A Denny’s in Lake City, Florida, was under fire after 25 Black church goers said they were refused service Friday night. News4 Jax reported that when a man named Elijah Henderson Jr. arrived to the restaurant, a waitress claimed she couldn’t serve him because of being understaffed. However, soon after another large group was seated. Denny’s has been forced to apologize.
“Is it the color of my skin? Because everybody else was eating and drinking, and she was, like, ‘I am not going to be able to accommodate you all,’” Henderson told News4 Jax. “There was another family that came in right after me, she was, like,’You guys go ahead and have a seat. I will be with you momentarily.'”
Henderson also apparently recorded and live-streamed the incident on Facebook.
“I feel as since I’m African-American, that’s why she doesn’t feel like she should accommodate us. I don’t understand,” Henderson said on the video which appears to have since been removed. “I am not trying to understand, the only thing I do know is that they are wrong, they are wrong for how they treated us. Point blank, I don’t care what you look like, or where you come from, I just want equality.”
Denny’s responded by releasing a statement:
“We were shocked by the unacceptable experience our guests received recently at our Lake City, Florida, location, and sincerely apologize. We simply do not tolerate discrimination of any kind in our restaurants.” Reportedly, the employee involved has been fired.
This isn’t the first time Denny’s has been accused of racism. In February of 2016, Denny’s was sued for insisting Black customers prepay. Way back in 1993, six Black Secret Service agents filed a Federal discrimination suit claiming a Denny’s in Annapolis, Maryland refused to serve them.
Some things never change.