Mall of America Faces Blacklash After Ethiopian Man Ordered to Remove ‘Jesus Saves’ Shirt
Mall of America is facing massive backlash after a video including an Ethiopian man named Paul Shoro went viral over the weekend.
The scrutiny stemmed from a security guard demanding Shoro remove his “Jesus Saves” shirt after receiving complaints from other shoppers. Although the security guard didn’t publicly address what particular items on Shoro’s shirt disrupted the shoppers’ experience, many can assume it was because of what was written on the back.
The back had the phrase “Jesus is the only way” with the term coexist crossed out.
The significance behind the word “coexist” for religious purposes is to unite individuals from different practices. The incident, which took place January 7 in Bloomington, Minnesota, but was shared on social media in the following days, showcased the unnamed security guard providing reasons why Shoro should remove his shirt.
In a video uploaded by Twitter user @livinggodstruth, while met with Shoro’s questions, the security guard says that his shirt is a form of solicitation. The unidentified individual said, “it is religious soliciting. There is no soliciting allowed on mall property, which is private property.”
I automatically assumed this was overseas, but it's right here in America. pic.twitter.com/Q79eUCG7xh
— John Mason (@LivingGodsTruth) January 12, 2023
According to Bring Me The News, Shoro previously received “a 24-hour ban for soliciting” the week before for preaching on the property. Shoro mentioned the event while explaining to the security guard that he didn’t understand why there was a huge commotion over his shirt.
He said, “Last time I was here, you told me to leave, I did. That day I was preaching. I was preaching the gospel that day.”
As Shoro tried to plead his case and claimed that he was only walking in the mall this time around, the security guard jumped in and said, “You’re still soliciting… Yes, you’re walking wearing that shirt, and we had guests come up saying they were offended by your shirt.”
At the end of the clip, Shoro was advised again to remove his shirt. As the recording went viral on numerous social media platforms, including Twitter and TikTok, many expressed their disapproval regarding the security guard’s actions by sharing their thoughts online and signing a petition to “Stop Religious Discrimination.”
Following the backlash, Mall of America released a statement and revealed that despite Shoro’s encounter with the security guard, he was allowed to keep his shirt on.
“The guest referenced in the video was approached by Mall of America security on January 7, 2023. One week prior, he was issued a 24-hour trespass for soliciting guests. After a brief interaction, the guest was not required to change his shirt and was allowed to remain at the Mall,” the company’s statement read.
Chalk this up as a case of loving Jesus while Black.