Ashbum, VA: “Great service, don’t tip black people” was the racist message a white couple left for a waitress at a restaurant in the US, the latest in growing incidents of hate targeting blacks and minorities following Donald Trump’s win. The message was scrawled at the bottom of the bill at Anita’s New Mexico Style Cafe in Ashburn, Virginia.
Restaurant server Kelly Carter told WJLA-TV that she was shocked by the message. At first, she said she could not believe what she was reading. She said it was left, with no gratuity, by a 20-something white man and woman to whom she had served breakfast. Anita’s owner Tommy Tellez, Sr. said, “I’m appalled. This is so disheartening.”
Tellez said Carter is a loyal employee and beloved by her customers. “She has a following. Her philosophy for customer service is way beyond the norm. And we’re really happy to have her,” he said. Carter said the man and woman were like any other customers.
She said they acted no differently and there was no indication they were unhappy with her for any reason. She said the female customer even complimented the food. “The lady was saying they loved the potpie meal,” Carter said. Carter did not ask for all this attention. It was two of her regular customers — who witnessed her reaction to the message, were outraged by the incident and posted the photo on Facebook. The Facebook post had been shared nearly 900 times.
The local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is also spreading the word. Hearing about the incident, restaurant managers said customers are now requesting Carter as their server and tipping generously. They said some are just stopping by to give her hugs and give her money. “People were just coming in, dropping cash off,” said Tellez.
“(The customer) didn’t hurt me. He only hurt himself. He only makes me stronger,” Carter said. In fact, she said if those customers were to come back, she would even serve them again. After Trump’s presidential election victory, the US has seen a spike in assaults, intimidation, and harassments towards ethnic and racial minorities, including children, women, and the LGBT community, according to US civil rights groups.