Aboriginal mother claims she was racially profiled at Kmart
An indigenous musician claims she was racially profiled and accused of theft while shopping with her children at Kmart.
Australian rapper Barkaa, real name Chloe Quaylee, was shopping at her local Kmart store in Sydney’s western suburb of Merrylands on Wednesday night.
She claimed she and her family were watched and followed by three employees and stopped leaving the store until they checked her bags.
Indigenous rapper Barkaa was shopping at her local Kmart when three employees followed her around the store and wouldn’t let her leave until they checked every item in her bag.
“I walked into Kmart with my family and was noticed by one of the women who worked there, who kept staring at us,” Barkaa wrote in an Instagram post.
“Then she grabs two young men (one in uniform and one not) and all three of them followed me through the toy department with my young children, chuckling and laughing.”
Barkaa confronted the woman asking if ‘she was okay’, the woman replied ‘yes, I’m just looking at this’ – which she then said to the woman: ‘I know you’re following me, can you please stop, it’s rude.’
The mother of three called for her children to follow her and leave the store when two young men reportedly followed them down the aisles.
“As we left, the two young men followed us, so I decided to shoot video because it was upsetting and humiliating to me,” Barkaa wrote.
“When we got to the register and checked all our belongings and walked out, we were stopped by a young woman who said, ‘I need to check your bag.'”
The wife and rapper of Malyangapa and Barkindji (pictured) said Kmart staff racially profiled her and her family as they shopped
Barkaa claimed that three Kmart employees removed all items from her bags and insisted she “had to because it was their job” — while other customers left with their bags unchecked.
“I told them, ‘I don’t have to steal, I’m here with my kids, I have more than enough to pay for this stuff,’ Barkaa told Kmart staff.
The artist felt “humiliated and ashamed” but believed she needed to speak out against racism and discrimination and had the platform to do so – sharing the experience with her 59,700 followers.
“I have the platform to do that and I wish it wasn’t my job, but so many of us are still discriminated against and racially profiled, followed in stores and targeted for just being who we are,” she wrote.
“Tonight I felt humiliated and ashamed, I had people looking at me and my young children as if we had done something wrong.
“I cried when I came out of the store, but instead I had to walk away to explain to my children what had just happened and to comfort my oldest daughter.
“I’m tired of being sick and tired.”
The budget retailer, a subsidiary of Wesfarmers, said it is aware of Barkaa’s experience and is investigating the matter further.
“We are aware of Barkaa’s experience in our store and we are investigating it internally and taking it extremely seriously,” Kmart told Daily Mail Australia.
“We’ve been in touch with Barkaa and are talking to her to learn more about her experience.
“We want all of our customers to have a great experience every time they visit one of our stores and we understand we didn’t live up to that experience this time.”
Kmart said they are aware of Barkaa’s experience at the Merryland’s store in Sydney’s west (pictured) and are investigating the incident
In two Instagram story posts on Friday night, one of which was deleted, Barkaa labeled users who left negative comments as “nagging racists.”
It’s 2022, I don’t need racists for permission to be a Blak. to be [sic] woman in this country with a voice,” she wrote.
“What happened was unacceptable…I don’t flinch and I have every right to be upset…it was traumatic for myself and my babies.”
“Imagine being called a thief on stolen land,” she wrote, then quickly deleted it.
Daily Mail Australia contacted Barkaa for further comment.
Barkaa responded Friday night to negative comments from ‘nagging racists’ on her Instagram story (pictured)