By Alexis Stodghill
To all of those who believe that this is a post-race society, please explain this. How is it that a black woman in 2010 cannot order a pizza without getting called the N-word? The Consumerist blog reports (via Gawker TV):
A woman in Apex, N.C., had just taken delivery of two Domino’s pizzas when her 10-year-old niece pointed out the words “N**GER” and “DON’T TIP” at the bottom of the receipt.
Not exactly thrilled with this level of customer disservice, she complained to the Domino’s, and the driver was subsequently given the boot. Which might explain why she’s now received over a dozen threatening phone calls.
Says the customer:
“They were saying basically the same stuff that was on the receipt. They were saying ‘N-this, you got me fired. You did this, you did that,’ just being real ugly to me, just being real mean… I’m thinking it is 2010, it’s never good to do that. You can’t do stuff like that anymore.”
This is very interesting considering the fact that Dr. Laura recently tried to explain away how harmless the N-word is today. It may seem benign to some, but it is still frequently used by people seeking to emotionally and in some cases physically harm African Americans. No, America is not post-race at all, if African Americans can still be flagrantly disrespected as customers in this way, by even a Domino’s pizza delivery boy.
Certainly Domino’s is not totally responsible as a company for the racist word on a receipt delivered to one customer. But we have to ask what kind of employee training practices are in place at Domino’s if this former employee felt comfortable doing such a thing? The question then becomes, whose responsibility is it to address the continuing racial prejudice in this country, and its effects? Do corporations like Domino’s have a responsibility to train workers on how to deal with workplace frustrations and issues they may have with the many different types of people they come into contact with?
It would make sense for companies like Domino’s to take the lead on educating people on how to deal with race differences. More than any other area of American life, workplaces are a melting pot of different nationalities, races, genders, sexual orientations and ethnicities. When you throw direct customer service into the mix, a whole new level of patience and understanding is required. To the company’s credit, a Domino’s representative has stated:
“I’m horrified this occurred. This was the action of a lone individual and it does not reflect my views. Upon learning of the incident, the General Manager of the store fired the responsible person immediately. I have reached out to the customer and offered my sincere apology.”
But is saying “we’re sorry” enough? Now that Domino’s has exposed this African American woman to hateful racists who are making physical threats, is Domino’s going to be there to protect her if the situation takes a turn for the worst? If Domino’s had better screening and training practices, perhaps this African American woman would never have been insulted by seeing “N*GGER DON’T TIP” on her receipt — and she would not be worrying for her safety today.
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