On Thursday, Dutch media outlet De Telegraaf, reported that an employee from Mike de Wilde Electronics B.V. accidentally sent a racially tinted email to a intern candidate. The candidate, Jeffrey Koorndijk, applied for an IT internship because he eagerly wanted to gain more technical experience. Koorndijk had sent Mike de Wilde Electronics B.V. his resume a week ago and was expecting to receive a response from them. But, the response that he received wasn’t the response that he had been hoping for. “Just took another look…its nothing. First of all, he is a dark skinned (negro). And on his cv [resume] I can’t find any real computer experience listed,” Ruben Willemsen wrote. Willemsen is the companies internship supervisor and meant to send the email to the companies boss, Mike de Wilde.
Mike de Wilde Electronics B.V., is owned by Mike de Wilde. The electronics company specializes in audio and video system(s) installations. The company is located in Arnhem, the Netherlands.
Mike de Wilde Electronics B.V. released two statements via their company website, apologizing to Koorndijk. “Director Mike de Wilde, [and] on behalf of the employes, want to apology for the way in which the candidate was informed about being rejected [for our internship program]. The Company, [Mike de] Wild Electronics has a policy that they evaluate applicants on skills and not on skin color,” stated the companies website. The site also states that there was no racism involved and that it was more of a internal company joke. “This is racism. This email caused me a lot of pain, but I am also happy that I received it. I finally have proof of what I already have been suspecting for a long time: some companies don’t want me because of my skin color,” Koorndijk told reporters from De Telegraaf.
On Tuesday, British news outlet ibtimes reported that a judge from ‘Holland’s Got Talent’ brushed off accusations of racism over a series of racist jokes he made about a Asian contestant. “Which number are you singing? Number 39 with rice?,” said judge Gordon Heuckeroth. He also sees no need to apologize and claims that the international media has blown it out of proportion.
After receiving the email, Koorndrijk called the company and spoke with Willemsen. The internship director explained that he had sent the email by mistake. Koorndrijk claims that instead of Willemsen taking responsibility for sending the racially tinted email, he tried to make it seem like it wasn’t a big deal. Thats when Koorndrijk decided to post a photo of the email on his Facebook profile. Within a couple of hours it went viral. Friends immediately began leaving comments and took it upon themselves to share the photo on their timelines.
Due to public outrage and death threats, Willemsen has gone into hiding and has even taken down his Facebook profile.