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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

OLIVER: Trend of racist remarks on restaurant receipts concerning

Eric_cutout_updatedYou are a waiter or a waitress, you take down someone’s order and deliver his or her food, all while having a smile on your face. You then look at the bill to see that instead of giving you a tip, the customer left a crude message.

This trend has probably been going on for years, but thanks to the Internet, it is now reaching the front pages of sites like reddit, Tumblr and the mainstream media. And it’s wrong.

Unfortunately, last week at a Red Lobster in Tennessee, waitress Toni Jenkins claimed that instead of a tip a customer wrote “None N*****” on the receipt. She has been suspended from her job with pay, while Red Lobster investigates the validity of the receipt.

When I first saw the story, I was shocked. I know that racism is still around today, but to think that someone would actually have the gall to write such reprehensible words on a piece of paper – that is truly disgusting.

This is just one instance in a long line of unacceptable behavior.

Another receipt that recently took the Internet by storm was directed at a homosexual waiter who received the awful message, “F*** you…,” calling the waiter a derogatory term because of his sexual orientation.

There are people who choose to blame the government and taxes as their reason for not tipping on their receipts, saying, “The government takes enough of my paycheck, why should it get any more?” Some use their status or position at a company as a reason not to tip – thinking that the server would instead enjoy the message, “Get a real job.”

Leaving no tip would be better than writing something that could seriously offend someone.

There will never be a time when it is acceptable to degrade another human being. If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, why would writing it on a piece of paper left for them be any better?

I can’t figure out why this behavior still occurs. The consensus going around is that America has beaten racism. We have risen above it as a nation. It was presented that America had placed racism behind itself when Barack Obama was elected. Yet, no matter where you look, you can still see racist behaviors. Neighborhoods are segregated. Threats are made over skin color. Racism is still alive and well in this country, and we won’t be able to out-grow it.

We will always have racism and hate speech. It is in our popular culture, media and everyday conversation. This bigotry is there even if you don’t reflect those sorts of beliefs in your personal life.

As a society we need to change this, but as an individual, there aren’t many things we can really do. Change can only start with policing your own personal behaviors and being as apolitical as possible, but despite this, I’m afraid racism will continue to exist.

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