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Dining While Black: ‘We Just Wanted To Order Some Food’

Damon Whitfield and his driving partner Hector, cross-country truck drivers, stopped to eat and shower at a Denny’s in South Dakota but were refused service. Via KKTV.com:

Whitfield says a quick pit stop to eat and shower at the gas station Denny’s off Interstate 29 put the men in a difficult position.

[…] Whitfield says he was seated, given a menu and orange juice that he ordered from his server. While waiting for Hector to come back from the shower, he noticed something else.

“Then she walked away, and I didn’t hear from her. She was serving people that came in before us. People that came in after us. She was cleaning up tables. She was just walking by us,” Whitfield said.

When Hector returned, he tried to grab the server’s attention so they could order.

“He says, ‘Excuse me, we’re ready to place our order.’ Then she immediately said, ‘I don’t appreciate you yelling at me.’ Then I’m like, ‘He just said excuse me. He didn’t yell.’ Then she goes, ‘I don’t need you people calling me over to this table.’

He says, ‘Yeah, but I see you serving people that came in after us,’ and then she goes, ‘You know what? I’m not serving you people. You leave now or I’m calling the police,’” Whitfield said. “Then she snatches the menus out of our hands. Snatches the orange juice off the table, spilling some of the orange juice on me. Then she walks over, and she’s on the phone, and I assume she’s talking to the police.”

The police were called. The men were asked to leave.

The happy ending? The waitress was fired.


September 2023