A Tennessee woman and her friends dined at a Cheddar’s restaurant located in Murfreesboro on Sunday. The group left the eatery satisfied, until they later discovered their waitress had been posting racist remarks about them on Snapchat.
The white waitress posted an image of her face with a look of anguish and captioned it, “I’m so hungover and have a section full of n***ers right now.”
The photo quickly went viral and made its way through social media thanks to the gift of screenshot.
Chelsea Mayes was one of the African-American guests who was seated at one of the bigoted waitresses tables, along with her friends Bryce Holmes, Denzel and Montel Epperson, and Nitra Kent.
According to the Daily News Journal, Mayes and her four friends are all upstanding, college-educated citizens.
“We are people who contribute to society,” Mayes reportedly told the Journal. The 22-year-old currently works two jobs while working to obtain a degree in business administration.
Mayes was notified by a friend who texted her about the waitresses post and asked if she'd seen the offensive photo.
“It was just shocking,” Mayes said. “It was hurtful.”
“She was a great waitress,” she added. “She did a good job, made jokes with us. Laughed with us. We had a good time.”
Mayes said that seeing the post made her question her entire dining experience at the restaurant.
“Now I wonder, is this how she felt the whole time? What if she did something to our food? What else did she say about us?” she asked rhetorically.
Mayes admitted that she was initially angered by the whole ordeal, but didn’t intend to publicly address it. However, as the photo of the waitress continued to circulate, she felt compelled to speak out — but in an unexpected way.
“This ‘n-----‘ is pretty nice,” she wrote. “This ‘n-----‘ actually enjoyed your company. This ‘n-----‘ is praying for you. This ‘n-----‘ loves you and there isn’t anything you can do about it,” she wrote in a Facebook post.
She also noted that she feels “sorry” for the racist waitress. Mayes attributed her forgiving response to the fact that she has experienced a painful loss in the last year that changed her outlook on life.
Her four-month-old son died of Respiratory Syncytial Virus in January.
“In the face of real adversity, I’ve learned how to keep the faith,” she said.
The server was fired once Cheddar’s management caught wind of the incident. They released a statement distancing their restaurant from the former employee’s actions.
“We, ourselves, were shocked and offended after learning one of our servers had posted comments on social media that were hurtful and derogatory,” said Lee Greer, President of Mint Julep Restaurant Management Group Inc. and Owner/Operator of Cheddar's Murfreesboro. “This type of behavior will never be tolerated in our restaurants. The server was immediately suspended and ultimately terminated after our internal investigation.”
Mayes said that while she chooses to fight hate with love, she is glad the waitress lost her job as a result of her poor, inexcusable judgment.
“If there’s no repercussion for these actions, it’s as though they’re saying it’s okay for these actions to happen again,” Mayes said. “I don’t have any ill will toward her. If that were the case, I’d be no better than her.”
This incident just goes to show that even though racism is nothing new, people are becoming more open and bold about their prejudice.
People appear to have no shame in publicly humiliating and slamming people of different races as blatant racism is rapidly transforming from a social taboo to a social norm.
Instead of being eradicated, racism is being embraced, normalized, and worn like a badge of honor.
Banner Photo Credit: Flickr user AdamPrzezdziek