On November 12th, in the city San Cristobal de las Casas, in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, an indigenous student was discriminated against and barred from entering the premises of the French bakery, Oh la la! Her name is Rosa Liberta Xiap Riscajche, known as Ali Roxox, and her classmate Monserrat was a witness to this heinous act.
Monserrat immediately posted what happened to her friend on Twitter, which sent a wave of criticism towards the French bakery.
Far from apologizing, the management of Oh La La! Pasteleria Francesa sent out a “press release” via their Facebook page stating that there was a misunderstanding and that they wanted to clear things up. Yet, a public apology never came.
The French bakery blamed the incident on one employee instead of taking full responsibility for the incident which only made things worse. Employees are the “face” of a company and do not act alone. Apparently this company had no code of conduct in place and now the owners wanted no part in the incident that discriminated against an indigenous student.
After weeks of negative publicity, Oh La La Pasteleria Francesa recently deleted the press release from their Facebook page and have closed the public comments section as well. A swift apology would have helped to clear things up much smoother for everyone involved, to say the least.
Yet as critics wait, still no apology in sight.
This has not deterred critics though. They have taken to continue their criticism of the business by posting comments under existing pictures on the company’s facebook page.
The bakery’s Trip Advisor rating had also suffered temporarily because of this. However, Trip Advisor has deleted all the negative comments that had been posted since the incident occurred. Google has not deleted the negative comments and ratings of this bakery.
The management claims that they are not racists because they feed their left over bread to indigenous street children daily. Sure, they give them handouts, but what about respect? A real public apology is still necessary.
Ali Roxox sent out her own press release in which she expressed regret for the incident and condemned the discriminatory actions of those who marginalize the indigenous poor. She hopes that what happened to her stops and expects a public apology from Oh La La! Pasteleria Francesa in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas where she suffered the aggression.
It is said that the french are very proud people and frequently hold their nose and scoff at critics. If this holds true, Mexico’s resentment towards the french and foreigners will only grow.
Mexican citizens are already furious by last year’s release of french national Florence Cassez, a woman accused and convicted of kidnapping and torturing her victims while living in Mexico. The backlash against the french increased and the incident with the french bakery in Chiapas, isn’t helping matters either.
With no public apology in sight from Oh La La! Pasteleria Francesa, towards an indigenous woman who only wanted to consume and buy some french pastries, who knows how long this business will remain open.
Public sentiment seems to be: No public apology, No business.