Restaurant’s Restraint Calling Police on Petulant Firefighter Exposes Disparity in Servicing Black People

Restaurant's Restraint Calling Police on Petulant Firefighter Exposes Disparity in Servicing Black People

Black people are afforded a very short leash when it comes to resisting and rejecting the disregard they are subjected to on a daily basis. There is an unspoken credo that they are to accept whatever comes their way graciously and not speak up and out against unequal treatment. To be anything other than thankful of the scraps so haphazardly distributed within the community is insolence and met with sharp rebuke. That rebuke has evolved into the reckless abandon by which white people call police on non-whites over the most trivial of matters. We’ve recently seen in the news #PermitPatty, #LawncutLibby, #DepressedDebbie and more… just a sliver of examples of how quickly whites go zero to one hundred when it comes to disagreeing with blacks. We’ve also heard of the different companies whose employees have intentionally escalated simple disagreements into a 911 call. Let’s compare two very similar instances. The first is the couple at a Waffle House location in Ft. Walton Beach, Fl who had police called over a dispute about the price of orange juice. The second is the firefighter who vandalized restaurant over bill but police weren’t called.

In a nutshell, the couple in at Waffle House got into back and forth with an employee over an “a $1.50 overcharge on an orange juice that was listed as $1 on the menu.” The restaurant staff called police on the couple and when police responded the man was briefly detained. He was eventually released and the couple paid the full price of the meal.

“A normal restaurant would not call the cops on customers over $1.50. A good manager would acknowledge the mistake in prices and be done with it! There is no explanation or excuse for calling police in this situation!” said one viewer who watched the cell phone video and body cam footage released.

According to the Business Insider, the woman returned to the establishment the following day and received a full refund.

Restaurant's Restraint Calling Police on Petulant Firefighter Exposes Disparity in Servicing Black People
An employee at Empire Wok on Castle Hill Ave. in the Bronx with computer screen allegedly smashed by irate firefighter early Tuesday. (Mikey Light / New York Daily News)

In comparison, firefighter Harry Mendoza blew a gasket at a Chinese restaurant ultimately causing thousands of dollars in damage. Raw Story reports that Mendoza was unsatisfied with a meal and decided to return it back to the eatery. He demanded a refund and promptly received his $7 that he paid for the meal. Apparently Mendoza was charging fees on the return and demanded $10 back instead. To appease the man and de-escalate the situation employees acquiesced. Did that satisfy Mendoza? Hardly! After getting the $10 he took out his keychain and began to smash the cashier’s computer screen. The cost to repair was approximately $2,000. Mendoza was arrested for criminal mischief.

When you compare these two incidents, several factors become apparent. The threshold which people are willing to negotiate with non-blacks is decidedly higher than it is for black people. In the Waffle House case, the couple was overcharged by 5o cents which they wanted corrected. Instead of acknowledging the error and correcting the bill, the employee pointed out a “policy” that indicates a price difference for take-out and dine-in.

Last time I checked, a different price for take-out versus dine-in is not a regular occurrence.

The couple asked for management as well as the phone number to the corporate office to complain about the treatment and the “policy” of a surcharge when it comes to dine-in and take-out. The waitstaff responded with a call to police who felt compelled to detain them for a short period of time. Had the waitstaff just corrected the charge, we wouldn’t even be hearing about this story.

Mendoza on the other hand was belligerent and destructive. He damaged other people’s property and technically got away with petty theft robbing Empire Wok of $3. Before calling police, in fact the restaurant even called, the refunded the firefighter’s money. He demanded more and they gave it to him. Despite fulfilling his demands, this petulant man-child had a tantrum in the restaurant anyway. It wasn’t until after his acts of vandalism were police called.

Hardly the rush to call in the white knights.

These aren’t isolated incidents however. According to Eater:

In April, customer Chikesia Clemons was tackled and arrested at a Waffle House in Alabama after refusing to pay an extra 50 cents for utensils. The following month, 22-year-old Anthony Wall was choked and slammed to the ground by a police officer at a Waffle House in North Carolina after sitting at a table that waitstaff hadn’t yet cleaned.

Waffle House employees are trained to call the police “anytime there is concern about their personal safety or that of their customers,” a company spokesperson told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution following the incident in Alabama.

Time and time again, we are bombarded with images of racism, oppression, and the double standard by which the world turns. Maybe there is a propaganda machine that promotes the image of black people as violent and incorrigible. Maybe black people have adopted and embraced this doctrine of self-destruction. Maybe many of the ills that plague the black community are self-inflicted. Maybe everything they say about black people is true. Even if that is the case, who are you (the person hired to service the patrons) to sit on the throne of judgement and treat one customer different because of your preconceived notions of a particular group of people? All races have a percentage of deplorables in their midst. Each group has their low-brow uncouth “thug”. A thug by any other name (or race) is still a thug. Maybe you can remember this the next time a black person is standing across the counter from you and treat them like any other human being.

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