A coffee shop in Victoria, BC is receiving backlash after posting a help wanted ad to Instagram on Sunday went viral for stating that white men would be at the back of the hiring line.
The post from Bows & Arrows Coffee Roasters advertised a variety of positions, and asked applicants to DM or email their resumes. It was the last sentence, however, that got people talking.
"At this time, yt CIS males are back of the line," the post stated.
As comments began flowing in, the coffee shop wrote an addendum to the original post explaining that the sentence was added because they thought white cisgendered males "often apply with little to no experience and presume their affinity and enthusiasm for coffee will grant them equal or favourable standing."
They went on to describe white cis males as "under-qualified but undeterred."
Of the over 1,000 comments, almost all were criticisms of one form or another.
"I love how they're using a cis white man in their advertisement, but if that very man were to apply for the position, he would be rejected," wrote one user. "Just lol."
"You missed the mark with your harsh over correction. This is bigotry," wrote another.
"Why don't you just hire the most qualified person," said a third, "I thought we stopped putting people at the back of the bus..."
Another user wrote a paragraph explaining that the coffee shop's use of the term CIS was problematic, and suggested that the post was actually bigoted towards the LGBTQ community. The person, who said they are part of the LGBTQ community, questioned whether transgender individuals would have to "out" themselves in order to get the position.
On Monday, the coffee shop's white cis male co-owner issued an apology, but not to white cis males.
"Firstly, I would like to apologize directly to any members of the LGBTQ2SP+ & BIPOC communities that may have read our de-prioritizing the hiring of CIS white males as therefore a requisite for outing oneself if not presenting or as passing as white and CIS," the post stated.
"As we've said before, intentions don't matter and this aspect of the post I would change had I done it over again.
"This is a settler colonial society with all its inheritances," the post continued, referencing BC's historical subjugation of non-white people. "It is also a white, male dominated industry and when given the opportunity to open possibilities for underrepresented identities we will do so.
"I should have employed inclusive language while stating the obvious rather than the flippant 'back of the line' statement," the post said.
The owner went on to state that he was ignoring accusations of "reverse racism," explaining that he believed "the consequences of even partial, occasional white exclusion are not felt structurally and institutionally."
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