The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

BEG: White people’s comfort not responsibility of minorities

Mary Vahl and her party were asked to move tables by Buffalo Wild Wings managers because of their race in Naperville, Illinois Oct. 26. Photo via Flickr.

Mary Vahl accompanied her family and friends to a Buffalo Wild Wings in Chicago suburb Naperville, Illinois, Oct. 26 where they were met with blatant ignorance and racism. Vahl’s viral Facebook post outlines the series of events, noting how her group was comprised of “minorities, mostly consisting of African Americans.”

As the group arrived and took their seats at the restaurant, the hostess told them that a frequent customer at a table of two seated near Vahl’s party did not want them there because of their races. The group sat down anyway to not give the intolerant customer the satisfaction of their compliance to their racist values.

After the group ordered a few items, a manager asked the party to switch tables.

“It was not OK that a person of management was willing to move six adults and 12 children versus two grown adults who are uncomfortable sitting by black folks,” Vahl said in her Facebook post.

The group members eventually left because they did not accept the wrongful treatment.

Buffalo Wild Wings fired two managers, and the Naperville Police Department did not recognize the incident as a hate crime. The FBI defines a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.”

Although no violence ensued from this conflict and it may not be classified as a hate crime, the minority customers still lost the right to feel comfortable and safe because the managers asked them to move tables to protect the comfortability of the white customers.

It is not the job of minorities to make white people feel comfortable.

We should not have to sacrifice our own basic rights for the sake of Caucasians. There is no reason that a white person should receive priority over a non-white person. Instead of asking Vahl’s party to move, the Buffalo Wild Wings employees should have asked the people who requested it to leave or told them the other party had a right to be there as well.

When frequent customers’ attitudes are hurting and inhibiting other people due to racism, they are the problem. No matter how regular those customers are, they have no right to be served and even respected when their values disrespect others.

If white people feel uncomfortable during real conversations with people from various backgrounds, that means they are learning from minorities and taking action to be less ignorant. Those uncomfortable conversations are what allow people to grow and understand how they might have been wrong in the past. There has been enough time wasted making minorities feel wrong for actions that are not their fault.

We must not apologize for who we are or where we come from.

White people do not need the safe spaces that minorities do because they are the ones who hinder and restrict minorities from feeling safe and free. As a minority, I understand that it is not every single white person who is responsible for oppressing minorities. Rather, it is the historic and systematic institutions that created the current societal American values that give more benefits to white people. It is then the responsibility of white people to use that privilege they’ve received to help prevent future American generations from perpetuating oppression of minorities.

White people with outlooks similar to the ones who mistreated Vahl and her party at Buffalo Wild Wings are doing the exact opposite. They are normalizing racist and biased attitudes so they, as white people, can continue to feel comfortable and in power.

Minorities inherently hold the same rights as white people. Caucasians must change their ways and take action to give minorities those rights.

Story continues below advertisement
Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Aminah Beg
Aminah Beg is the assistant opinions editor for the Marquette Wire. She is a sophomore from Naperville, Illinois who is majoring in Public Relations and Cognitive Science.

Comments (0)

All Marquette Wire Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *