Chipotle Mexican Grill found itself sizzling in a jumbled bowl of a mess. The company fired a manager in St. Paul, Minnesota, who insisted a small group of Black men prepay for their food. The manager said the men had ordered food before without having the money to pay.
After one of the denied diners, Masud Ali, 21, tweeted a video of the encounter to Chipotle’s Twitter account, Chipotle announced on Twitter they fired the manager.
Then, Twitter users scurried to their phones to scroll. They scoured and found tainting and painting tweets in Masud’s Twitter timeline that revealed his well-established practice of stealing food and specifically stealing from Chipotle.
Chipotle said in a statement they fired the manager for not following protocol. It didn’t matter whether the manager recognized the potential customers; the manager did not follow protocol.
Then, after new information came to light, Chipotle offered to rehire the manager.
According to the Washington Post, Chipotle already knew about Masud’s terrible and tasteless tweets when they fired their manager.
Now people are hot at Chipotle for firing the manager in the first place, and people have their plastic forks raised against Masud for unwittingly doing the work of lying trolls and provocateurs like James O’Keefe.
People with ire against Chipotle seem to think Chipotle “fired first and asked questions later.”
In their statement, Chipotle says the manager received due process. They spoke to the manager; they spoke to the other employees, and they spoke to the customer.
With Masud, his alleged history of stealing meals spoils and soils his claim of racism in this incident.
Not only did Masud mercilessly celebrate the manager’s dismissal, but he rattled people for battle who know well the treatment Black diners experience too frequently.
To be clear, Masud’s dry cry of racism gives no aid to the cause. Nope. But none of the invalid flags that wave can invalidate the facts that stay today.
In 2015, Zach Brewster, an assistant professor of sociology at Wayne State University in Michigan, conducted a national survey of 1000 restaurant servers about customers and discrimination.
In restaurants, Black diners get less than the best service with outright racism, dismissals, and long wait times.
Masud’s false alarm on discrimination gives me no relief or heartburn because false accusations like his are far more infrequent than the restaurant industry’s racism.
The unsavory and bitter treatment of Black diners is an issue that spans many decades.
It seems like I heard about Cracker Barrel’s racism from my cradle. Thus, I avoided Cracker Barrel, and Cracker Barrel, like Denny’s, has settled lawsuits for its racism.
What should turn stomachs continuously is that 50+ years after the last publication of the Green Book, which told Black travelers the safe and friendly establishments worthy of their dollars, we still need to know where we can go.
Today, the dining landscape is a wide and waiting minefield. The racist eruptions could pop off at Starbucks, Applebees, Hooters, Waffle House, IHOP, Joe’s Crab Shack, a Subway Sandwich shop, or any local or national establishment — and they have.
America has many tables and service lines set with stereotypes that serve the rawest racism.
In restaurants, America can automatically mix and make racism from memory, based on its original recipes, that call for the worst ingredients which are widely available for distribution.
The main dishes and side items of hate and hostility have to end in the restaurant industry.
So, I have no issue with Chipotle’s fast firing of its manager using the process they stated. I also have no issue with reopening cases and settling them based on new information.
That’s the way justice should work.
It’s America’s fault that racism is still on the menu, and it’s America’s fault that false cases like Masud’s are too easy to assume.
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