It still seems like we have a long way to go in figuring out this racism thing. I would think this stuff is pretty easy: just don’t be racist. But it looks like people feel an innate need to hurt and insult for no reason. What makes the problem worse is that it often comes from really big institutions. This time, it’s the turn of Taco Bell employees to show their true colors.
In Young Lee found that a racist term had been used on his receipt at Taco Bell restaurant in Philadelphia as he tried to buy food after a night out last week.
He had given the worker at the restaurant the name Steve as a way of avoiding him having to spell out his own name – something which in itself is quite bleak to think about – but when it came back, it had “Steve CHINK” written in all capitals. Needless to say, he was pretty mad about this, and posted a picture of the receipt on Facebook to draw attention to his treatment. The post has since gone viral.
The post reads: “Our interaction was very ordinary and cordial even, until I saw my name on the receipt that read ‘STEVE CHINK’. I was so infuriated that I couldn’t help but to confront the cashier.”
“When I confronted him, he said that there are three Steve’s in the restaurant so he needed to differentiate. It made me even more upset that he was protecting his case rather than apologizing so I lashed out and told him that it is extremely disrespectful to use such a derogatory slur. He eventually apologized, and although I was still very upset I decided to let the case go.”
Once he complained about the cashier that had used the slur, he made sure to leave but heard the staff laughing about the incident in the kitchen, and even using the same word again.
“What really got me riled up is when I heard him crack up jokes with his coworkers in the kitchen. My friends and I were sitting close to the kitchen so we heard him using the word ‘chink’ again to describe the situation as he laughed with his coworkers (where is your remorse?).”
After hearing that, Lee got really mad, showing some understandable frustration with the wait staff at Taco Bell.
“This is when I snapped and stormed to the counter and started yelling at him (I might or might not have cussed him out a little bit, oops. In retrospect, that was not the most ideal way to deal with the situation but I couldn’t help it). This is when the manager approached me to calm me down. He said that what the cashier did to me was wrong and that he is sorry. However, he rebutted that I was being disrespectful by snatching my food from the cashier.”
Imagine being punched in the face for no reason, and then told you’re being unreasonable for complaining.
His Facebook post continued: “I thought incidents like this only happen in the news and never expected it to happen to me but I guess it really does happen in the real world. Normally I would let things like this go but under the current political climate, I find it very important to address such issues and voice them loudly and clearly.”
Despite his anger, he holds no grudge against the employee, and even blurred out his name on the receipt in order to try to save his job. He said to a local newspaper: “I don’t think the cashier was necessarily malicious about it. I think he was ignorant, but I want people to be more conscious about how they think, that’s more what I’m aiming for.
“My goal is to not bring down Taco Bell,” he finishes. The employee who used the racial slur has since been fired, and hopefully, everyone can learn from this example. I’m starting to think it’s silly to believe this will be the last case.