Well, this particular weekend I decided to take my husband to Applebee’s since I had a gift card to use.
We arrived and were seated by a waitress who was a really nice young lady. She smiled the whole time we were there. She came at just the right times to ask us if we needed anything, and she brought us our dinner in a phenomenal timely manner. She was fantastic. She never once acted like the nervous waitress who just knew she wasn’t going to get a tip from “us.” Husband and I had already made up in our mind before we finished eating that she would get a tip plus some.
So, as we were enjoying our dinner and the awesome service we were getting, out of the corner of my eye I noticed an African-American older woman who seemed to be the manager, strolling from table to table asking patrons if they were satisfied with their meal. There were several families dining there, so there was a mixture of races surrounding us at different booths. I just sort of glanced at her smiling and talking as she came closer to our table.As she approached "us", her smile slowly faded away. It became one of those expressions that said, “I’m only being polite because I want to keep my job, but I don’t like you.”
Yes. That happened. She made eye contact with both my husband and I, but she didn’t say a word to us. Not one word. She continued on to other tables, so my eyes followed her. Then it hit me.She was speaking to every single table that confined Caucasian people. As I noticed the hidden racism, I looked at my husband and before I could say anything, he said “sweetie, don’t let it ruin your night.”
But it did ruin that moment because it repulsed me.I was really upset at the idea that this black woman, rocking a natural teeny weeny afro, was passing every table that held someone who looked like “us” and offering conversation to the others. I automatically reflected on the Trayvon Martin case that is getting national media attention due to the injustice of racism and profiling.
I knew this woman honestly could care less how “we” were doing, because she probably assumed we were going to be the typical Black couple who came in and ate good, requested everything, but left no tip. Stereotyping. That is what she was guilty of.Stereotyping is what people today of many races are using as a scapegoat to be racist and plain offensive. There was no reason for this woman to be so assuming, labeling us without even knowing who we were or where we come from. It’s sad that the white waitress treated us 10x’s better than this woman rocking the natural hair.
All I could say to my husband was, “We have got to do better. We must.”
Readers: Have you ever been the victim of stereotyping or racial profiling? If so, share your story with us and how you felt about it.