An employee working the drive-thru window at a Mississippi restaurant was fired on Monday and is no longer allowed on the business’s property after printing a derogatory name on an African American customer’s receipt.
Alexia Washington said she and a friend visited Who Dat’s on Friday and placed a meal order, but what they were served disgusted them. “Something told me to look at my receipt,” Washington said, according to WMC Action News. Printed on the receipt were the words “Black b*tches in silver car.”
Washington said she immediately reported the inappropriate receipt to Who Dat’s manager, who made the employee apologize. But she was still disturbed by the restaurant worker’s hateful message, so she decided to post an image of it on Facebook.
“My car isn’t silver, for one,” Washington wrote in the now-deleted post. “For two, I wasn’t rude. I didn’t have any type of hostility. He didn’t have any hostility with me.”
Washington went on to explain her decision to share the message on social media, saying she "wasn’t going to say anything and [was going to] give them the opportunity to do right but nothing has been done,” according to the Clarion Ledger.
She claims she had requested that the employee who printed the slur on the receipt be fired, as she felt “racially ridiculed and demeaned as a African American Female.” But when her messages to the restaurant’s higher-ups seemed to be ignored, she decided to go public.
"I seek justice for this hate crime and I will no longer remain silent," she wrote. "I’ve lived in Oxford for 5 years and I’m still having to deal with this type of ignorance. I’m not a rude or hateful person. I was not rude when I was at this establishment and was greeted with this kind of service. I will not stand for it."
Washington’s decision paid off, as Who Dat’s posted a reply to the customer’s post, assuring her that the employee had been fired, according to the Clarion Ledger. But the restaurant’s owner, Wylie Coleman, then took justice one step further by meeting with Washington face to face.
In a lengthy note posted to the restaurant’s Facebook, Coleman wrote that he sat down with Washington for an hour and a half on Tuesday “in shock and remorse” to discuss “a broad range of issues and goals in our lives as we work through the summer.” He said he and Washington “have so much common ground.”
Coleman called the racist receipt “no joke” and “a vivid insult describing oppression which stabs four-five immediate generations.” He said he couldn’t explain the employee’s action and that it “did not represent us as a business or [personally].”
He also declared that the decision to terminate and ban the employee was a joint one made with Washington, as it would be “the only way to move forward.” He added, “From the bottom of my heart I would like to apologize to the young ladies that were attacked by this injustice. We have a lot of work to do as humans and representative[s] of the community.”
Coleman called Washington “nothing but sweet and communicative during the entire events that transpired,” and added, “I am not only apologizing to her but to everyone and anyone that could subject to a label in life.”
He said he is now hoping that he and his employees will “grow from” the unfortunate experience. Washington told WMC5 that she too would like to move on.
Who Dat’s Facebook followers commended Coleman for being “an awesome person” with “true genuine character” and “great integrity.”
One commenter summed up the feelings of the community by writing, “This sounds not only like a sincere apology for what actually happened but a commitment to make sure it never happens again. Good job. This is all that was required and should be accepted and respected by everyone in your community. Thank you.”
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