Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wild Wing Cafe: Whites Only ... Now With An Update Of Sorts

Well, Welcome Home and How do you do …. Here we are on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream speech and in South Carolina it’s more of a nightmare. I said in that earlier post, the one down there, how much I missed home while we were gone, and then I come home to this:

A group of 25 African-American customers at a Wild Wing restaurant in down Charleston were forced to wait two hours for their table, and then they were ultimately denied service because of, yes, their race and because one white customer felt threatened by heaving to eat in the same f**king Wing Dive with, ahem, The Coloreds.

Michael Brown and some members of his family had gathered at the North Charleston Wild Wing Café for a going away dinner to a cousin who was moving away. After waiting two hours—are the wings really that good, because I’d’a been gone at minute ten—the manager informed the group that there was “a situation.”
“[The Manager] said there’s a situation where one of our customers feels threatened by your party, so she asked us not to seat you in our section, which totally alarmed all of us because we’re sitting there peaceably for two hours. Obviously, if we were causing any conflict, we would have been ejected out of the place hours before.”—Michael Brown
A member of Brown’s family began recording the exchange with his cell phone.

Michael Brown: “I asked her I want to be clear with you. I said so you’re telling me I have to leave. She said I have a right to deny you service. I said so you’re asking me to leave because you’re upset because he was recording you, after we’ve waited for two hours, and after you’ve already pretty much discriminated on us, and she answered yes.”

Michael Brown then called the company headquarters where he got nowhere, and no response, so he took his complaints to Facebook:
“I will never go to Wild wings cafe in N. Chs again! We (Party of 25 family and friends) waited 2hrs, patiently and were refused service because another customer (White) felt threatened by us. This type of racial discrimination is unacceptable and we have to put a STOP TO IT. The manager looked me dead in the face and said she was refusing us service because she had a right to and simply she felt like it. DO NOT SUPPORT THIS ESTABLISHMENT… PLEASE SHARE THIS POST… We need your help.”
And suddenly, once the word spread through social media, corporate got involved. Debra Stokes, chief marketing officer for Wild Wing Café, released this statement to the media:
“We got alerted through social media, so we always encourage our customers to respond to us or to comment on our social media pages. … We had a conversation. It was a really good conversation. [Michael Brown] and many of his family and friends were there about a month ago, and they are regular customers of ours. So, they were having a going away party, and they just didn’t receive the experience that they have come to know and love.”
Her solution was to offer them a free meal, but Michael Brown ain’t buying it: "This is not a situation where you can just give us a free meal and everything is ok because it's deeper than that."

And now the Wild Wing Café has posted an apology on its own Facebook page, saying it is "truly disappointed and sorry that any guests of ours felt disrespected or discriminated against," and promising a "thorough investigation."

Notice they didn’t deny their manager said she was refusing service to the Brown party because they were, well, brown; and notice they don’t mention that the manager was fired or suspended or anything. In other words, they hope this story dies down and business goes on as usual.

For the Whites Only.

A woman who says she works at the Wild Wings Cafe in Charleston contacted Radio Facts and, while asking to remian anonymous, says there were several reasons the Brown party was asked to leave:
You’re only getting one side of story here.
I work at the restaurant and your representation of the events is way off base. The group was being loud and obnoxious to both customers and staffers. They kept complaining about their long wait and were talking about how “whitey” was able to get seated, but they were not.
The problem was that they had a large group and insisted on sitting next to each other. We only had one area that could accommodate their large group and the patrons in that area were not done. So yes, some “whities” were able to be seated before them, but only because they were going to a different area. We also seated non-whites in other areas too…
They made this a racial issue before anything. One of the guests also insulted a deaf white girl because she didn’t respond to one of them telling her to move (she was deaf and didn’t hear them)
They were also all standing in the middle of the walk way, making it difficult for customers to leave. We asked them if they could move over, but they said they can stand wherever they want, and if we wanted them out of the way then we should seat them.
The customer that was offended was offended by a particular individual’s constant uses of the word “n*gger” When asked to stop, he threw out a long string of racial epithets against one of my co-workers. 
Three things: 
One: why remain anonymous if you work at the restaurant and want the 'truth' to be told.aiTwo: why did the manager say the women who complained felt 'threatened' by the Brown party? Why not complain about the word they were ALLEGEDLY using? Why 'threatened'?

Three: why hasn't she manager who spoke to Michael Brown spoken up and said these things? 

I mean, if they were being loud, if they insulted a deaf white girl--and for the woman to make a point of telling us the women was white kinda reeks of racism itself, because white or black, that's offensive--and if they blocked aisle-ways, then ask them to leave for those reasons.

Don't play this Right To Refuse Service card and not report any of your so-called facts. Again, the manager said that a guest felt 'threatened' by this group, and their being loud or blocking aisles, or using the N-word aren't threats.



anne marie in philly said...

WTeverlovinF? this is 2013, for dog's sake! screw the café! not a single one of the people pictured looks threatening in any way/shape/form. MLK would be very sad indeed.

Anonymous said...

Two sides to every story. Actually three, if you count the truth.

the dogs' mother said...

Glad to see Bob Posts pop up in my Blogger page :-)

Anonymous said...

I've worked in the restaurant industry in the past, so I was a little skeptical about this story. If someone is behaving in a rude manner, kick them out. I've had to do it as a manager. It's no fun, but patrons are there to have a meal. Not to be seated next to rude, obnoxious people.

And if 25 people insisted on sitting next to each other and they don't reserve a room ahead of time? I hate to say it but tough luck. The restaurants I worked at insisted on 24 hours notice to reserve a dining area so it doesn't disrupt normal business.

Why would the co-worker be anonymous? Same reason why I can't talk shop online and talk about work in the most generic terms possible. I can't do it unless I fully come out of the closet and use my real name or else I get in big trouble with the employer.

Bob Slatten said...


Sorry, but I'm'a have to disagree.
If this woman worked in the restaurant and is speaking up on behalf of a restaurant that did NOTHING wrong, then why hide? There is nothing to suggest she need hide her sexual orientation at all.

That said, how is someone's use of the N-word a threat? Which is what the manager told Michael Brown?

Offensive? Yeah, and I would have complained about it, but I wouldn't have said that the big group of Black people threatened me.