A Pennsylvania restaurant faces backlash after an N-word was printed on a receipt and handed to a Black customer.
The customer came to pick up the order
The customer, identified only as Kassie, ordered a blackened chicken panini and went to the restaurant to pick up her order. When she entered the Aviation Inn in Duncansville, it went quiet, but she explained that she got used to it as a non-white person.
The customer's surprise
Kassie told the local media, "People kind of stare at you being the minority and not the majority," But she did not expect one of the owners to go this far. She saw the slur on the receipt and called the restaurant. One of the owners, Allen Butterbaugh, told her it was a joke she wasn't supposed to see.
Embarrassing and hurtful
Kassie said the owner told her, "This was a joke amongst the kitchen, and he said it got out of hand." But, for Kassie, “It was embarrassing to me. It was hurtful. I did not find it funny.”
According to Kassie, the owner told the staffer not to put a racial slur on the receipt. He also said he is a "brother" who has non-white friends.
The story went viral on Facebook
Despite being afraid of backlash, Kassie shared her story on Facebook, claiming, "I was thinking of the establishment as well." Kassie admitted she was also scared for herself. She shared she did not want to hurt anyone or to let things get out of hand.
The Facebook post drew backlash against the Aviation Inn
Kassie received messages of support, as well as some alleged threats. On the other hand, Butterbaugh called the experience "terrible" and confirmed to WTAJ that the employee who wrote the racial slur had been fired.
The owner of the Inn further said, "We’ve gotten backlash; we’ve been getting calls and phone threats. So many messages via Facebook are coming out. Borderline harassment."
Another owner did not like the Facebook post
Maureen Butterbaugh shared, “You can tell people about it instead of sharing it. Just talking to them and saying, ‘Did you see what happened?’ Not going there again instead of sharing it and sharing it."
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People got involved
NAACP President Andrae Holsey called the incident "appalling" and said, "I hear through the grapevine that the employee was not terminated until WTAJ called, which is interesting. I believe the apology could’ve been more thorough. Just saying that I promote diversity and I hire minorities isn’t enough."
Holsey said the NAACP would investigate the incident and offered, "We have all kinds of diversity programming. There are different options through HR programs for your business."
Maureen Butterbaugh does not think changes are needed
The co-owner said, “We’ve employed so many people before, and it’s never happened before, so I guess we could look into that. It never even crossed our minds that it was something we’d have to say, ‘We’ve always been inclusive of everyone.'"