A coffee business in Victoria, British Columbia is getting smashed with backlash after a help needed ad went viral on Instagram on Sunday, suggesting that white men would be at the back of the hiring queue.
Bows & Arrows Coffee Roasters posted a job posting on Instagram, asking applicants to DM or email their resumes. The last statement, on the other hand, got folks talking.
“At this time, yt CIS males are back of the line,” the post stated.
As the comments poured in, the coffee shop added an addendum to the original post explaining that the sentence was added because 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.” according to the coffee shop.
They went on to generalize a whole group and describe white “cis” males as “under-qualified but undeterred.”
The popular post with over 1,000 comment were all mostly criticism in some way.
“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 commenter posted a paragraph arguing that the coffee shop’s usage of the name CIS was destructive, and that the post was truly discriminatory against the LGBTQ community. The person, who claimed to be a part of the LGBTQ community, wondered if transgender people would have to “out” themselves to acquire the job.
The white “cis” male co-owner of the coffee business apologized on Monday, 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 business owner went on to claim that he was dismissing claims of “reverse racism,” noting that “the consequences of even partial, occasional white exclusion are not felt structurally and institutionally,” according to him.