Letter: Diner shows ignorance by her actions

Farm Forum

On Sunday, May 26, I sat with family for lunch at an Aberdeen restaurant. Our server was a young black man, attentive and pleasant, not that it’s relevant to my point.

As our food arrived, a family (I presume) of four sprung from its nearby table, visibly angry and headed for the door. On her way out, the middle-aged mother scolded our waiter regarding a long delay in service. Our server politely indicated that the family’s table wasn’t a part of his section (There was at least one additional African-American server in the restaurant). This prompted the woman to petulantly and quite audibly submit, within obvious earshot of our server, that “all blacks look the same.”

My family sat disgusted and horrified as the woman stormed out of the restaurant, but I’m sadly confident our uneasiness paled in comparison to that harbored within our server. I regret not running to the parking lot and advising the woman of her shameful, indefensible breach of decency. I continue to wonder if she and her family had, ironically, attended a Christian religious service that very morning.

Ma’am, whoever you are and wherever you live, I hope this message finds you. I hope it compels you to see the ignorance, hate and small-mindedness of your act. Most of all, I hope you’ll find the moral clarity to return to the restaurant in question and offer a personal apology. Use this as a teaching moment for your children. Love and learn from those you perceive to be different. And endeavor to never again smear the good people of our state.

Nick Kotzea

Sioux Falls