A McDonald’s location in Guangzhou, located in the China province of Guangdong, was recently shuttered after a failed, racist attempt to bar Black patrons was made public.
The message was drafted in response to coronavirus fears, where many Black residents, mostly from regions in Africa, reported heightened instances of discrimination.
“We’ve been informed that from now on black people are not allowed to enter the restaurant,” the sign read. “For the sake of your health consciously notify the local police for medical isolation, please understand the inconvenience caused.”
After the message went viral, McDonald’s issued a response that the ban was not representative of the company’s core values.
“Immediately upon learning of an unauthorized communication to our guests at a restaurant in Guangzhou, we immediately removed the communication and temporarily closed the restaurant,” a McDonald’s spokesperson said in a statement to the BBC. The company also assured it would include diversity and inclusion training for workers at the location.
Last week the BBC reported hundreds of Africans were homeless and/or evicted from their hotels and apartments once online murmurs spread that African communities were more susceptible to spreading the virus.
“People are not happy because they’re being forced out of their apartments and into hotels where they have to pay [$30] a night for 28 days,” Maximus Ogbonna, the president of a Nigerian community group in Guangzhou, told The Washington Post.
Videos surfacing online showed groups of families and persons sleeping on the streets and inside tunnels with nowhere to go.
Others reported being denied service or targets for intense questioning, mandatory testing and quarantine.
Community leaders quickly rallied together to garner support and awareness around the racial tensions targeting African communities in the region.
Guangzhou, is a bustling metropolis that also operates as a pivotal trading site for African artisans, while also serving as a second home to one of China’s largest African communities.
“We treat all foreigners in China equally and we reject discrimination,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told the Post. “In response to the African side’s concerns regarding their citizens in Guangdong, provincial authorities have rolled out new measures and we believe that by working together, we can resolve this properly.”
However, racial discrimination is not secluded to Guangzhou, Black communities in Shanghai have also seen targeted incidents since the rapid spread of the virus.
In response the U.S. consulate has advised Black Americans from visiting the region, the China Morning Post reports.
As the coronavirus presents daunting challenges for Black communities, the vile effects of racism still evades and persists during these challenging times.