Why Is Apple Discriminating Against Iranian-Americans? – NYTimes.com

July 13th, 2012 § 0 comments

Last month, Sahar Sabet, a 19-year-old Iranian-American woman, was improperly prevented from buying an iPad at an Apple store in Alpharetta, Ga. After she had gone over the various options with two Apple sales clerks, a third clerk, who had overheard Ms. Sabet speaking Persian to her uncle, intervened. He asked what language they were speaking and, when he found out it was the language of Iran, he said she could not buy anything because “our countries do not have good relations” — never mind that she intended to give it to her sister in North Carolina.

Ironic considering the attitudes that many American Iranians hold towards the current government in Iran. For some perspective 1/4 of the Iranians that immigrated here from 1980-2004 did so with refugee or asylee status. Further most American Iranians see promoting human rights and democracy as the most important aspect of US-Iran relations. Treating this group as some sort of secret wing of the Ministry of Intelligence is absurd.

Whether this is corporate policy or not it’s pretty disturbing. I’m guessing that some vague policy came down from Cupertino which has caused some over zealous retail employees1 to make some poor choices but that is pure conjecture. Either way Apple needs to make it clear to its employees that discrimination like this is not only wrong but illegal.

But it is also illegal in the United States for a private company to discriminate against individuals based on race, color, religion or national origin under the Civil Rights Act. This protection extends of course to retail stores.

  1. Lord knows they can really let that damn ‘genius’ moniker go to their heads. []

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