Khalil Cavil was waiting tables at Saltgrass Steak House in Odessa, Texas, when he noticed one of the customers he had served left a message on the receipt.
The 20-year-old’s name “Khalil” was circled with “We Don’t Tip Terrorist” written across the top, explaining why there was no tip for a bill totaling $108.73, according to The Washington Post.
Cavil posted a now-viral photo of the receipt on Facebook; it has been shared more than 17,000 times.
“Last night at work I received this note from one of my tables,” he wrote.
“At the moment I didn’t know what to think nor what to say, I was sick to my stomach. I share this because I want people to understand that this racism and this hatred still exists.”
He added, “I have decided to let this encourage me and fuel me to change the world the only way I know how.”
Odessa is a small,
predominantly white city in West Texas, with a population estimated at just over 116,000. The racist customer at the restaurant assumed that because the waiter’s first name is “Khalil,” he has Middle Eastern roots, but he actually doesn’t.
“My dad was in the military and a buddy that he was very close to, served with him … Khalil was killed in an accident and so my dad just named me after him, one of his best friends,” Cavil told
He also told
Odessa American that he’s unsure “if he would have gotten the same level of support had he been a Muslim man or of Middle Eastern descent but that he hopes so.”
Saltgrass Steak House is a franchise based in Houston and is owned by Landry’s, Inc. Terry Turney, COO of Saltgrass, said the customer responsible for the message has been banned.
“We stand by and support our employee,” Turney said in a statement. “Racism of any form is unacceptable and we have banned this customer from returning to our establishment.”
Jaime Vickers, Cavil’s mother, told Odessa American the public’s response has been overwhelmingly supportive.
“He never expected how big this has become,” Vickers said. “I’m very proud of him.”