Emboldened by today’s political climate, hate crimes are popping up across the country. Last week, an African-American waitress in Georgia said she was stunned when a man handed her a menu with a swastika, WSB Atlanta reports.
The incident occurred Thursday night, the waitress, Shelley Sidney told Atlanta, Georgia news station WSB-TV while she was waiting on a private party at Antica Posta in the Buckhead area of Atlanta. The disturbing incident, she said, was the most “blatantly hateful thing” that she has experienced.
“I get to the last person in the party, and they give me a menu that has a swastika drawn on it,” Sidney said.
She immediately showed her boss the menu, she said. However, restaurant owner Marco Betti excused the hateful action, citing freedom of speech, leaving her feeling “hurt and frustrated.”
Sidney said she heard a guest use the n-word after she went back downstairs the restaurant.
“I was really in tears when I was overhearing the conversations, the private conversations of just how horrible Black people are, immigrants are, gay people are,” the waitress told WSB-TV. “He [the owner] never told them that they had to leave. I think that it’s unacceptable for this to be able to go on. It’s 2017.”
Manny Arora, the restaurant’s attorney, defended Betti to WSB over the phone Sunday evening, saying the owner reassigned Sidney.
Staff told the television news outlet that they saw books on display at the private event and researched the author. David Irving, a known holocaust denier, was hosting a speaking event, the report says. Arora said the restaurant does not investigate the backgrounds of customers who make reservations.