Skip to comments.Attorney General Involved In Racial Bar Check Case
Posted on 08/19/2005 7:10:11 AM PDT by veronica
(CBS) NEW YORK A New Jersey restaurant is offering a discount to win back customers after a staff member left an offensive message on a customer's check. This comes as the restaurant braces for a civil rights investigation by the state's attorney general.
"You see 'Jew Couple' as a bar order. I was a little bit shocked," said offended customer Elliot Stein.
Elliot Stein and his girlfriend were the victim of a bartender at a Jersey Shore restaurant when he used the words "Jew Couple" to identify them on their check.
Stein considers the check racial profiling.
The Attorney General's Office Division on Civil Rights has now launched an investigation into Parkhill's Waterfront Grill in Loch Arbour.
"We want to determine what the facts are and see if the conduct violated the law against discrimination," said Peter Harvey the NJ Attorney General.
The restaurants general manager Malia Wells had this to say about the issue.
"Unfortunately it was poor judgment by our bartender. She apologized. I apologize. It was poor judgment and she is no longer with us."
Despite apologies and firings, the Attorney General wants to look into this case further.
"It certainly isn't in anybody's handwriting which wouldn't suggest the waitress wrote it. It suggests as you pointed out in the software of the restaurant's computer system. It may not be a waitress problem. This may be a management problem, an institutional problem. If so, we intend to correct the institution and not have the institution blame its employees who were trained a certain way." said Harvey.
A restaurant spokesperson told us today that they don't have software in their system that identifies customers by race or religion, and after this incident, table numbers will be used to label customers.
The attorney general says the restaurant could be subject to a fine or forced to re-train its employees if his office determines a civil rights violation.
The Attorney General says his office has not received any other complaints on the restaurant.
O for Pete's sake.
"a staff member left an offensive message on a customer's check"
Not a smart way to build up business, but also certainly not something that requires Big Brother's help with a lawsuit and sensitivity class/re-education camp.
I don't get it. Were they Jewish? If so, is being identified as such "discrimination"? I know it is not appropriate but "discrimination"? Jeez. If someone refered to me as "that Christian guy", I wouldn't think twice about it. An investigation from the AG's office for referring to someone as a "Jew". Freaky.
Putting a racial or religious slur or comment on an internal document is not an acceptable business practice. This is can't be the first time it was done in this place. It is the responsiblity of the management to train employees, and keep them appropriate. Otherwise, they'll pay the price.
What a waste of time. There truly is no private ownership anymore, even of your own business.
Enough of this already. The story has been running around NY for a week already and the one thing I never seem to hear anyone ask is:
"What prompted the waitress to put the offensive message on the bill in the first place?"
The closest anyone has cometo this question is the NY Post writing a blurb like "It's unclear as to why this happened, but the offending waitress no longer works there."
How much do ya wanna bet that perhaps the slighted couple did or said something that prompted such a vicious response?
I'm not saying it was right at all, but people usually don't display overt racism/anti-semitism unless provoked.
P.S. not to engage in anti-semitism myself, but isn't it notable to see that said nasty remark was placed in the one place said Jewish couple would be ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN to see it, on the bill? (/sarcasm).
Ditto. PC is the first Article of Faith for the United Church of Secularism which is being established as the state religion of the USA.
A. A bizarre assumption. And, even if true, why not just "Obnoxious Couple"?
B. If you are an employee at a place that serves the public, you don't have the right to react as this person did, even if the customer is obnoxious. You go to management and let them handle it.
Really thin skinned - it's like saying "the black couple" or the "white couple" or the couple with weird hair - just an identifyer to keep the checks straight. Let it go.
But is it a crime?
And beside, why should this be illegal, particularly in a privately held business.
Shall the government now regulate descriptions of customers? How will this be enforced?
Should the "PB police" regularly monitor businesses hard drives for "illegal descriptions?" You reaction is absurd and straight out of the liberal play book.
And why all the consternation? If they had said "The Wasp couple in the corner" would we hear such outrage? No.
Instead we would be told that that was an apt description.
In any event, have the AG involved is just preposterous, and we know just what the motivation behind it is.
Equally offensive. If I ran a store or an eatery and an employee did that on an internal or external document, I'd be furious.
Oh for gods-sake. As if this was actually official store policy. This AG can't possibly be serious. And who the hell calls the police over an offensive comment anyway? Idiots all around in this story. Unreal.
you know, people have done weirder stuff. This isn't just the sort of thing one throws up out of frustration or because they're having a bad hair day. PMS is not an affirmative defense for this kind of thing. This is the kind of stuff that is intended to insult and hurt. People usually don't intend to do harm unless they're mad about something.
So, it's not such a bizarre assumption at all. Especially when you consider just how obnoxious somepeople can get when they've been drinking, like this couple was.
I don't pretend to have been a fly on the wall, but it strikes me as curious that someone did this without being provoked somehow.
Part of the difficulty for the restaurant is the way in which the words were used.
In the case of the phrase "Jew Couple," the word "Jew," which is properly a noun, is used as an adjective to modify "Couple." If the waitress was looking merely to identify the couple by some obvious trait (although I didn't realize that Jewishness was such an obvious trait), she would have properly written "Jewish Couple."
The only folks I've personally ever encountered who used the word "Jew" as an adjective, rather than the proper "Jewish," have been folks who were, at the very least, not especially philo-semitic. More typically, the people I've encountered who used this trope were, indeed, anti-semites.
Often, terms like "Jew boy" or "Jew couple," etc., are used in denigrating fashion, more akin to calling a Christian a "Christer," or a Chinese a "Chinaman" or a Japanese a "Jap." The failure to use proper grammar or terminology is used as a way to demean.
Now, in the case of the dim-bulb waitress (leaving this identifer on the final check certainly qualifies her for nomination of some sort of social Darwin Award), it may be that she didn't have the space in the system, or the time, to type in "Jewish Couple," and thus, the slight was unintentional.
All that being said, the waitress certainly was stupid enough to merit dismissal, but beyond that, this is a tempest in a teapot.