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Restaurant Charges White People More For Their Meals For A Powerful Reason

In an ideal world, racism would be consigned to the history books, but that's unfortunately not the case. This was something that I realized scrolling down my Facebook timeline a few days ago when I saw a girl praise her brother for a racist joke.

What made this so problematic was that the girl's brother had recently died, so calling it out wasn't an option for me, but I couldn't help but feel horrendous when I saw the number of people who had commented with laughing emojis.

To discover how skin color is still blighting people's lives in the United States, check out the video below:

It might be 2018, but racism is far from being a thing of the past.

In the US, this is reflected in the treatment of colored people by law enforcement. All too often are the subject to needless police brutality because of assumptions that have been made solely because of the color of their skin.

There is also a colossal wealth disparity between races, with the average white household owning 86 percent more wealth than the average black one and 68 percent more wealth than the average Latino one.

To shed light on this gap, one pop-up restaurant has adjusted the prices of its meals accordingly.

Created by New Orleans-based chef Tunde Wey, anyone can dine at SAARTJ, but white customers will face an additional $18 (£13) increase in their bill to reflect the privilege their skin color automatically gives them.

Originally from Lagos, Nigeria, Tunde previously created a series called "Blackness in America" for the same reason.

In New Orleans specifically, a 2013 study found that the average Afro-American household had an income that was 54% lower than the average white household.

Tunde's pop-up restaurant is named after Saartji Baartman - an enslaved South African who was paraded around freakshows in the US because she had a condition known as "steatopygia", which left her with extremely prominent buttocks.

There are two pricing options for a meal at the restaurant: a standard price of $12 (£8.66) and a suggested price of $30 (£21.66).

"The standard price was available to all customers, while the suggested price was offered to white customers," Tunde explained.

"The pricing differential represents the wage disparity between black and white households in New Orleans. The net profit collected from sales at the suggested price was redistributed to customers of color," Tunde continued.

Tunde initially avoided publicising the pop-up because he wanted to gauge genuine reactions to the price difference.

After a month, 78% of white customers chose to pay the higher amount for their meal.

"People look on the other side of the till and see me standing there and they're thinking that I'm judging them. If they couldn't pay a higher amount, they gave me a list of caveats why they couldn't," Tunde told Civil Eats.

Tunde intends to distribute the extra money to people of color who need it, but so far only three have signed up.

"Black people have even tried to pay the $30 and I'm like 'No, it's not for you'," Tunde revealed. "A lot of the Black folks said, 'I don't need that money, give it to someone else who needs it'."

Some of you may disagree with Tunde's unique social and culinary experiment, but we believe he's opened a lot of eyes to how the world currently operates, and that something needs to change.