliated. I felt enraged,” Aishah said.
The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is calling for the staff involved to be fired, and for additional training for other employees.
A spokesperson for Target said the company immediately apologized to Aishah after learning of the incident, and said the employee misheard Aishah’s name. Here is their full statement:
At Target, we want everyone who shops with us to feel welcomed, valued and respected and we strictly prohibit discrimination and harassment in any form. We are very sorry for this guest’s experience at our store and immediately apologized to her when she made our store leaders aware of the situation. We have investigated the matter and believe that it was not a deliberate act but an unfortunate mistake that could have been avoided with more clarification. We’re taking appropriate actions with the team member, including additional training, to ensure this does not occur again.
Jaylani Hussein, CAIR Minnesota’s executive director, disputes the explanation.
“This is not a simple mistake. No one puts, you know, the ‘KKK’ on the cup of somebody’s drink,” Hussein said.
Aishah said that the employee never asked how to spell her name. She also said during the press conference Monday morning that no one from Target had reached out to her to apologize.
Target said they would do additional training with the employee involved.
CAIR said they plan on filing discrimination charges with the United States Department of Human Rights, and would consider protesting.