management coworker joke Breakfast Club Rakevion White ASU Arizona restaurant Instagram
The Breakfast Club location in Scottsdale, Ariz. (Photo credit: DCA88/Shutterstock.com)

Phoenix Restaurant Employees Racially Target Black Server, Management Slow to Fire Racist Co-worker

Rakevion White, a 21-year-old Black Arizona State University (ASU) student, was subjected to racial targeting at his job as a server at the Breakfast Club in Phoenix, according to a BuzzFeed News article published Tuesday. After initially saying it wouldn’t terminate the employee responsible for targeting White, the Breakfast Club has since fired the employee.

Related Story: Video: Racist Tow Truck Driver Caught Dropping N-Word in Boston To Customer

On Oct. 22, White showed up for his shift and was sent a food order with the N-word on the point-of-sale ticket. He confronted a female co-worker and asked her to delete the order, but White said she dismissed his request and laughed.

“I asked her if she could take the order down or change the name because I was offended by it and I was upset that she was sending something in like that to me,” White told Buzzfeed.

White said when he complained to the manager, who said it was “more than likely a joke,” according to Buzzfeed, he learned that another co-worker was involved. After reporting the incident, White told Buzzfeed his 25-hour workweek was reduced to 14 to 18 hours per week, and he said he has been reassigned as a serving assistant or to-go food kiosk worker instead of as a server for all but one shift. White relied on the 25 hours per week and the tips as a server to pay for classes at ASU.

After management passed off the incident as a joke, White decided to take action. He posted a picture of the ticket to Instagram on Tuesday, and it went viral.

 

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Hey everybody, 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!

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Eventually, the two problematic employees were written up but weren’t terminated or otherwise disciplined for their racist behavior, White told Buzzfeed.

The Breakfast Club didn’t immediately make a statement, and the restaurant’s social media accounts appeared to be deactivated after the outrage.

Another anonymous employee at the restaurant told Buzzfeed that management tried to hide what happened. White and the co-worker openly spoke about other instances of alleged discriminatory practices at the Breakfast Club. They told Buzzfeed that other employees were fired for lesser offenses such as “dress code violations” and not eating in designated areas for employees.

The Breakfast Club’s Instagram account reportedly reappeared after the Buzzfeed story was published. It shared a statement via the social media account Wednesday explaining that the employee wasn’t terminated after the “crude, insensitive and deeply hurtful” act because of the “depth of his remorse, the sincerity of the apology to everyone he offended and his five-year prior record of treating his fellow employees with respect.”

 

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Upon speaking with Black leaders in Phoenix about the incident a day later, the Breakfast Club posted another statement from its executive management team, which claims to be “people of faith,” to its Instagram account saying it decided to terminate the employee responsible for entering the slur into the system because the “only way to ensure the Breakfast Club has a zero tolerance against discrimination is to take strong public action when discrimination occurs.”

 

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