Two Black truckers hoping for a hot meal and quick shower before continuing on their route were met with blatant and inexcusable racism when they were refused service at a South Dakota truck stop Denny's restaurant.
While the refusal of service in and of itself was a deplorable act, the racist behavior did not stop there. No, the cops were also called on the men who were merely sitting at a table.
The men, Damon Whitfield and Hector Madera, captured video evidence of the incident after waiting several minutes for service.
After flagging down a waitress and informing her they were ready to order, she relayed a message from another waitress, telling them they needed to leave and that the cops were on their way.
When asked what they did, she replied:
“I have no idea. I’m not in the situation, but she said, like, to make it more calm."
“She said, like, you guys can kindly leave because you do have a lot of people around, or the police will be on the way … ‘cause they are.”
One of the men asked:
“But why do we have to leave?”
“We just came to order food.”
To which she responded:
“I don’t know."
The men did not want to leave before the cops arrived, however, because they wanted their side of the story told.
You can watch the video, below.
When speaking to Indisputable with Dr. Rashad Richey, Whitfield explained to the host:
“We poured into a pilot truck stop in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to shower up and get something to eat."
"We were the only Black people in there. Thirty minutes goes by. Fifteen minutes etcetera."
"So, my partner said politely, ‘Excuse me, we are ready to order.'"
And that's when they were asked to leave.
People on social media were appalled but sadly not surprised. Many referenced similar incidents that transpired at Denny's and commented on the establishment's racist history.
Several also called for action, urging others to stop eating at Denny's.
According to the men, the waitress who wanted the men to go, but sent someone else to tell them, is the wife of the district manager of the rest stop, Mike Fletcher.
Upon hearing of the incident, Fletcher offered the men a free meal, but they declined.
Kris Garvey Graves, managing partner at FINN Partners, gave a statement regarding the incident.
“Denny’s has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to discrimination at all Denny’s locations."
“We embrace diversity and foster an inclusive environment where every guest feels welcome.”
The statement went on to explain that the "situation" is being actively investigated.