Black on Black Racism in the South
Racism in the South –Black on Black- An Unexplained Phenomenon (Restaurant Service)
Let me just say some things are coincidence however, not all situations are coincidental. Let me share a few disturbing experiences I find unsettling. Keep in mind, I'm not the only one who has experienced this behavior.
Let me just say, this is more than a one time occurrence but a frequent occuring scenario. Seated in a non crowded bar and being ignored by an African American server for an average of 10 minutes while I am clearly in plain view. African American bartenders/servers choosing to clean up, restock, and do everything else except greet me as a customer. A Caucasian person will walk up to the same bar and as soon as his behind hits the seat (literally): “Welcome to XXX? What would you like to drink?” So I look at this person who is African American who never “saw” me but yet this Caucasian patron who literally sat immediately to my left and the other person gets instant service. Not only did this server immediately patronize this customer while ignoring me but he immediately provided him with a table set up while smiling. So I attempt to wrap my head around this concept. I’m ignored provided with no service but the server turns into the best server in the world for someone else. I walk out and leave, refusing to have a minority treat me horribly and submitted a complaint.
I hate to be color coded when I am seated in a restaurant. Not all African American people want to be serviced by African Americans. Not cool. I’m not interested in the color of my server, all I want is good service and last time I checked anyone is capable of serving my needs at the restaurant as English is my primary language. Anyhow, the female African American server is cold and aloof at the restaurant where my friend and I were seated for lunch. The server was asked to make one substitution to my friends order right after she placed her order; "no problem" was the response. She had another server bring our food to the table ignoring the one thing requested of her. She never refilled our beverages or asked if everything was okay. It took another ten minutes to have her correct the substitution she forgot. How do we know her cold attitude, inattentive treatment, and lack of attention to us as patrons was deliberate? Glad you asked. My friend and I listened for ten minutes while she checked on the Caucasian couple seated right behind us while laughing and joking. My friend was feeling the same thing and asked when she heard all the laughter and banter…..Is that her behind us? I replied….of course. After she grew tired of boganglin she made her way to our table and asked if everything was okay. She acted weird packaging our food and just stood around for a minute after leaving the check saying nothing. I refused to even look at her. Now I am a good tipper and my friend tell me I am tip happy because I understand people make their living that way AND I have class so I tip appropriately. This time, I wanted to leave her $1 to make my point hoping she would advise her manager so I could let him/her know just what occurred, but I couldn’t so I left her exactly the lowest amount of tip range 15% and I will never go back to that location. I wanted to write a note on the check informing her that white, black, yellow, blue, orange, magenta –provide excellent customer service to all to obtain the only color that matters: green.
I was pissed about this behavior I see so often in the south which reminds me of the residue of internalized hatred manifested amongst African American’s to other African American’s. It’s not that the staff is incapable of providing good service, it’s the fact that they practice treating their own kind worse than other patrons. You know this is the case when someone treats you cold while you can observe them checking on their other tables, laughing and engaging customers while providing excellent service to those of other races.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room –the stereotype-black people don’t tip. Not all black people don’t tip. Speaking for myself I tip nicely and so do my friends, perhaps because we have class and are aware of social norms and acceptable behaviors when it comes to eating out.
I have served in customer service roles and I treated everyone the same regardless of their color, assisting them in any way that I could. Why?
#1. It’s my job.
#2. It’s how I was raised; do unto others as you would have others due onto you.
#3. I wouldn’t want anyone treating me as if my money wasn’t green.
#4. I was raised in a culturally diverse environment, thank God, so I know life is bigger than color.