Rakevion White is a 21-year-old student at Arizona State University who works at a restaurant called the Breakfast Club in Phoenix. On Tuesday, he posted a picture of the ticket he received while working a shift on October 22, which refers to him with the n-word.
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White told Buzzfeed that the ticket was deliberately sent to him by a co-worker. When he complained to management, he was brushed off and told it was just a joke. Since then, his hours at work have been cut down and he was assigned just one server shift, preventing him from earning tips.
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In his Instagram post, White wrote, “This ticket order was sent into to me by two of my coworkers on October 22nd at the Breakfast Club- Cityscape. Apparently this was a hysterical joke about myself that everyone including management thought was ok because the two employees were ‘Only joking.’ Now I’ve been called way worse in my life but if you know me, one thing I don’t do is tolerate disrespect. But my employer allowed me to disrespected and humiliated by my coworkers. Almost 4 weeks later no disciplinary action has been taken against the two employees. Furthermore, since this has taken place not only myself but other black employees hours have been reduced and they have not let us serve as waiters. For future references please be mindful of the companies that you support!”
When White first saw the ticket, he says he asked his co-worker to change the name on it, because he was offended by it.
He says she laughed and claimed she didn’t know how, so he went to a manager and found out another co-worker had been involved in the incident as well—but the manager saw it as a “joke.”
“It made me feel uncomfortable because it’s like, OK, well, you’re pretty much saying it’s acceptable, but since they explained to you that they were joking, then I should be OK with it,” White said. White also says that other black employees have been terminated over far less, like eating in the wrong area or because of their work attire.
“I feel personally that if I had pretty much did something like this I would have been fired immediately,” White said. “It’s not okay. Not just that it was done to me and you know other black employees but for any race regardless that works there.”
A co-worker who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation says that White is correct—the restaurant doesn’t seem interested in addressing the issue.
“Nothing really happened, and it kind of just got blown over,” the coworker said.
The restaurant has not responded to requests for comment, though their social media pages have disappeared since White posted about the incident. They may not know a joke, but they clearly know when things are about to get serious.