Guess who’s coming to dinner with a poisoned helping of racial discrimination?

Stop Eating Here

Last night at ap. 8pm, we were asked to leave the Lone Star Texas Grill at 930 Dixon Road, Etobicoke because our baby was “too loud”. We were seated on the main floor in a booth and there were quite a few babies in the restaurant who were making the noises that children normally do. Nothing excessive, certainly nothing offensive and yet, the assistant manager waited until just after we were served our meal to approach the table and inform us that about 12 patrons had complained that our baby was too loud and that he would pay for my meal if I would leave with my son. My son is 1 year old.

Seated at the table were myself, two of my best friends and my oldest daughter who is sixteen. We were having a farewell dinner for our friend, Pte. Georgina N. Hamilton who had just graduated that morning after completing an 8 week Level Three Qualification Course at Base Camp Borden. She is a new Supply Technician with the Canadian Armed Forces and was leaving for Nova Scotia following our meal.

At first, the assistant manager who shall remain nameless for now approached us, stood at the end of our table and proceeded to communicate that he simply couldn’t have my son disturb the other patrons in his establishment as they are “…running a business.” He claimed that people were getting up and leaving the restaurant leaving their unpaid bills behind.

Yes, he claimed that my 1 year old baby, was making enough racket in a family restaurant during dinner hours that it was best if I left with him. He didn’t offer to reseat us. He didn’t offer to come down to my level at the table and speak to me quietly or privately. He didn’t smile in that “I know how kids are but, I just have to let you know what other people are saying” kind of way. He calmly informed me that it would be best if I left with my son and that he would gladly pay for it.

He avoided eye contact with the other guests at the table, he avoided speaking directly to them. He also made it clear that he would only be paying for MY meal and no one else’ as though he expected me to leave and my dinner party would carry on eating as if nothing had happened. One of my friends had already pre-paid for her meal so that to ensure she wouldn’t be late making her airplane departure.

The entire time the gentleman was at our table, my son didn’t make a sound. In fact, the restaurant was eerily quiet. We didn’t get loud. Nobody overreacted, we simply advised that if one of was being asked to leave, we are all being asked to leave and that all bills would be covered and for obvious reasons. When I mentioned to him that social media outlets can tell a good story, he then agreed to pay for all of our meals. Just as we’re gathering our things to leave, we heard a baby on the level just above us squeal loudly. He ignored this until we pointed it out and asked if he would be approaching their table too to ask them to leave the restaurant; He calmly said, “If I get complaints about that baby, then I’ll approach them too.” and he walked off as we ushered ourselves toward the front of the building where we then collected the business card of the general manager.

The only difference between my squealing baby and the other squealing baby was that my son, and the people seated around him are Black.

I am not naïve, yet although I am completely wide awake and understand how the world operates, I can’t help but be sickened that things like this still happen in 2013 and in my beloved Canada of all places.

I am waiting to hear back from the General Manager for that restaurant. After explaining to him this morning what happened, he explained that he would “investigate” and get back to me.  I have spoken to the Human Rights Commission Tribunal for their advice in the meanwhile as we wait to see how this unfolds.
I had to share. I had to write about it; It’s what I do.

Tell me dear reader, do you think it’s fair to demand justice in the form of an apology. Demand the employee receive Sexual Harassment And Racial Prejudice training (S.H.A.R.P) as it pertains the code of the Canadian Human Rights Commission AND a monetary donation to Blacklit101 Education program fund? Doing nothing IS NOT AN OPTION.

What are your thoughts about this very un-curious incident?
I’m really interested to know your opinions on this. What are some of your stories? How did you feel? What did you do?

Light reflected is enlightenment infinite.

~Rachelle

6 Comments

Filed under African Canadian, Black Canadian, Brampton, Brampton Ontario, Ontario

6 responses to “Guess who’s coming to dinner with a poisoned helping of racial discrimination?

  1. First let say that I have little patience.

    This world has forced me to be a person that is not very nice. I don’t go out a lot because when a person’s eyes are wide open, you miss nothing. That being said, you were more than correct in your actions and a bit too reserved in my estimation. We all know what was happening there in that place where they serve food. Any reason to make Black people uncomfortable will used.

    I have been in places where people go to eat food and have seen children that have ran wild. Children are children and they act as such. But Black children are not to be tolerated (god I hate that word) and they project their dislike for Black people on children being children. And for that coward of a manager to be so spineless, and step to a woman and child rather than telling those “people” that this is FAMILY place to eat speaks to his very own bias. Knowing damn well that he has seen bad ass little children a lot worse than anything a year baby could compete with.

    You make sure you follow up with that “investigation” and if it’s possible, go back to that place alone and record some of the children that are acting up.

    We know what’s going on and that’s is plain ol’ hatred of Black people.

    I see Canada is just as full of sh*t as the US.

    • Why am I only seeing these responses now? Wow, you said it and you said it right. This behaviour isn’t new, many people experience this mistreatment daily which is why my platform of re-education is more important than ever. We must have a protocol for dealing with the various types of racism and discrimination; Set policies and procedures to help us effectively advocate for change. We bear the weight of having to act “respectfully” in all situations as we are the harshest judged race. I know I will crusade for social justice for the duration of my existence and I really don’t care how difficult it can be at times. It matters and is partbof my

  2. You handled the right way, there was no use in “acting your color” and making a bad situation worse. Don’t let anyone tell you that “White privilege’ isn’t real. I guess the other patrons whose kids were “cutting up” felt a sense of entitlement in thinking that only their kids are allowed to act a fool and the manager seemed to agree with them. And this is the supposed post-racial society that we live in.

    • Why am I JUST seeing this comment? Yes, I do believe that by asking us to leave, the manager was expressing that others had more of a right to be there than we did. His actions along with his choice of words certainly conveyed a loud enough message. In any case, had we reacted with emotion, people would have acted like they didn’t hear him asking us to leave and we’d have been harshly judged by our retaliation rather than with understanding toward our reaction. ~R

  3. Your response to the situation was highly commendable and you acted in a highly graceful manner. I fully agree that the Assistant Manager or who-so-ever this guy was, need to apologize in a written manner (letter) and ask for pardon.
    The racism does exist in one or the other form unfortunately. Some neglect it and walk away but some, like yourself, do stand against it, not for their own gain, but for the greater benefit of others.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s