In 2018, it’s pathetic some folks have unnecessary attention drawn to them all because of their skin color, size, race, gender, disability or another physical characteristic. Racial profiling has occurred too often; once is too much. It shouldn’t be tolerated or accepted.
This past weekend, Alexis Brison and a friend were minding their own business, eating their meal at an Applebee’s in Kansas City, Missouri. Their once-enjoyable meal was rudely interrupted by blatant racism.
Alexis recorded the interaction between her and her friend, the restaurant staff and the cops. The video has since been shared almost 3 million times. It all started with restaurant staff calling the police on the two young women. They accused Brison and her friend of dining and dashing the previous day at that same Applebee’s and not paying their bill.
Brison included this with the video, which has been shared and viewed millions of times: Hey facebook friends and family I need your help reposting this. Especially in black history month black people cannot continue to be treated this way. My friend and I were shopping at the independence center in Independence, Missouri(Near Kansas City), when we were done, we decided to get a bite to eat at Applebee’s.
“About an hour into our dinner we were approached by an Independence police officer, a mall cop, and the restaurant manager.
“We were told that we were accused of eating and not paying for CHICKEN the day before (dining and dashing). Mind you that we have proof that can show our whereabouts and it’s not even in our character to steal.”
Understandably, Brison and her friend attempted to defend themselves. The officers became more aggressive. The conflict ended in tears. See for yourself if you want. The video is heartbreaking. These women have done nothing wrong, committed no crime, but they’re treated like criminals.
Brison closed her post with a plea to end racial profiling by writing: “After being mocked, humiliated, and embarrassed we were asked to pay for our food, leave, and not come back.
“After leaving, calls were made to the restaurant, and the manager stated that our accuser remembered that there was a SKINNY girl and a girl who wore MAKEUP. In 2018 is this really what we’re debased to? Our weight and whether or not we wore makeup. She could not recognize any facial features or any defining characteristics. This is a clear example of RACIAL PROFILING that should not be stood for. Just because we are black does not mean we are all criminals and I will not be treated as such. #repost Applebee’s Grill & Bar
Applebee’s has since released an unsatisfactory response to this incident. On the surface, it reads like the restaurant chain is doing all it can to be fair and take necessary action. If you really read it though, it’s just paying lip service to this matter.
“Our team has been working throughout the weekend and will continue to work to determine what happened and what appropriate measures will be taken,” said Bill Georgas, CEO of Applebee’s local franchisee. “We do not tolerate racism or bigotry of any nature. We currently have no indications this was race related. We have a diverse workforce that is reflective of the community we serve. All are welcome at our restaurant, and will continue to be welcome.”
By not directly addressing what happened, calling the event out for what it really is – racial profiling. Applebee’s refuses to solve this problem. By saying that the incident wasn’t “race-related,” when the video proves otherwise. This company is missing an important opportunity to train it’s “diverse workforce” in cultural sensitivity and professionalism.
How can potential customers feel welcome in an environment which refuses to tackle this highly-sensitive issue? If I were Brison, I wouldn’t return, not after her latest terrible experience. Applebee’s didn’t offer Brison and her companion an apology. It made no mention of the deplorable tackless conduct of its employees and how their behavior would be addressed. So no thanks, I’m not feeling the warmth of any welcome here.