Starlite CEO tells Black people change their mindset
Starlite Group Limited CEO Gerald Aboud has once again come under fire, this time for statements he made regarding the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Floyd died from asphyxiation after being pinned to the ground by three police officers on May 25, while a fourth officer looked on.
Aboud, a Syrian-Trinidadian businessman, posted a status to Facebook on Tuesday in what appeared to be his defence of Dianne Hunt, owner of Dianne Tea Shop. Hunt shared a photo captioned "all lives matter" from her business page and was heavily criticised for her lack of sensitivity.
In response to the negative reaction Hunt received, Aboud sought to defend people's right to be xenophobic and racist, as he further urged Black people to change their mindset. This, as he condemned looting in response to Floyd's death without condemning his murder.
"Racism is one thing but the right to have an opinion is another. If I don't like Chinese people you can't force me to like Chinese people. I may have my reasons and I am entitled to that. Many people have been oppressed overtime and non of it should be tolerated. Black people I will says this, we see your plight and we feel for all of you we really do, however what you need to do is rise up from this state of mind, that is all I can say.
"Every time you go steal a sneakers and go do some shit regardless you make it that much worse for yourselves. Killing your people every day, does blacklives matter then? Rise up and work towards improvement. The world will never be a fair place and it is only what you do that matters in this world."
See the post below:
He further shared several posts stating that it is a person's right to say "all lives matter". He went on to urge the public to make sure and march for Venezuelans "starving in Venezuela" and Syrians "suffering all over the world".
In 2018, Aboud was forced to issue a public apology for a social media post in which he described Indian Arrival Day and Corpus Christi as “two stupid holidays".
Members of the public have since called for a boycott of his businesses with many deeming him racist.