UPDATE: Diner at Ashburn Anita’s stiffs server, leaves a racist message
Shown in a photo, the diner did not tip on a $30.52 check. At the bottom of the receipt, he or she wrote: "great service don't tip Black people."
The incident, which quickly garnered national media attention, was first reported by the Times-Mirror.
The local NAACP tweeted a photo of the receipt Jan. 8 along with the message: “Hatred will not be tolerated and we will not keep quiet. This has been confirmed and did happen per Mgr @ Anita's in Ashburn.”
Anita's of Ashburn owner Thomas Tellez confirmed the incident to the Times-Mirror Jan. 9. "It's real. It did happen," he said, adding that it was “disheartening.” Regional and national media quickly picked up the story.
The server, Kelly Carter, said the receipt was left by a white man and woman to whom she had served breakfast. Carter says there was no indication the couple was unhappy with her for any reason.
Tellez said Carter is a loyal employee and beloved by her customers.
Since the incident, Tellez said, customers have requested Carter as their server and some are even stopping by to give her hugs and money.
Despite the confirmations from Carter and Tellez, the incident has many skeptics on social media. Many observers' immediate reaction was that the message and receipt was a hoax. They called media reports “fake news.”
Bonnie Callahan Fulks, writing on the Times-Mirror's Facebook page, said the article is being used to “bait another political outrage.” She urged the newspaper to “grow up.”
“I find it so interesting that the Loudoun Times-Mirror continues to bait people with articles such as this one. This is truly a horrible situation and I don't find it funny, amusing or even informative,” noted Fulks. “I find it hopeless and disgusting and just cannot find the reason to even report on this. As a grandmother of 4 mixed grandchildren I would truly be upset if this happened to them … but, lets face it, things like this happen everywhere and probably every day … people continue to be rude and mean when they haven't been raised correctly.”
Phillip Thompson, the president of the local NAACP, commented on the situation Jan. 9.
“I generally don't get to have too many quiet days being president of the local NAACP because I live in Loudoun County, Virginia,” Thompson noted on social media. “And if it isn't the schools, county, towns or politicians, it's some knucklehead trying to prove a point … I do believe under the current political climate this is just the beginning. Can't even get a quiet day to watch football. Well the bell is rung, time to go into action.”
Thompson told the Times-Mirror "we need to treat people better."
NBC Washington, the Associated Press, the Huffington Post and the New York Daily News are among the outlets that have reported the story.
A YouCaring fundraising page for the Anita's server has been established.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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