September 10, 2011
the Applebee’s nonsense continues. read Part 1 here.
I’ve never had a really bad experience at an Applebee’s before, not at home in Atlanta or when I lived in Decatur for about a year. I did not take the situation well.
My sister gave me the look with her lips pursed, having seen everything I did while my mom remained oblivious. I said out loud, ”Oh hell naw… Let’s go. Let’s get out here.”
We went next door to Marie Calender’s to eat and I was pissed though I tried not to let it ruin my meal.
Seeing that I in particular was in a bad mood, I think the staff at Marie Calender’s was trying to be sensitive to us. We explained to my mom what she missed while we were all sitting there, waiting to be acknowledged over in the Applebee’s and she agreed with me that we stood go back and fill out a comment card or demand to talk to the manager.
The food at Marie Calender’s was okay-tasty. After spending a totally exorbitant amount on it, I wasn’t thrilled.
We went back next door to the Applebee’s and asked to see the manager.
He came out and we talked to him about what happened, white and/or Latino guy. The first thing he was quick to say was that “We’re not sure it was racism but you all were certainly neglected and that’s money taken away from us that you had to go next door”. He knew the restaurant hadn’t been crowded at all when we came in and spoke in a pretty audible voice.
He took down my name and the phone number to our apartment. Later, the manager called and said he’d looked at the video tape footage of the incident. I spoke with him and felt a little uncomfortable, having forgotten or never thought about the cameras in this restaurant.
The manager came to conclusion that it wasn’t racism or discrimination but we were neglected; he offered to send us something in the mail to compensate us and “bring us back” into the fold with Applebee’s.
We ain’t got nothing in mail yet.
Welcome to Fresno.
September 9, 2011
Despite the 100-degree dry heat out here, my mom, sister, and I decided to have an outing.
I wasn’t trying to be a delicate, little light-skinned Southern belle (only Black), I just didn’t want to get fried so I used my lucky purple, pink-spotted umbrella as a parasole. My sister had a wicked headache and with her sensitivity to heat because of the MS, she really didn’t want to be out there. But…went we did, vowing to stop by the store and see the extended stay motel mom had stayed in for two months while we rationed a $90 food and necessity budget back home before we got here.
Since I love pho (Vietnamese rice noodle soup), we were going to this pho place that my mom swears by. Instead, we ended up on a two-hour bus trip and barely made it to the store.
I was hot. I was hungry. I was grouchy. I still wanted pho. The pho place would have required us to take another bus down the street so we went into Applebee’s instead.
Upon entering the restaurant, no one greeted us though several of the employees on the floor in Applebee’s t-shirts saw us come in. We waited. No one appeared. So we sat down and waited in the waiting area, usually reserved for when its crowded and taking time to seat folks. For how long, I don’t know. Two minutes. Five minutes. It wasn’t crowded at all so I had no idea why no one was coming to greet us and seat us.
A white woman, her husband, and three small children entered the Applebee’s some time behind us. Immediately, a smiling white female Applebee’s employee appeared and said, “Hi! someone will be right with you.”
She wasn’t talking to us. She didn’t even look at us.
Welcome to Fresno.
September 2, 2011
What race/ethnicity do you identify as, if at all?
Increasingly, in the so-called “post-racial” America, I find that everybody’s trying to tell you what you should call yourself these days racially and ethnically.
Some multiracial/multicultural folks argue that nobody is a 100% anything (i.e. 100% African, 100% Latino, 100% white, etc.).
Some African peoples don’t want anything to do with Black people in America and think most of us are an embarrassment not to be associated with. On the other end of things, so to speak, there are those who believe or argue that ‘Black’ cannot exist without ‘white’ and we were made ‘Black’ when our ancestors were brought to America as slaves; this group believes we should call ourselves ‘African-American’.
Personally, and this is just the honest truth, I’m a little suspicious of the “multiracial-multicultural” craze in the U.S. among people of African descent as just another way of obscuring their African origins out of internalized racism/shame, acculturation, and assimilation.
I view myself as someone who is linked spiritually and by blood to my African ancestors but the truth is that I am several generations removed from the lives in Africa that they had. I grew up in this country with these experiences.
I identify as a Black woman racially and ethnically. At one point in time, this was something to be proud of and say out loud at great risk to your life and social standing. Now it seems to be something that some people of color and the multiracial/multicultural are questioning or trying to do away with.
I will continue to strive towards a better understanding and connection with my identities and subjectivities.