As we were entering the establishment we had chosen today, another family was leaving. I held the door open for my wife to enter, and this family of three seemed to be leaving in a huff. Being the cynic I am, I just assumed they were rude.
It so happened that this was a family of African Americans. As we were waiting to be seated, the man of the family came back in, and engaged the cashier and hostess is a heated conversation. He was accusing them of racist acts in their seating policy. Now, we weren’t there during the event being discussed, but we were certainly available to hear the aftermath.
As we were seated, there was much conversation between some patrons AND THE STAFF about “those people.”
“Those people,” meaning blacks. There was talk of how ridiculous “they” act. How “they” walk. Most of the remarks were agreed to by the staff engaging in the conversation.
As we were checking out, the male customer in front of us, and the female cashier, were in whole-hearted agreement with their disgust for “those people.” Just before walking away from the counter, the man actually said, “They don’t even take points off of your drivers license,” indicating running them down was perfectly acceptable. I’m guessing he was “half-joking.” That doesn’t change the absolute reprehensibility of his words and attitudes.
Well, my wife has sent an email to the management of Halls Restaurants, to inform them of the horrible, completely unacceptable words of the staff at their Coliseum and Lima location. The only way to even begin to rectify this is to fire all employees who were a part of this verbal hatred. If only we had the presence of mind to take down names. All we can do at this point is to refuse to eat there anymore, and inform as many people as we can.
It seems coincidental that my wife and I had just been discussing racism. How it often seems like “a long time ago” that slavery was the norm. It wasn’t, in fact, all that long ago. It wasn’t all that long ago that interracial marriage was made legal in all of the US. That didn’t happen until 1967.
So, again we are reminded that in spite of all the technological advances of mankind, our attitudes of hate haven’t changed as much as we may like to think. Hatred is alive and well. Racism is alive and well. Don’t believe it? Just visit Halls Hollywood Drive-In. You’ll see. But you may not be able to finish your meal.
[NOTE: The picture of the sign is to help make a point, and was not actually displayed at this Halls, although, it appeared some of the staff wishes it was.]