The ushering in of a new president whose campaign for the White House openly normalized White supremacist ideals and overtly racist behavior is continuing to have an increasingly negative trickle-down effect across the country.
While racism is unfortunately nothing new in America, the rise in incidents where people of color are targeted with hatred over the past year has been alarming, and one Virginia waitress recently experienced the epidemic first-hand. Kelly Carter was going about her normal workday at Anita’s New Mexico Style Cafe in Ashburn on Saturday and returned to one of her tables to collect the bill, when she noticed a disturbing message left on the receipt from the young White couple who’d been sitting at the table.
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“Great service. Don’t tip Black people,” the racially charged message read, according to WJLA. Two other customers present in the restaurant at the time took a photo of the receipt and later posted it on social media.
Carter said she was completely shocked by the note, recalling the couple never indicated they weren’t satisfied with their service at any point during the meal. According to Carter, the woman at the table even complimented the food. Restaurant owner Tommy Tellez says he was “appalled” by the incident, noting that Carter is known for her stellar service.
“She has a following,” Tellez told WJLA. “Her philosophy for customer service is way beyond the norm. And we’re really happy to have her.”
Despite the hateful nature, the encounter actually resulted in a barrage of positivity––and generous tips––for Carter. Tellez says people have since been coming in to request her by name and dropping by just to give her hugs and money. For Carter herself, the shameful occurrence has done little to dull her spirit or the upbeat attitude with which she approaches her job.
“[The customer] didn’t hurt me. He only hurt himself,” Carter said. “He only makes me stronger.” She later added that she would even serve the couple again if they were to return.
“Just me serving them will let them know they did not get the best of me. And I truly mean that.”