Another day, another racism story.
A Maori woman, who wished to stay unnamed, claimed that a restaurant in east Auckland left a receipt for her with an extremely racist message printed over it.
The incident occurred when the woman went to the Cypress Cafe in St. Heliers Bay along with her friend. They ordered food and it was delivered to their table like usual.
But there was something unusual that happened soon after — something incredibly infuriating.
The Maori women wanted to have another drink and she ordered a hot chocolate; however she claims it was not delivered to the table.
When she went to the counter to find out about her drink’s status, she found a receipt that had the words “Black Lady” printed over them.
She was naturally exasperated but didn’t know how to respond to this unusual situation.
"To be honest, I didn't know how to react, because it's never happened to me before," she told NZ Herald. "I didn't want to approach her, I just left it, left the shop. My friend wanted to approach the lady, but I told her to leave it.
The anonymous woman advised other people to speak up when dealing with such racism.
"Even if it was just to remember who was who. Just ask for someone's name, that's easier. For other people, if something like that happens, don't be like me and try to shrug it off.”
"I wish I did, but I just didn't know how to approach them."
Meanwhile, the café’s owner Don Choa denied everything.
“You check for yourself, if you are a reporter, check the background of this black woman. I think she is a troublemaker. I think you're better to inspect her, whether she's criminal or something, because she has said a not true thing."
He also insisted that he wouldn’t ask his staff about the incident because it never took place, although the unspecified woman had a picture of the receipt.
"I don't think so. We had a Korean lady working here, so I don't think any racial problems. But we have many staff here, every day is different.”
"She's [the complainant] a very ugly woman, I think. If something had happened, she had to complain to me, but she contacts New Zealand Herald newspaper.
"She's a very bad woman, I fear," he added.
Racism in restaurants isn’t new, but how the restaurant owner referred to the woman as black and ugly in his comments just goes to show how he thinks. And it is sad, to say the least.
When the woman heard about Choa’s comments, she was rather sad.
"I mean, I have a photo of the receipt, so clearly I didn't lie about it. He doesn't know me, and just because my skin is dark, that doesn't make me a criminal. It's so hurtful to say that, or assume I lied. He probably has cameras there that would have picked it up.”
"I didn't lie," she lamented.
People on social media are naturally outraged.
Woman gets receipt describing her as "black lady" - and when I call cafe, he goes further and calls her a criminal. https://t.co/wcokw4KCZv— Frances Cook (@FrancesCook) April 3, 2017
A Maori woman says she was shocked after the words "black lady" were scrawled on the receipt for her hot drink o... https://t.co/ugTi2tI3ZD— Thus Spake (@thus_spake) April 3, 2017
Wow the comments from the owner smh: Customer shocked at 'black lady' receipt from Cyprus Cafe in Auckland https://t.co/xAjEZo7TQQ— Mo S. (@moshen81) April 3, 2017
Wow. Fuck Cypress Cafe, and fuck the owner. Get help for your racism https://t.co/vjwJM6yoDw— DidZ (@DidzLife) April 3, 2017
The café’s Facebook page also garnered some bad reviews.
Note to the restaurant owner: Even if the lady had accused your staff, checking back on the CCTV footage won’t hurt your employees. Plus, calling the woman a black and ugly woman while speaking about her is just more proof of discrimination.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Maxim Zmeyev