The internet’s list of receipts about racism at Cracker Barrel just got longer. A Black man took his complaint about the restaurant to court after he was thrown out of a Cracker Barrel in Cross Lanes, West Virginia.
The federal lawsuit named defamation, outrageous treatment and racial discrimination charges made by Randy Freeman, a 57-year-old Air Force veteran, motor coach company owner and operator. Freeman’s complaint was made public on Twitter Monday.
A manager at the country-themed West Virginia restaurant and gift store forced Freeman to leave after he falsely accused the man of cursing at a waitress, according to the man’s complaint. Freeman, who was with his motor coach passengers, had only ordered food in a “normal manner,” three witnesses who sat with the man at a table said. The manager and assistant manager then somehow felt it was okay to kick Freeman out as if he were a criminal — a common form of mistreatment brandished against Black men and women like a weapon.
Freeman posed no threat like the two men kicked out of a Philadelphia Starbucks or the woman who was forcefully arrested at a Waffle House restaurant recently. He didn’t raise his voice or resist the manager’s commands, he said to Rolling Out.
“I was embarrassed and worried about the consequences of resisting my ejectment because I owed my ultimate responsibility to my motor coach passengers who would’ve been stranded had I been arrested for refusing to leave,” Freeman recalled. “So, I left without raising my voice or otherwise resisting the managers’ commands.”
He also said that he was taken by surprise by the mistreatment, something that he hadn’t experienced before at Cracker Barrel despite its history of racist incidents.
Freeman, like the men in Philadelphia, had publicly spoken out against aggressive and racially charged incidents. He also has taken his protest a step further by going to a federal court, a move that may force Cracker Barrel to address what happened at the West Virginia store. The restaurant and store chain has yet to apologize or even acknowledge the incident, Freeman said.
The chain had previously been put on blast with Justice Department investigations over segregating and providing poor service to Black customers as well as mistreating Black employees. Considering this latest incident, a boycott may be on the way.
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