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Walmart Apologizes For Racial Discrimination At Bozeman Store


Walmart has officially apologized for racially discriminating against a Montana State University professor in the company’s Bozeman store.

ACLU of Montana filed a Montana Human Rights Bureau complaint on behalf of Professor Gilbert Kalonde.

According to the complaint, Kalonde went to Bozeman’s Walmart to renew his fishing license.
A store employee entered “cleans toilets” into the state database as Kalonde’s occupation, despite being told that he is an MSU professor.

“Dr. Kalonde is a black professor, originally form Zambia; after his lawsuit in fact was made public by a reporter, was confronted with an onslaught of really horrific harassment that was very racialized in nature. It just verifies that this was most definitely an act of racism," says Caitlin Borgmann, executive director of ACLU of Montana.

In its written apology, Walmart called the situation ‘unacceptable’ and vowed to take, “appropriate steps to help ensure that this would not happen again."

ACLU’s Caitlin Borgmann notes the significance of the apology’s release on Martin Luther King Day.

“Racism, unfortunately, even this many years after the death of Martin Luther King, is still alive and well across the nation and that includes Montana."

Borgmann say complete terms of the settlement with Walmart remain confidential.

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
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