Black woman claims she was forced to give up her table for two white men in a restaurant
A characteristic request common during the Civil Rights period, and long before, was asking for black customers to give up their seats to white people. And, according to this woman's story, it would seem that America is not yet past this disgusting practice.
On June 20, a black woman was dining at J. Alexander's in West Bloomfield, Michigan. Liah Grant sat with her friend at the restaurant's bar when she was asked to give up her place for two white men. When she refused, stating that she was being discriminated against, Grant says a white bartender poured a drink on her head.
ABC's local news channel WXYZ, however, reports that the bartender poured Grant's drink down the sink. And that, when Grant went to management to complain, they told her she should be thankful the bartender hadn't poured the drink on her instead. No matter which instance holds truth, one thing is true: at times, it seems like America moves backward.
Allegedly, when Jerrick Jackson, a black male customer, came to Grant's defense, a white diner allegedly threw food at him and called him racial slurs. When someone phoned the police, they identified Jackson as the wrongdoer in the incident.
Grant ended up paying the bill, though she requested not to. After the discriminatory exchanges, Grant posted videos of the interaction in J. Alexander's Restaurant on Facebook, along with the caption:
"Yesterday J Alexander’s protected a customer and employee after I (and several others) were discriminated against. This needs to end. The Manager did not make the situation better, instead she told me to call someone else and she had to protect her employees.
"I was called out of my name several times as I was trying to exit. I was then told they snuck the thug out the back so he could avoid the police. Wow. This is me recording however I did not know this would come next. I just did not want the African American man attacked by the police, had no idea this was going to happen."
In a press conference, Grant's lawyer, Maurice Davis, asked for consequences for the restaurant and that the employees involved be fired:
"This type of behavior is archaic racism, reminiscent of the black men and women of the 1950s. Our civil rights leaders fought for over a century to secure and preserve black citizens’ right to have a seat at the table, and we refuse to backslide to a nation where black people are told to give up their seat to white people."
Though Grant and Jackson didn't know each other, because they both were allegedly discriminated against at J. Alexander's, Jackson says: "That’s not coincidental. This restaurant has a culture of racism."
However, J. Alexander's statement reads:
"None of our employees used profanity, made racial remarks or threw food, but certain guests did. Ironically, two of those guests involved in this incident have falsely accused our staff of racial discrimination."
We hope to have more on this story as it develops.