Race & Politics, Theory & Essay

The White Person’s Guide To Black People, Part 5

If you happened to eavesdrop on a random group of black people having a free-flowing conversation — and this conversation could take place anywhere; a family reunion, a happy hour, a game night, a cafeteria table, wherever — there’s a good chance that the discussion will eventually shift to our feelings about black people doing dumb-ass sh*t in public.

The topic might be something someone saw on the evening news. If at a restaurant, it might revolve around a woman near the entrance who’s dressed and acting a “hot ass mess.” It might just be our hilarious thoughts about the latest episode of Basketball Wives.

While they might seem innocuous and unnecessary, these frequent conversations about cringe-worthy sh*t committed by people of color all come from the same place, the same latent feeling that’s never actually spoken aloud but understood by each.

We’d rather not air our “dirty laundry” around white people, and we’re slightly amazed, shocked, and embarrassed by those who do.

This feeling, passed down to us by our parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, has wide-reaching effects, as it influences the way we act, causes many of us to “code switch,” and creates a certain level of collective racial hyper self-consciousness that (I’m assuming) white people never have to adopt.

I realize that many of them (white people) don’t really “get” this way of thinking, not understanding why we’d be pathologically reluctant to be candid and let our hair down around them, but a recent experience I’ve had should help them understand why many of us feel the way we do.

A couple weeks ago, Lisa Hickey — publisher and CEO of Good Men Media — asked if I’d be interested writing something for an upcoming discussion of race at The Good Men Project. Now, this wasn’t an out of the blue request. I’ve written for The Good Men Project before, and Lisa and I exchange emails regularly and have a pretty good working relationship.

But while I was definitely interested in contributing, I had a major mental reservation: I’d never written about race for a (predominately) white audience before.

Yes, I’m aware that VSB has a large and multi-racial readership base. But, the majority of the people who frequent here belong to the same demographic (21 to 35 year old African-American), and that knowledge does influence word choice and tone. I might be a bit more conscious of some of the things I so freely discuss here if I knew I was speaking to a different audience.

Anyway, I got past the reservation and ended up writing a 1000 word piece about a “racial neurosis” that many of us carry, and how it affects the way we react to things.

“The overt and soul-crippling racism that plagued our parents and grandparents isn’t nearly as prominent today. Anyone who’d argue otherwise is a fool. But, this history has resulted in a collective neurosis whose symptoms are similar to how dealing with a crazy girlfriend or boyfriend for too long starts to make you crazy as well. You start hacking into their email account just to make sure they haven’t hacked into yours again. They accuse you of lying so much that you start to wonder “Wait, am I sure that happened? Did I really go to work today, or did I spend the entire day with my mistress?”

From a race perspective, a manifestation of this mindset is you wondering if all things that happen to you are somehow related to you being black; a too heightened racial awareness that makes it increasingly difficult to discern between legitimate racism and race-based discrimination — both of which definitely still exist — and mere happenstance.”

I ended this essay with a paragraph or two about what often happens when we eat at restaurants. As many of you know, we have a stereotype of being bad tippers. This reputation may or may not be deserved, but I theorized that we might be bad tippers because we have a history of getting bad service, so we anticipate it now. I called this phenomenon “Eating While Black,” and Lisa liked that term so much that she thought I should just make it the title of the article. I agreed.

“Eating While Black” was eventually published last Monday, and it was pretty well-received; ending the week as the 3rd most popular article at The Good Men Project that week. The comments it generated didn’t really touch on the racial neurosis aspect, though, as most were focused on why Eating While Black occurs.

One commentator in particular — a guy who went by G.L. Piggy — shared a few of his thoughts as a white waiter who’s had many experiences with black customers.

“I’ve been a waiter for 7 years at a second-tier Italian restaurant. In my experience, black do tip worse. Yes, white servers cringe when they see black people being seated at their tables. But the same is true of black servers as well. This has much less to do with the amount of the tip one is expected to receive though.

These are all generalities – not all black people are like this. But racial differences in restaurant behavior are noticable. Black people tend to be more needy, pickier, and quick to anger. They take much longer to order their food. We call it “being ran”. Many servers get the feeling that black patrons are asking for extra things – napkins, ranch dressing, extra sauce – just to put us to work. They seem much less understanding about your time constraints and your need to take care of your other patrons. There seems to be, among blacks more than other races, a mentality of “I want it now”. And while the “get shit for free” mentality transcends race, blacks tend to hold it more than other races of people”

Although I found the statement about black people and “getting shit for free” a little troubling, I appreciated his candor and willingness to share his opinions. We went back and forth a few times after that, cordially debating the root causes of Eating While Black, and the discussion eventually died down towards the end of the week.

This Monday, however, I received an email notification that “Eating While Black” had received another trackback. I clicked on it, and it took me to “Not Tipping While Black” —  a 600 word long response G.L. Piggy’s had just posted on his blog.

I read it, expecting to see a continuation of the discussion we had the week before. Instead, I noticed a shift in tone and direction, as it subtly started to become a critique of “black culture” in general.

“But it is ridiculous to grant poor tippers some sort of deep philosophical justification for their cheapness and/or hostility towards (white) social norms of any sort.  The fact is that tipping is an American norm which means that black patrons who willingly flout it are free-riding on the rest of society.”

Curious where this discussion was headed, I decided to stick around and read the comments.

Damn.

From G.L. Piggy:

“But whenever they find hairs or plastic (at an amazingly high rate) or if their food isn’t prepared to their liking, you pretty much have to drop everything to cater to them. It’s really like waiting on infants”

From “a.nonny.mous”

“…black patrons of restaurants aren’t oriented to the bill for their food, literally because their minds have trouble conceiving it. So they get it and are astounded because they never thought “how will this steak and wine affect my future bank account” in a way a non-black would.”

From “EzE”

“Really, is it necessary to plumb the depths of evolutionary psychology to figure out why blacks are lousy tippers, rude customers? Do you really think that some alleged inability to consider future consequences comes into play?

Blacks are jerks, that’s all. There’s no need to science it all up. Also the infantile mind theory is no good, they’re not infants, they are of below average intelligence often but above retardation. No, there’s no big mystery here, they’re just jerks is all.”

These are just a few of the 130 or so comments this topic generated, but they provide a good snapshot of the tone of the entire discussion there. What’s jarring (and kind of scary) is the fact that these don’t seem to be unintelligent people. These aren’t your stereotypical uneducated trailer park racist rednecks. Most of them live in major cities, they each have well thought out and “researched” theories about why blacks are intellectually inferior, and they seem to be mentally, intellectually, and emotionally invested in proving this to be true.

Ironically, the comments in “Not Tipping While Black” actually prove why Eating While Black even exists. While they interpret our “pickiness” and occasional animosity towards servers as entitlement, it’s really just distrust — distrust of white establishments, distrust of the food made by white cooks, distrust of white people’s ultimate intentions, etc — and statements like this “…black patrons of restaurants aren’t oriented to the bill for their food, literally because their minds have trouble conceiving it.” do nothing but fan that flame.

Anyway, I’m pointing all of this out because this is the exact reason why I — and many other black people— have serious reservations about being candid around most whites. Yes, I realize that not all white people share these views. But more than enough of us share the belief that deep down, many of them do.

And, the reluctance to freely share, to be open and honest, to “air our dirty laundry in public” is basically just us not wanting to provide any opportunity for white America to gather more “evidence” to support their latent belief that we’re just not supposed to be here.

Strangely enough, this experience didn’t depress or dishearten me in the least. Maybe I just anticipated it and braced myself for it. And, maybe the “losing sleep over what white assholes think” part of my brain is underdeveloped too.

—The Champ

Filed Under:
Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a contributing editor for EBONY.com. He resides in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes.

  • http://twitter.com/_boron Boron the Negromancer

    Quem disse que a boca é tua neguinho?

    • http://twitter.com/_boron Boron the Negromancer

      Qual é, Dadinho…? Dadinho é o caralho! Meu nome agora é Boron, porra!

    • CurlyTop

      Voce fala Portugues? Eu falo um pocoinho.

      • LMNOP

        ooh, I really want to learn portuguese

      • http://twitter.com/_boron Boron the Negromancer

        Sim, falo português. Com certeza um Mestre do Mal deve falar todas as idiomas importantes do mundo!

    • http://twitter.com/_boron Boron the Negromancer

      *removes his mask*

      First off, I want to apologize because I did not realize the gravitas of this post: I commented before I read. That being done, let us dissect your post.

      A few years ago, I read about the racist letters that Hank Aaron received leading up to his breaking Babe Ruth’s home run record (http://espn.go.com/sportscentury/features/00006764.html). The letter excerpt that struck me most was the one that said, “How about some sickle cell anemia, Hank?” This excerpt implies that educated White people were expressing substantive racist sentiments because of a baseball record. On top of that, most of the racist letters were postmarked in Northern cities.

      Incidentally, my top comment quotes were from the film “City of God,” in which the protagonist Rocket is hyper-conscious of the Rio de Janeiro slum where he lives and how outsiders can lump him together with the locale’s thugs. And, similarly, African-American people have to be hyper-conscious of other races’ perceptions of all people of African descent (AA’s, Haitians, Somalians, Sudanese, Nigerians, etc.).

      Champ, I feel conflicted about whether your post belongs on the site. It is akin to one of those times on “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” where the family encounters racism and the show has a serious moment. It is jarring and is a significant mood shift for a site dedicated to pointing out the comedy of dating and relationships. But as a Black man, I recognize this post’s necessity.

      *puts mask back on*

      I am headed outside for a walk…errr…an evil walk. Yes, precisely. Cheers.

      • http://twitter.com/thenaimacyde Naima

        *Somali: this is a pet peeve of mine. Its like calling someone Americese. I’m the queen of typos, but I couldn’t help myself…#dontjudgeme

        Anyway, I felt the same way when I read this post. It made me cringe because I don’t think people know how to talk about race and was afraid of the comments.

        • http://twitter.com/_boron Boron the Negromancer

          Somali. Yes, Somali. Somali, Somali, Somali. I shall not forget.

          Hey everyone, remember when that sharpshooter took out those Somalian pirates?

          • Justmetheguy

            Damn, City of God was my movie. Too real…too muthaf*ckin real. Lol @ Boron saying Somalian again after being corrected lol. Yeah I remember when he took those pirates out. I also remember how the one who survived kept smiling when the cameras were on him. Man, I wonder what life on other galaxies is like…sigh

        • Lara

          I think the best way to talk about race is to let people speak freely and not only black people, but white people also.

      • TheFirebrand

        This has me thinking about what Frantz Fanon (in convo with Sartre) said I’m The Wretched of the Earth where a colonized person has to constantly be aware of his image and jealously protect his position. The defenses of those colonized “are tuned like anxious antennae waiting to pick up the hostile signals of a racially divided world.” the result is the acquisition of a “peculiar visceral intelligence dedicated to the survival of the body and spirit”.

        Nowadays we may call this gift a special “neurosis” as Champ describes. I just call them “Spidey-Senses” or “Extra-Sensory BullSh*t Perception”…

        • http://twitter.com/_boron Boron the Negromancer

          Nowadays we may call this gift a special “neurosis” as Champ describes. I just call them “Spidey-Senses” or “Extra-Sensory BullSh*t Perception”…

          Indeed. They are tingling.

          • nickalee

            eu falo tambem.. y hablo espanol.. aussi un petit peu de fracaise

            but what i wanted to say.. have people finally given up the thought that we are in a post-racial colorblind society since the sun has set on colonialism and the US elected a biracial president? i think the multicultural rioting in the UK and the discussions about it in the aftermath and the emergence of the “take our country back” rhetoric of the tea-party combined with the increasingly racist and vitriolic commentary on ordinary message boards as well as shootings in norway etc. all serve as proof the zenophobia and racism that has always existed has not diminished. as the lines of class and geography blur due increased global mobility and the presence of minimum human rights laws which prevent overt acts of discrimination, people are in closer quarters and there are more mediums by which to anonymously share abhorrent views. just because things change on the law books, doesnt mean that peoples views have changed. you cannot legislate people’s hearts and minds.

            i think the reluctance to “not air the dirty laundry” comes from a place of sensitivity to the likely reality that we would be fanning the embers of other people’s pre-existing negative views as can be seen in the example above, where when commenter takes a post about bill paying and extrapolates a view on an entire groups intellect.

            • Sibu

              As a person born and bred in RSA this resonates deeply within me that the constant struggle our country has is not the law that changes to accomodate everyone;s basic human rights but the fight to change ppls hearts and minds. Anything that happens in our country whether it be sports, politics, crime, corruption, murder, Nelson Mandel, animal cruelty will eventually one way or another turn into a race argument/debate/blame game scenario. It irks me to no end, I feel as if maybe, we all fought it out, we would all mello the f@ck out and focus on nation building.

      • http://mrweethomas.wordpress.com Mr. Wee Thomas

        Hey,

        Just so you know, us Nigerians are actually African.

        • Justmetheguy

          ” Hey,

          Just so you know, us Nigerians are actually African.”

          Ok…U want a cookie?

          • http://twitter.com/_boron Boron the Negromancer

            I appreciate your coming to my defense. Have you ever considered becoming a super-villain? The benefits include medical, dental, and vision coverage as well as a 5% match for your 401K contributions. And there is no need to join the union right away.

            Call it some food for thought.

        • http://twitter.com/_boron Boron the Negromancer

          Boron adorns himself with a bubu/agbada and approaches the podium.

          Chale o! Let me go tell you dat dey should be no distinction between Africans and the people of the diaspora, o! And consequently, dey were two choices for my last comment: 1) Call all Blacks “people of African descent” 2) Call dem “Africans!”

          Granted, it would be more empowering to call Haitians and other people groups of the diaspora “Africans,” but it might have been more confusing to readers.

          If you created a Venn diagram of the relationship between “Africans” and “People of African Descent,” the latter would be a subset of the former: in a literal sense, “of African descent” just indicates that one is descended from Africans. Clearly all (Black) Africans are. Nigerians are Africans but dey are also of African descent, o! But, as the great Negromancer, I prevent Blacks from realizing that they would benefit from considering “African” and “African descent” to be one and the same!

          Of course, I barely am surprised by your comment, o! I am just intrigued dat you did not write “Just so that you know, Africa is Nigeria!” Nigerians are liable to be so presumptuous!

          I am Boron el Amin Sese Seko! I am Oba over all that I survey! Ah ha ha ha ha!

          • John

            FYI. Chale is more of a Ghanian thing… now carry on :)

            • http://twitter.com/_boron Boron the Negromancer

              Yes, it is. And “bubu” is West African, “agbada” and “oba” are Yoruba, Idi Amin was Ugandan, and Mobutu Sese Seko was Congolese.

              Because Boron is the Negromancer for all of Africa.

              Salaam, bra.

          • http://mrweethomas.wordpress.com Mr. Wee Thomas

            Thanks for ruining my appreciation for your comedic commentary on this site. Now every time I read something you write, despite having forgotten about this specific exchange, I will forever get a bad taste in my mouth.

          • SunaoButterfly

            ‘mancer, lemme just say that it’s always a pleasure to read your comments. Whether I agree or not is beside the point (although I have yet to disagree). Plus you funny as hell. Keep it up.

            That being said, any more spots on that villain team? I might hold off on the union thing for now, and no hablo portugués, pero español ???????????:D

        • http://mrweethomas.wordpress.com Mr. Wee Thomas

          all people of African descent (AA’s, Haitians, Somalians, Sudanese, Nigerians, etc.)

          Don’t shoot the messenger. And no, no cookie for me. Pizza though would be nice.

      • LA2Tally

        City of God. . in my top 10 films ever!!

  • VenturaCountyStar

    White people will always be protected by “whiteness” which allows them the priviledge to be ignorant. I’m not surprised by the comments at all; I prefer my racism straight with no chaser.

    • http://twitter.com/thenaimacyde Naima

      This includes lynching?

      • RG

        Please tell me this is sarcasm.

        • http://twitter.com/thenaimacyde Naima

          I realize sarcasm doesn’t translate well online.

          • RG

            Lol. You know we already on some militant sh*t anyway based on the topic. I was ready to toss the garbage can through the window..”We want some black folks up on the wall, Sal!”

            • http://twitter.com/thenaimacyde Naima

              R.I.P Radio Raheem

    • chunk

      We’ve always thought this way in my neck of the woods, too… a large very red, will never be blue, state in the middle of the country, lol. I much prefer the “we effin hate y’all” folks to the closeted racist outwardly liberal egalitarian folks of the north east. No, it doesn’t mean anybody would rather be lynched than held back from a promotion, it just means I’d rather not have to take all day trying to figure out your angle when you could just as easily say “yeah, I don’t fux wit y’all” and keep it moving.

      • Amazonian Midget

        Would this state happen to be Missouri? That’s where I’m from, and this is exactly how I feel.

        • P. Servant

          I’m from Missouri too and I can cosign on this. Outside of STL and KC, you can almost predict their feelings towards us. The state of “Mizzurah” is definitely Red all the way!

          • Jahna T

            Even in KC you can predict feelings. Its my hometown and I just moved back after 6 years of living in DC and NY and the difference is jarring…I rarely go out and one reason is because of the way that our entertainment districts have proven themselves over and over again to be very unfriendly places for us. Its a tough transition.

            • Justmetheguy

              Damn, y’all got me scared. I’m going to Kansas City for the first time next weekend, y’all got me feeling like I need to take my baseball bat

              (takes mental note)

              • SunaoButterfly

                Bring a wooden one. They’ll confiscate a metal one at security.

      • http://www.wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

        +1

      • http://www.theleftsidepoets.wordpress.com MicTheMessenger

        Nah, son. She talkin bout Texas.

        • chunk

          I LOL at this. I gave up on this thread early this morning so I’m just now seeing these, but no… not MO… although y’all ain’t but 3 hours from us! And from here I plead the fifth cause I am not trying induce that scene where the music stops and all the black people turn and ask “they got black people there?” LMAO. If I had a dollar for every time somebody asked me that… sigh.

          • http://frockyeah.blogspot.com Moni

            Iowa!

      • http://twitter.com/thenaimacyde Naima

        I think any form of racism is uncomfortable. I’m from a “purple” state, but its divided mostly north/south. I don’t like any form of racism, but I like being protected by the fact that someone can’t make their racism clear. This way I don’t have to feel uncomfortable.

        I think we also live in a different time, so when people say they like their racism “straight up” it does come from the privileged point of view because we live in the now. NOW racism is latent and those who are overtly racist are often on the margins. Yet, if it was socially acceptable to racist like it once was then we would all feel a lot differently.

        Laten racism is like the roots of a tree. To make sure racism never comes back in America the roots need to be uplifted altogether. I don’t think we should have to settle.

        • Westie

          I think that’s LATENT Racism…however removing race differentiation is nigh impossible and is a fact of life everywhere on the globe. Each race/culture/social group as well as individual in such have an intrinsic bias as basic as DNA, it will never be any different. What many call ‘Racism’ has actually become a Poli-Correct tool to marginalize other groups/individual preferences in order to gain an advantage…..in this country the term ‘racist’ has become nothing but an identifier of those who have nor ability to defend their own arguments and seek to further disadvantage others. The game is up.

      • Diana

        So how exactly do you know everyone in the northeast is a closet racist if you don’t even live there? If you don’t want people to make generalizations about you, don’t do it to others.

      • Diana

        And how do you know everyone in the northeast is racist if you don’t even live there? If you don’t want people making generalizations about you, don’t do it to them.

    • RG

      Agreed.

  • Justmetheguy

    Alright Whitey McWhitington. You got it. We’re dumb, inferior, spoiled, and entitled (I’m sure you’re a genius, that’s why you’re working at a restaurant and have been for 7 years) Guess what? You brought us over here, so STFU and deal with it….oh yeah, and keep cuffing your girl. She watches porn too ;) lol don’t let em get to you Champ (not that I assumed you were or anything)

    • http://insidethemindofadeviant.wordpress.com Deviant

      Um…Ok.

    • Aaronovitch

      Translation: MUH DIK! MUH DIK!

      Everything in black culture takes place below the waist!

      • ILoveme2baby

        Sex is natural. We’re here to reproduce. It’s stupid to make it seem base or foul.

        And I’m pretty sure he was being sarcastic, seeing as all the stereotypes he listed – including the about black men’s sexual prowess – came from white culture.

        Now what?

  • Sdot

    Those comments literally made my jaw drop. Even though you aired our dirty laundry, it is interesting to be a fly on their wall when they don’t think you’re listening because I’m sure that many of those people would not dare repeat those opinions in person.

    • http://www.thefriendraiser.com jenifer daniels

      exactyl. dude WOULD NEVER call any AfAm person a jerk to their face. #damnyouinternets

    • Cafe7202

      You hit the nail right on the head. Many of the comments the Champ cited did not surprise me at all because being a white person, I’ve heard them a million times before. And as Champ pointed out, this type of thinking is not restricted to the lower classes. Not at ALL. I hear it a lot less now, I believe, because I have 2 bi-racial children and there are fewer people that make the mistake of thinking I am “safe” company.

      The bottom line is that racial biases such as these are not based on logical, factual or common-sense deductions. No matter how many times racist, hateful statements are proven false, the person that holds those views will continue to cling to them. They will assign bizarre motivations and characterizations to their targets and not be deterred. I have had people assign “trailer park” characteristics to me because I have children witha black man…despite the fact that they know well my middle class background, moral standards and ivy league education.

      Racism is like a mental illness. You can’t understand it because it makes no sense. You just have to know that the problem is theirs; not yours, and keep it movin’. But I know I’m preaching to the choir lol

  • Moni No_L

    That was a very reflective post. And I think that the racial neurosis that you described is VERY real. I am living it right now. I just graduated from NC A&T (Can I get an Aggie Pride?!?) but now I am taking classes at a predominately White institution. I am finding it hard to hold my tongue and represent my race simultaneously. I do not want myths to be perpetuated as the teacher talks ignorantly about things such as “Black English” a term that makes me cringe, but I also dont want to be seen as the Black girl who is speaking from emotion instead of researched academics. Much like the ignorant people on that post. The problem remains when the research is just as biased as peoples thoughts. And the Black people tipping thing is like the chicken or the egg, which came first.

    Eh, what are the poor coloreds to do?

    • DQ

      Aggie Pride!!!

      • sigma_since 93

        Omega by the lake parties…those were the days.

      • Tentpole

        AGGIE Pride from the original AGGIES

    • Mo to tha

      Aggie Pride

    • ncvirgogal

      *joins in on the chorus of Aggie Pride*

      It’s nice to see fellow Aggies around here!

      • sigma_since 93

        I’m not an Aggie, but I would make the drive a few times a month from Fayetteville to Greensboro to hang with the bruhs. Sometimes I wonder how I ever graduated with all the time I spent on campuses other than my own.

        • ncvirgogal

          Ohhhh so you’re a faux Aggie? Lol Reaping all the benefits of our awesomeness even though you were never a student. I can’t be mad at you though-hell, that’s what makes Homecoming so much fun. GHOE!!!

          • sigma_since 93

            @ ncvirgogal

            I didn’t need homecomming to grace A&T’s campus. Turtles and Omega by the lake parties along with the bruhs (and some ladies) was all I needed to justify a road trip!

    • The Btich

      I think you should absolutely say something & stand up for your people. You don’t have to speak from a place of emotion. Get yourself composed and speak from a place of poise. Not calling folks out on their sh*t is a part of the problem these days. How do we expect people to learn? Many people won’t want to, but that cannot be our excuse. We have to do our due diligence and let our voices be heard.

    • Tichelle

      AGGIE PRIDE!!! c/o 07!!

    • sweetbee

      I came across the “Black English” in an anthropology class at a PWI and I was just confused. I didn’t realize I was so fluent in another language…of course I was also the only black person in class and no one else looked confused. Its scary when these things are printed in school textbooks.

    • Royale W. Cheese

      Becoming n academic is about becoming confident in your unique view point. Yes, previous knowledge should be your to cation, and a good academic knows how to keep up with the growing body of ne knowledge, but you should definitely be confident about your own contributions as well. People will judge you because people are competitive. It’s bigger than race.

      And the next time the subject comes up, correct them and say it’s called African-American vernacular.

      • Royale W. Cheese

        to cation = foundation. Stupid digital keyboard and auto correct.

  • LMNOP

    No one gets sh!t for free at a restaurant, the whole point of restaurants is you pay to be there.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

      According to my sister who waitressed for almost two years, you’d be surprised by the amount of food and drink that gets “comped” because of so-called “unsatisfied” customers.

      Also according to my sister, unfortunately, like Piggy said, most of these customers tend to be black.

      One can argue the reasons for it but not the plain truth of it.

      • theeclectic

        In the south..where I live…white folk STAY complainin and getting things comped…they firmly believe in the whole :”the customer is always right” schtick.

        also, In my experience black people are vocal to the server..

        white folk will call you district manager and really eff you up…its all about decorum, which makes the situation skewed

        • NinaFontaine

          Co-sign all of it!

        • Chanelle

          “also, In my experience black people are vocal to the server..
          white folk will call you district manager and really eff you up…its all about decorum, which makes the situation skewed”

          I live in the south and this has been my experience as well….

          • Chanelle

            By the way champ, this article is on point as usual…i don’t think i say that enough

          • The Btich

            Exactly.

        • Royale W. Cheese

          So is it a “black” thing or a Southern thing? A lot of what is identified as Afro-American overlaps with Southern culture.

        • sam

          For real. You think it’s all good, then you get invited to the office.

      • RG

        I think it depends on the venue. If you ever eat at these social or country clubs or attend a black tie/formal dinner, white folk stay treating the servers like help (white or black). In my observations the black folks in these environments are easier to deal with.

      • Royale W. Cheese

        I got some plain truth. As I mentioned before it seems that most complaints come from the plate jockeys at psuedo-restaurants. To expect tips for such service is a slap in the face to real wait staff at real restaurants where great service and pride in the food is the default. What annoys me are the sweeping conclusions certain plate jockeys are making about a race’s intellectual capacity and character based on something they don’t even technically deserve. I always tip just 20% at these places out of charity. 5 to 10 bucks is all I need to pay to have someone assume I’m intelligent and a good citizen? Nice. Try not to spend it all in one place.

    • LMNOP

      wow. it all got much worse after that. Which reminds me why this is one of the only websites I read comments on. If this server hates serving black people so much, maybe he should learn how to do something else, and expand his career options beyond being a waiter in a “second-tier” restaurant where people are always finding hair in their food.

      • Royale W. Cheese

        “maybe he should learn how to do something else, and expand his career options beyond being a waiter in a “second-tier” restaurant where people are always finding hair in their food”

        This is funny because it’s true.

    • naturalista88

      Oh, how I wish that were true. Anyone who feels they haven’t received “great” service will do everything in their power to get out of paying their bill. Even at chain restaurants (I used to work @ Friday’s) some people will find anything wrong w/the service and/or food to get money knocked off the bill. Cheap people are cheap people and it doesn’t matter if you served them while tap dancing w/the damn food on your head, if they don’t wanna pay, they’ll find a way out of it.

  • http://www.twitter.com/fiveisthenumber fiveisthenumber

    All I know is that I tip well enough for the IHOP waitresses to fight over who is gonna wait my table…Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs for errbody!

  • theeclectic

    ummmm WOW..okay..ummm

    First of all let me start by saying I have worked in food service for a time in college. I worked at Buffalo Wild Wings—this is important because they are/were known for their 30 cent wings on Tuesday nights…anyway…it would be all good until lets 8ish 9ish..when a packs of ninjas would descend on B-dubs..and even I ( a black woman) would cringe…

    They would sit 10 deep at a table built for 4 and be trifling and order like 3 wings..and a water..with lemon and sugar on the side…then they would proceed to sit at this table (on the busiest night) for hours..taking up space…and still ordering 3 wings at a time to still be “paying customers”…when they did leave the tip would be around $2…$5 if they was feeling generous..

    Now…i said that to say this…YES some black people are bad tippers..I have a friend who never goes over $2 regardless of the service..

    But not all are bad tippers..and not all act this way…

    But where the servers get it wrong is, they think we HAVE to tip…

    When in actuality all we got to do is stay black and die

    The thing is…in our minds we have to do a lot of ish that we don’t want to do…namely at our job…but we do it because thats our job…

    We know servers only get paid 2.13 an hour…but so did they when they got hired on…

    Tips are a perk not a right

    What i have found is that servers feel a sense of entitlement BECAUSE THEY know YOU know what they make an hour…
    yet if your service isn’t to my liking I don’t have to pay you ish…

    Black people are notorious for callin others out on their BS…and food service is not different.

    • Justmetheguy

      ” What i have found is that servers feel a sense of entitlement BECAUSE THEY know YOU know what they make an hour…
      yet if your service isn’t to my liking I don’t have to pay you ish…”

      Exactly! I used to catch a lot of flack from my bougie black friends about this belief, but at the end of the day your service should decide your tip (and they say we’re the ones with the sense of entitlement lol). If you want a black person to tip you and not feel guilty about it being a minuscule amount then you need to be friendly as hell, funny as hell, and or helpful and attentive as hell otherwise I don’t know you so I don’t feel like I owe you (even if I did, you better give me more than bare minimum service if you want more than a bare minimum tip).

      Also, I worked at a restaurant for a brief moment and it was one of those ritzy steakhouses. I busted my ass for a table of TEN needy and rich white folks (some of which were European). How do I know they were rich? Because their tab ended up being about $450. They ordered all kinds of alcoholic beverages, desserts, and the likes. I was attentive as hell and very friendly. They took up the majority of my time and energy and then at the end they held a bs grudge because I mixed up someone’s dessert and guess what they tipped me? NADA! Those trifling f*ckers didn’t give me a DAMN thing. And they sat there for at least an hour and a half. It’s not just black people, but we do have a reputation for this type of behavior

      • LMNOP

        europeans have that reputation too, they don’t tip in europe, and i guess alot of europeans miss the part in their guide books where it explains tipping.

      • http://www.yourchildsmother.blogspot.com KMN

        I agree Justmetheguy about the Euro non-tipping bit. But isn’t it commonplace for them NOT to tip? Not making excuses but I’ve heard from a few white co-workers and my one white friend who have frequented Europe often that tipping isn’t a necessity over there..

        I could be wrong.

        But when i go out to eat I ALWAYS tip nothing less than 15% (of course based on service) I keep my little tip calculator on my phone just to make sure that I do leave enough. But I also go to the same restaurant most of the time and try to get the same server (who always remembers that I like Sierra mist, my mom likes regular coffee, and my baby likes apple juice, crayons and a coloring sheet..shouts out to KC lol)

        KMN

        • Dione

          I think the United States is the only country that does tip. Servers in other countries around the world make living wages, so they don’t rely on tips to supplement their income. So Americans on vacation are great for them, but when non-Americans visit us, it doesn’t work out as well. Just differences in social norms (that stem from differences in governmental and economic practices).

          • Aceklub

            In Europe, the tip is included into the bill at many spots. So, if you do tip, you are tipping twice. For some Euros when they eat in the states, they assume the tip is included like back home.
            For some people, they just don’t know the rules of tipping. My sister would tip $5 regardless of the bill. She just didn’t know. We didn’t have the luxury of being nosy and asking the parents why they leave extra money unlike white families who may frequent restaurants more.
            I worked as a server for a bit and did notice that my black peoples tended to work me more. I chalk it up to them thinking, “if I am gonna tip, i am gonna make sure he deserves it.

            • Leonie UK

              Race V Class V Social Norms

              Yes we ( Europeans), dont tip. It’s very true. Service in inculded in everything. So regardless if you like the service or spilt halfway, you pay that percentage. Some American styled shops and stores have that customer service feedback, where you can pay an addtional service, but you end up paying twice anyway, so yes you feel double robbed ( and you only drop into those establishments when it’s payday). Europeans we don’t like to be vocal about bad service there and then. We stage that silent protest instead, with our feet and our wallets.

              I find when I visit the states, your EXPECTED to contribute to the norms. But if I get bad service I won’t contribute. This rarely happens as once you hear an accent, service gets real good, I mean hand over foot good. So I’ll pay the 10%-12% in service. Our taxes are high and for me to spend a few pounds is murder on the dancefloor.

              I do find it intresting how us Europeans are viewed as ‘tight fisted’, like you see/hear us and know we are no good. If you could see a list of our everyday houshold bills next to our taxes, and compare to your own, you might a little sympthy to our social graces.

              • CurlyTop

                AMEN! In Europe no one ever expected a tip. The same for my Latin American excursions. I have long thought “tipping” was an American invention.

                That being said, I am not a great tipper, blame it on my culture. When I go out, I don’t feel the need to tip because its your job to get my order right and smile and all that other ish. I have a friend who tips everyone: her waxer, manicurist, the Asian lady that tweezes her unibrow, alladem. I’ve seen the reluctance on others faces when they don’t know if they should accept the money. She doesn’t tip because the service was good but because its says something about her status. Tipping greatly doesn’t mean you are a good person and not tipping doesn’t mean you are bad in my book.

                Its all just how we’ve been socialized to think and act.

        • 2cents pleases

          I’m a lurker but this post hit so close to home that I had to reply.

          Until a few days ago I, being african, hated the (american concept of the) tip. I never quite understood the logic behind accepting a job that pays 2.50 and expecting to supplement that income by turning an optional monetary gesture for exceptional service into an entitlement.

          Then I went on vacation with my father who lives in africa, is very picky and can run up a tab. For example, he only drinks room temperature water and asked the wait staff to open 15+ yr old bottles of wine (the cork will always break save for a special opener that requires some skill to operate). Thing is, he always tips over 20% and sometimes slips our personal waiter an lil extra.
          I noticed that the waiters were all smiles at the end of the night, remembered us whenever we returned and made an extra effort to cater to our picky needs, and never seemed to mind that we took our time at the restaurants (we were always the last to leave).
          Moreover, when I asked my dad why he tipped so large, he said that it was because of the precedent that a large tip sets and so that when the next black patrons shows up, the wait staff are more open to catering to their needs because of his actions.

          I think that what he was getting at/trying to teach me is that because of the warped nature that is tipping in the US, the potential benefits of tipping well (which i define arbitrarily to be over 20%) as a black patron is more advantageous than not, because of what it reflects. (the wait staff at the resort began sending up our favorite deserts every afternoon, no charge)

      • http://glpiggy.net G.L.Piggy

        just me the guy:

        you proved my point. i’m not saying that the tipping norms are perfect. i’ve written posts on my own blog about how servers have a sense of entitlement that piss me off. a lot of servers are crybabies.

        but i find a pattern of black people taking it upon themselves to reshape social norms (which tipping is) just because they think they don’t have to play by those rules. white patrons don’t “know me or owe me” either, but they still stick to the 15% norm, in general.

        so what i see here is that blacks, as you intonate, don’t think that they need to play by these rules but then expect there to be no backlash from such behavior. as i commented at The Champ’s post on GMP, black people seem to want 15% service for a 5% price.

        • DQ

          So we are bound to what others declare to be the social norm? Someone else establishes our rules for us? That white patrons stick to what you feel is a norm makes sense, you share the same norm…

          …by what authority are we bound to share it as well?

          • http://glpiggy.net G.L.Piggy

            no. you can operate on whatever rules you like, but don’t expect to be treated the same way if you don’t accomodate the prevailing social norm. as i wrote in comments on my post…this is the same as black parents naming their kid Javonte or some other ethnic sounding name. we are talking here about how the individual relates to society; that is the heart of this discussion. but black people want to have an equal stake in white society while trying to have things their way too. i’m cool with that, in principle, but blacks or anyone else who flouts social norms cannot then expect to receive equal treatment from society at large.

            so you aren’t bound to these norms by any authority. but you also aren’t bound to having to eat at restaurants or to get certain types of jobs.

            • DQ

              There is a good discussion, I think, to be had about who gets to establish societal norms and when and where they’re applicable, but it looks like we’re not going to have that discussion today. I was under the initial impression that this would be an academic kind of discussion with differing view points. But I read down a little further and caught some of your other “replies” and have disabused myself of that notion. So go ahead and do your thing, I’ll just drive around.

            • Around the Way Girl

              “but blacks or anyone else who flouts social norms cannot then expect to receive equal treatment from society at large.”

              Funny thing is, the social norms themselves are largely what deny us equal treatment from society at large (thinking more big picture here). You’re acting like true equal treatment was/is feasible for us in the first place, which we have no reason to believe if things continue the way they have been since we got here. Yes, oppression has been “outlawed,” but it exists structurally because changing laws don’t change people, and people still are afraid of and hate brown skin (if you need evidence of this, start with the comments on your own blog). According to what you said, we can’t win; either we participate in our own oppression by going along with the norms of a society that was (and still is) structured to deny us opportunity, or we fight it and still get denied. Just offering a little perspective here, in case you give a damn.

              I won’t be around much today, but hopefully someone can pick up where I’m leaving off if there’s a response. Hold me down, black people. :)

            • sigma_since 93

              “black people want to have an equal stake in white society while trying to have things their way too. i’m cool with that, in principle, but blacks or anyone else who flouts social norms cannot then expect to receive equal treatment from society at large.”

              The problem with the statement is that you have put whites as the head of the table and all other parties at the children’s table. All parties want a seat at the American table since that’s how we market ourselves to the world. I cringe at the thought that some “White council” gets to choose what elements from other cultures gets to be included as a norm in the social fabric.

              “this is the same as black parents naming their kid Javonte or some other ethnic sounding name”

              I guess the rules don’t apply here when Whites name their kids Apple, Brooklyn, or Dweezil? I forgot Whites make the rules/norms so they will get a pass.

            • Kara

              There’s so much wrong with what you’ve written I don’t even know where to to start. Listen to yourself, “black people want to have an equal stake in white society”. So if we follow you’re line of reasoning, black people should name our children Bob, or Sam or Jane, tip 15% or more, walk and talk as white people do because it’s their society after all and maybe just maybe then we can have a stake in YOUR society. Is that right? Well, we did that or at least tried to in the 50s and 60s and people got hosed and killed and blocked from sitting in restaurants and riding buses. This is isn’t white society. That’s your first fault. Black people have a problem withs some white people because you all see everything from your vantage point only and assume that’s the only perspective there is or that matters. It’s how we fit into your world not the other way around or even (gasp) that we may all just be fitting into a world or society that belong to both our races and others as well. Some black people are poor tippers and rude at restaurants because some black people have issues. But some other black people go to restaurants are not rude and are not poor tippers. Some black people just want to have a night and meal out without having to deal with the weight of other people’s racism, ignorance or displaced blame because the table of black people you served before me didn’t tip you. Because I’m sure didn’t hold it against a group of white people when a table of white people you served previously didn’t tip. Only black people are accountable for the actions of all other black people. But you’re knowledgeable, educated, intelligent, right. You wouldn’t make wide-sweeping generalizations.

        • Justmetheguy

          Ok, so first of all G.L. Piggy, to be clear, I now do tip 15% by default. Before that I grew up in a majority black environment and didn’t know ANYBODY who worked in a restaurant so I had NO IDEA that it was supposed to be 15%. Didn’t even hear about that number until I got to college (hence me referring to the people who told me about this as “bougie black folks”). I fussed about that because I felt like that was such an arbitrary # and I thought my friends had made that crap up. After a while though, I used my reasoning and realized that even though I’m the type of customer that doesn’t ask for anything extra AT ALL (except for a water refill and for the waiter to check on me every 10 minutes or so), $2.35/hour is a tough way to spend your hours, so NOW I do tip 15% by default (if there are no problems) and if service is exceptional (and I have extra cash) I’ll give them as much as 18%. So my post was really more indicative of my initial feelings. I’m 25 now. When I felt that way I was like 19 lol. I also think my time being a server changed my perspective. (Read my story about that large party that was mixed between Caucasian Americans and Caucasian Europeans)

          If only white people could spend a few years being black (the way I spent time being a server at a restaurant) I think they’d stop making ignorant and racist comments (such as the ones Champ highlighted that if I’m not mistaking YOU made) that come off as insecure and hateful, but that’s a whole different topic.

          And to respond to this:
          ” so what i see here is that blacks, as you intonate, don’t think that they need to play by these rules but then expect there to be no backlash from such behavior.”

          So you’re saying servers have the right to punish the next black family they see for the last 3 families’ behaviors? If so I hope never woman ever lies to you or cheats on you. Cause no other chick that meets you will be safe.

          • RG

            A few years, try minutes. Paul Mooney has a great joke on this: “Little Timmy got a chocolate cake made for him by his mom for his birthday & when she wasnt looking he smeared the chocolate frosting all over his face & said “look mom im black” so his mom slapped him & said “go tell your father what you just told me” his father slapped him & said “go tell your grandfather what you just told me” his grandfather slapped him also & said “go back to your mother” & he did & his mom said” now Timmy what did you learn today” ? he said” I learned I have only been black for 10 minutes & I already hate you white people”

            • Chanelle

              lol im taking this

            • sigma_since 93

              Flatline!

            • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

              YASSSSSS!!!

        • Royale W. Cheese

          Wonderful! A personal appearance that gives me the chance to tell you to go kick rocks. Thank you. Would you like a tip for that service?

      • Jhane Sez

        “Also, I worked at a restaurant for a brief moment and it was one of those ritzy steakhouses. I busted my ass for a table of TEN needy and rich white folks (some of which were European). How do I know they were rich? Because their tab ended up being about $450. They ordered all kinds of alcoholic beverages, desserts, and the likes. I was attentive as hell and very friendly. They took up the majority of my time and energy and then at the end they held a bs grudge because I mixed up someone’s dessert and guess what they tipped me? NADA!”

        That’s a management issue… for any table with 6 to 8 or more depending on how your kitchen turns you should get an automatic 18% gratuity add if the average bill is more than $45 a head.

        Because you aren’t going to turn a 10 top quickly and you only get so many tables per shift anyway, even if you are slammed, large groups get priority.

        So most places in Chicago charge an automatic gratuity for groups of 10 or more at the minimum regardless of price per head…

        Did this happen often?

        Also most places, especially those that have a high European clientele have to have a gratuity add because they don’t tip in Europe… so unless they were well versed in American travel they probably didn’t know any better.

        I am really sorry that happened to you because a table like that can kill your vibe all night

        Ain’t nothing worse than going home broke and tired~JS

        • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

          “That’s a management issue… for any table with 6 to 8 or more depending on how your kitchen turns you should get an automatic 18% gratuity add if the average bill is more than $45 a head.”

          Right?! I paused there like… if this place is so ritzy, they shoulda BEENT had that 18% tacked on. lol It’s one of those “if you can’t afford the tip, you can’t afford to eat here” type deals.

      • Tentpole

        I tip by Olympic judging rules. Every waiter starts off with a 10 which equals 20%. Deductions are made if he/she are not on their game. Such as if I have to wait for a refill of wait on them to take my order when the place is not full. I have no problem putting the dollar in the water glass full of water to make my point.

        • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

          “I have no problem putting the dollar in the water glass full of water to make my point.”

          Ok, this cracked me up.

      • Brittney

        What you’re saying is true but…what about servers like me that are nice as hell, funny as hell, and all around attentive? I’ve had so many ethnic tables including Europeans, not just black tell me I gave them awesome service and they were going to request to sit in my sect and all of that then I pick up the book and there $5 on $80. For people like that, it’s just plain ignorance. There’s no excuse, just like receiving tips is a perk going out to eat and being served is a perk…not a right! If you decide to go out to eat you need be able to pay for the full experience including the tip if you’re server did a good job. Plain and simple….

    • http://glpiggy.net G.L.Piggy

      First, I think it is extremely interesting that the few black people here who have actually been servers back up the point of my post.

      Second, I have not stated anywhere that I am entitled to a tip. It’s not even about the tip. This may sound weird, but when I get stiffed I don’t even get mad. I am actually happy that I am reminded that I am not as big a piece of shit as the person who stiffed me (all races stiff, but blacks tend to stiff more often). It’s about the utter lack of awareness that I (or other servers) are working and that we have other people to serve and that the world doesn’t revolve around one particular table/patron. IMO and through my observation, blacks, on average, don’t either realize that this is the case or they don’t care.

      At the end of it all, I’m trying to figure out why what seems to me to be a large enough % of the black population to merit notice behave outside of social norms. Part of it is ignorance about tipping and restaurant behavior, fine. But some of it is about having a chip on their shoulder or not caring about behaving pro-socially or about wanting to fuck over someone who is either white or who is associated with a white-run establishment.

      So it is my belief that it is black patrons who’ve created their own so-called downfall here. A pattern which I believe holds true in other facets of life too. But that’s another discussion.

      • NinaFontaine

        I wonder based on your comment here if you realize the non-verbals you are portraying if you have this perception when you approach a table with black patrons. I dine out 5 out of the 7 days a week and I can usually tell who thinks there is going to be a problem and who doesn’t. I normally frequent the establishments who don’t see me as an issue and sit in the area of the wait staff I adore! I get freebies because they love me not because I’m complaining!

        • RG

          I should have read your comment before I posted my response. I agree.

        • Nerd Girl

          Agreed! A group of friends and I meet for dinner at different establishments on a regular basis – we can always tell which servers don’t want to be bothered with us. They give us poor service and in turn we tip poorly. A vicious cycle to be sure. If they, over the course of the evening, adjust their attitudes toward us we tip quite generously.

          I waited tables for a little over a year in college and have a tendency to over-tip. However, I refuse to tip well for piss poor service just to “prove” to the server, whites, anybody in the vicinity… that I know how to tip. You show me you know how to wait tables, I’ll show you I know how to tip.

      • theeclectic

        Sir,

        The problem with you argument(s) is the generalization. It would make more sense if you said the black people who frequent my restaurant OR the black people in my area…but to say in your words “… through my observation, blacks, on average, don’t either realize that this is the case or they don’t care” is unfair, unwarranted, and unsubstantiated…

        As I said above thread I live in the South where the bad tippers and complainers are WHITE people. In my experience, white people tend to expect a certain level of perfection in regards to service (as they should, i mean they are paying)….however, they have been also quick to complain, ask for food to be comped, bypass the server and complain directly to the manager…in a passive aggressiveness that is uncanny and annoying–especially when matters can be resolved without the fanfare…

        As I said before black are more vocal (in my experience), which makes them more visibly seen complaining…

        but at the end of the day we are all AMERICANS who (especially in this economy) can’t and won’t spend money on ANYTHING that is unsatisfactory…including services

        we hash and rehash..why black people do this or that or why white people do this or that…but your experience will always be your experience..and mine will be mine

      • LMNOP

        Dear Mr. Piggy,

        I am kind of surprised to see you commenting here, but since you’re here, I have been really wondering about something that only you would be able to answer.
        Why did you pick G.L. Piggy as a name?

        Thank you for your time,
        LMNOP

        • http://glpiggy.net G.L.Piggy

          favorite lyric from my favorite song of my favorite band.

      • DQ

        Causal Oversimplication? Is that the order of the day? There is one and only one cause for an effect (in this case utter lack of awareness that world doesn’t revolve around one particular table is the cause for black people tipping behavior). This is your earnest academic theory? Serious question: Have you considered the (good) possibility that you might be projecting here? That your premise is based more on an internal animus/bias than actual reality? I only ask because you are making numerous generalizations and employing some fairly untenable logic in an attempt to make a point (which also turned out to be a generalization). Some food for thought perhaps.

        • http://glpiggy.net G.L.Piggy

          black patrons tip black servers worse than white patrons tip black servers. explanation?

          • DQ

            Differences in culture, experience, and perception… but like I said above, I’ll just drive around from here on in.

        • Around the Way Girl

          Exactly :/

          I usually tip 20%. If the service was really good, I tip 25%. If it was bad, I tip the regular 15%. Never do I go below 15%, and I have never walked out without tipping a server in my life. Other black friends of mine have a similar tipping system.

          Now what?

          • http://glpiggy.net G.L.Piggy

            what does this say then about other blacks who’ve brought the tipping average so far below the 15% average? if you’re tipping 20% then another black is tipping 6% (to arrive at the 13% average black tip).

            • http://mrweethomas.wordpress.com Mr. Wee Thomas

              Clearly you are not a statistician of any sort. Based on the scenario you outlined, here is the conclusion you can draw (which while more accurate is still not mathematically sound):

              Half of blacks tip higher than average, half of blacks tip lower than average. Hmm. . . I don’t think I need to explain how this is the definition of the word average. Moving on

              Of the blacks and whites who tip higher than average, blacks tip higher than whites.

              Of the blacks and whites who tip lower than average, whites tip higher than blacks.

              Strange we are not having a discussion about these conclusions.

          • Ookla

            First of all, you’re awesome.
            Secondly, though, I waited and bartended for 12 years, and every waiter knows a good tipper, whatever the color. You broadcast it with subtle cues that reflect your comfort level in a restaurant.
            One of the things that disturbs me about these conversations is the whole “black people are like this” aspect. I grew up in a black neighborhood and live in a majority black city and that sort of statement often confuses me because I always seem to be imagining a different black person in my mind than the black person being imagined by whoever is talking to me.
            That being said, I’ve dealt with demanding and low-tipping black people in my previous work, but it was always more important to me to maintain my groove than to start trying to adjust my level of service per customer. I wanted everything to be perfect, and you can’t do that if you start getting mad or resentful at your tables. I felt the same way when I moved away for a few years and worked in Florida (old people) and Alabama (rednecks).

      • http://twitter.com/thenaimacyde Naima

        So, I read the study quoted in your article. 1. Michael Lynn does not make any claims as to why Black people tend to tip less, but he says this is what comes up in the findings. He controls for socio-economic class. 2. The data was collected mostly through surveys and he references a study he did with patrons from iHop. Some people may tip differently based on where they go to eat.

        I think these are significant things to consider in determining whether race is a statistically significant factor in determining how someone will tip. I am not disputing Lynn’s claims, but I would take such studies with a grain of salt.

        And then this, “So it is my belief that it is black patrons who’ve created their own so-called downfall here. A pattern which I believe holds true in other facets of life too. But that’s another discussion.”

        I…just…yeah.

        • Jhane Sez

          “The data was collected mostly through surveys and he references a study he did with patrons from iHop. Some people may tip differently based on where they go to eat.”

          I have a comment in moderation where I wondered the same thing.

          Because while some… especially those who have been servers before may tip a set percentage across the board or a set dollar amount… others, especially those who frequent chain restaurants where there maybe a perceived lower value of service.

          i.e. when you go to IHOP they bring you a carafe of coffee, rather than doing refills by hand or preparing a pressed pot table side.

          Because most are going to find more value in table side guacamole prep vs someone having to run to back to the kitchen to bring them a scoop of guacamole from a jar in a little plastic cup. ~JS

        • http://glpiggy.net G.L.Piggy

          so how do you reconcile all of the anecdotes provided not only by me but by black people here who have waited tables?

          it is a definite reality that black patrons are worse tippers than other racial groups. you cannot avoid this fact.

          • Brittney

            Though I have received bad tips from black patrons after providing excellent service I would not go as far as to say they are worse than any other race. I live in LA and I had a latin table yesterday that left me $2 on $50. There are A LOT of Latin people that tip bad there are A LOT of Europeans that tip bad there are A LOT of Asians that tip bad. I will go as far as to say I’ve received just as many bad tips from these racial groups as I have with Black tables. Like a couple said before in the South there are A LOT of White people that tip bad. I worked in Indiana and Kentucky where I’m from and majority of people black, white, whatever tipped horribly. I’ve served in four different states and what I’ve learned is that people tip bad everywhere no matter what their race is. I understand your frustration b/c believe me I get frustrated too and start thinking hateful thoughts but you can’t fall to that level of ignorance. No one will want to hear you out when you come with ignorance it just makes people defensive and after that you’ve lost your point. You sound like an angry person that’s clearly trying to vent b/c everything you’re saying has no fact base or merit. It’s all just opinion…a very jaded opinion to say the least.

            • Sweet Sass

              You cannot change the mind of a racist. They have made their mind up. (What little of it they have…)

      • Jhane Sez

        “At the end of it all, I’m trying to figure out why what seems to me to be a large enough % of the black population to merit notice behave outside of social norms. Part of it is ignorance about tipping and restaurant behavior, fine. But some of it is about having a chip on their shoulder or not caring about behaving pro-socially or about wanting to fuck over someone who is either white or who is associated with a white-run establishment.”

        I’m wondering where you actually work… because it sounds like you work at a chain establishment like Olive Garden, Macaroni Grill, etc…

        Otherwise I can’t understand the type of behavior you describe being a pain… like extra ranch, really… unless you work in a place that has a template menu and a certain type of ordering system where your tickets will get backed up if you have to stop and get ranch.

        I also ask because I’m trying to figure out what you consider 2nd tier… like what is the average tab per head w/o alcohol… and what would you consider a good percentage on a check… 15%, 20%

        Because WHERE you work will greatly influence how you are tipped… and you mentioned being stiffed frequently across the board but in higher numbers by black patrons.

        It sounds like you are working shifts with the after church crowd and a lot of families with lots of kids on a budget… and you might be a biased and making assumptions because most servers know that those groups are difficult regardless of race.

        Or you are really new… and venting.

        Seriously dude… if you’ve been in the game any amount of time, you should know that if you’re working in a joint that has coupons in the Sunday paper your odds of getting low tips or not getting tips goes up exponentially.

        Also did it ever occur to you that it might just be you… because I have been a server before and worked shifts where I made money and others didn’t and blamed their tables, instead of their attitudes.

        I’m just saying that you might be getting back what you are putting out ~JS

        • leslie

          I manage a pizza place (delivery and carryout only, no dine in) and we have a diverse group of drivers and customers. Working in a place like that as long as I have, you grow to see that there are jerks of every race and culture. But, there are generous people in every race and culture as well. We will send out a 25 pizza order and the driver receives a $0 tip. Another driver will take out 2 pizzas and receive $8. We have had African (from Nigeria and other locations) drivers that complain about black, Indian, Asian, and white people not tipping.

          We have crazy white, black, indian, hispanic, and asian people that will complain, being very mean and rude about something that, in reality, was not a big deal.

          We have extremely nice white, black, indian, hispanic and asian people that are pleasant and understanding if something goes wrong.

          There are PEOPLE that are at their core rude and unappreciative.

          There are PEOPLE that are at their core kind and gracious people.

          I believe that you have taken notice only of the times that black people haven’t tipped you and have chosen to focus only on them.

          Someone also pointed out that it could be your attitude while you are serving. I completely agree with this. I was eating out with my mother one evening in a restaurant that wasn’t busy. Our server was of the same race as us. From the time we walked in her section she tried to act like we didn’t exist. Pointed out twice “oh haha i forgot about you”. SHE HAD NO OTHER TABLES. On another evening, a larger portion of my family including young children went out to eat at a busy restaurant. Our server was of a different race than us. He was attentive, friendly, not all over us, but also keeping up with our needs. And guess which of these two servers got a good tip? I know how servers feel about families with kids, they are a hassle. I’ve been there, kids walking in are like red flags, “here come screaming kids for an hour”. The first server didn’t have to deal with that and she was RUDE. the second server did have to deal with them, and he was FANTASTIC.

          Before managing, I delivered the pizzas. Rich (i’m making my own assumption based off of his house, etc) white guy points out i’m getting rained on, says that sucks and doesn’t tip. Cranky old white woman argues with me over 15 cents because we don’t carry coin change. Delivered to plenty of people of various races that didn’t blink an eye are rounding up to the next dollar, in fact tipping for the service.

          In the end, some people will never tip you, no matter what. But I can guarantee, as a customer and as a food service employee, your attitude will go a long way with it.

          • leslie

            that was to G.L. Piggy!

      • RG

        This almost seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy. At the outset, I have no objective evidence to support this proposition, but I wonder if the service black people receive is subpar because of an assumption they will be difficult or won’t tip sufficiently. It seems, based on your article and comments thus far, that you and your serving counterparts cringe at the sight of black people being seated in your area. As Champ has alluded to, Black people tend to be sensitive to a difference in service compared with other ethnic groups (read: white people). Theories/Opinions/etc. such as the one you and (some) others hold are rarely completely true. My guess is the reality falls somewhere in the middle.

      • http://www.wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

        Somebody hold me back…. No, Nevermind. Don’t. I’m gonna go right ahead, because this person feels like he can flout the social norms of this blog. I hope he doesn’t expect equal rights. And I hope they are not given. *winding up*

      • Justmetheguy

        ” But some of it is about having a chip on their shoulder or not caring about behaving pro-socially or about wanting to fuck over someone who is either white or who is associated with a white-run establishment.”

        Nope, that theory doesn’t hold up because they do it at black-run establishments too. Try again.

        ” A pattern which I believe holds true in other facets of life too.”
        Of course you do. You’ve never had to be black, and many people who are given media platforms have supported this theory. I won’t say it’s entirely untrue, but you guys exaggerate it because it justifies you being a racist prick who feels that your culture and even your biology is superior. Again, whatever helps you sleep at night homez

      • http://mrweethomas.wordpress.com Mr. Wee Thomas

        If as you claim, the tipping experience is universal among servers, then this conjecture must be wrong:

        But some of it is about having a chip on their shoulder or not caring about behaving pro-socially or about wanting to fuck over someone who is either white or who is associated with a white-run establishment.

        Because in the universe of servers, there are blacks and whites. In the universe of eating establishments, there are ones owned by blacks and whites. If both face equivalent behavior, then the motivations for that behavior have little to do with the current server being black or white or the current establishment being black owned or white owned.

      • Sweet Sass

        You’re probably giving shitty service with your stinky attitude. You deserve not to be tipped. If you don’t think that we can tell how you are thinking, through nonverbal cues, you are mightily mistaken.

        If a white server comes at me haughty, purposefully slow, purposefully gives bad service anticipating a bad tip. I will oblige him.

        I normally tip 20%. FYI.

        I’ve actually have experience more where outrageous behavior on the part of servers. Multiple service, esp. bartenders… have had them steal their own tips. All of them have been white. I guess white people are anti-social thieves. See how your logic works?

    • JAH

      I agree with your assessment that tips are not a right, but are earned for good service. In fact, TIPS means: To Insure Prompt Service and were given at the beginning of the meal so that food would be brought out quickly and people who tipped more, got better service.
      I live in WA state where servers make a minimum wage (currently $8.67) and often even more than that. However, we (the patrons) are still expected to tip for service out of social norms. I have worked numerous minimum wage jobs and never got paid extra for doing MY JOB. Now, I understand that in many parts of the country, servers do get paid low wages to account for tips and at that point I would gladly pay a little extra if the service was good.

      I agree that tipping should be reserved for good service and that people shouldn’t be guilted into paying extra for their meal.

      In some countries (like Canada), tipping is included as part of the tax but in many countries the concept of tipping doesn’t even exist.

      • Justmetheguy

        Yeah I’m wit you Jah. Growing up I assumed servers made the same as any other unskilled job. I don’t tip the people bustin their asses working at McDonald’s so I thought tipping at sit down restaurants was optional. I didn’t know that servers made like a third of what other unskilled workers made. Once I knew better I did better. Everything doesn’t come down to feeling entitled or having a chip on your shoulder. Again it’s just convenient to think that when you wanna be an insecure racist prick. However black people do come with a lot of baggage and are so used to getting f*cked over by capitalists (not just in restaurants) that we tend to be a lil paranoid and cold to people who are trying to convince us to pay them (especially when we’re already paying full price for something). Stop and at least TRY to put yourself in someone’s shoes before you go and try to confirm some Fox News theory my dude

    • http://www.afro-belle.blogspot.com Imani

      Co-sign on all this…
      “When in actuality all we got to do is stay black and die

      The thing is…in our minds we have to do a lot of ish that we don’t want to do…namely at our job…but we do it because thats our job…

      We know servers only get paid 2.13 an hour…but so did they when they got hired on…

      Tips are a perk not a right”

      • Justmetheguy

        @Imani- Not all of us know this though (the 2.13/ hour). I’m with you for the most part, but I’m not so cold about it anymore because I also know that some sort of tip is expected unless the service was bad (not just mediocre) so I wouldn’t go that far. Cause as a former server I would counter that customers know that a tip is expected when they decide to eat at a sit down restaurant. That’s why when I’m broke I don’t go to sit-down restaurants. My ex and I would make it a point to call-in as opposed to sitting down to eat (if we just had to have their food and didn’t feel like cooking) when we didn’t feel like tipping. Just thought I’d point that out. I agree though, no server’s entitled to a tip. Life sucks. It’s a hard knock life for certain people in certain situations.

        SN: I think it’s funny to see a white person getting accused of feeling entitled even though they consider themselves to be working hard. I’m sure he never stopped to observe the similarities between that accusation and the one he keeps hurling at a whole race of people when making his blanket generalizations about us, smh lol

    • http://asiyah3.wordpress.com Asiyah

      @ theeclectic

      I liked this a lot!

  • Justmetheguy

    @Sdot- If you read any comments on youtube videos, sports articles, or any article where there’s any racial undertones (hell half the time race had NOTHING to do with the conversation but gets brought up anyway) it gets WAY worse than the comments he posted. I didn’t even flinch reading the comments because I read enough comments online (they can be hilarious sometimes) to know how the average white person with the added courage that comes from internet anonymity really thinks about black people. I’m just glad that it proves that I’m not paranoid for no reason. I know all of them don’t think this harshly about us, but I don’t believe very many of them really believe that the races are equal, even though they say it for the sake of being PC and keeping things smooth and cordial.
    Honestly I don’t care that much if they think they’re better than us. Whatever helps you sleep at night. Nahmean?

    • LMNOP

      reading random comments on the internet kind of scares me. It is true, so many of them are so racist, like there will be an article on how may is the busiest month for parking tickets or something completely random and race neutral and the comments turn in to like a virtual kkk meeting.

      • LMNOP

        interesting… i can write “kkk” and not get stuck in moderation, but not a.s.s.

      • CurlyTop

        I have long stopped reading comments on cnn and youtube. They always end up racist or sexist. Even an article on children and peanut allergies or a video of a kitten being pulled out of a well ends up being “fu.ck ninja’s” or “white ppl stay doing stupid shid” or “fcuk hoes”

        • Ms. Pillowz

          I feel the same about Yahoo, but it’s like a car accident. My brain is saying, “Don’t do it! Don’t you scroll down to the comments. Please, for the love of God and all that is sane, don’t do it!” Then I precede down to the bottom and read that typically racist nonsense and even check out all of the thumbs up that some of those posts get. It is just mind boggling…

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

      Exactly.

      G.L. Piggy’s comments were way tame compared to some of the comments 2520′s make when they are shielded behind an alias and a keyboard.

      Thumb thuggery at it’s worst.

      • http://thejahfiles.blogspot.com/ B. Brown

        You ain’t lying. Sometimes I wonder whether those who act that way are just “being hard” due to the anonymity or being artificially nice in person. As is the case most of the time, the answer probably lies somewhere in the middle.

        Hmm…considering that I work in a building of 50 (many of whom have a proud allegiance to FOX News) and only two of them are black, I need to get out of here before this post has a Bamboozled effect.

      • kiki

        “thumb thuggery”

        so stealing this lol…

    • http://twitter.com/kjnetic peter parker

      justme is quite correct….just check out any race-related sports articles on espn… *shrug*

    • DQ

      I actually refer to it as the “youtube effect”. The question you have to decide is this:

      Does anonymity cause people to speak more recklessly (in that they express ideas because they can) or to speak more honestly (in that they express ideas because they believe them)

      • LMNOP

        they could be reckless and honest though, right?

        • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

          Exactly what I was finna say. Sometimes honesty requires one to be reckless. Truth hurts, yadda yadda yadda…

          • DQ

            Yeah but the reckless part that I’m talking about is “You Ain’t About That Life” recklessness. I mean they’re speaking the words but… they ain’t really about that life.

            Some of you are too young to remember Glock3. Now it’s a defunct website, but back in the day (1996) there was dudes talking all sorts of wild out nonsense on there. Turned out that the gangsta was really a 16 year old kid from Michigan who (say it with me) wasn’t really about that life. He wasn’t a gang member and he was gonna do anything to anyone… his mouthpiece was just reckless.

            People who actually believe what they’re saying are different.

            • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

              Ahhh, gotcha. That is a different beast, indeed. And it does happen on these here internets quite often. I’ve seen “fake identity” ish go down LIVE before and it’s messy. lol

            • http://www.twitter.com/brotherjames ChaoticDiva

              I think I went to high school with him.

              *end sarcasm*

      • Around the Way Girl

        I think it’s both. And I think a lot of people take to the internet to vent and act out because they are bitter, frustrated, etc. There are a lot of projecting losers out there.

  • Dione

    This is pretty sad. Reminds me of the time I stumbled upon Stormfront. I couldn’t believe that there were people in the world who are so ignorant. And more scary — that they believe so strongly.

    • http://jouromeo.blogspot.com Sagey Bear

      So, I went right to the stormfront site boards. What I read was their core beliefs I’ll post below (in this same comment) because I don’t see anything overtly ruinous within.
      ——————————————————–
      The Ten Eternal Truths of White Nationalism

      By: Curt Dietrich

      1. A White Nationalist places their race above all and makes any and all sacrifices necessary to further the cause of White Nationalism and the advancement of our people.

      2. A White Nationalist does all they can to secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.

      3. A White Nationalist takes pride in the history, cultures, values, morals, and accomplishments of their people and live by those standards set by our ancestors.

      4. A White Nationalist strives to exemplify class, strong character, and a standard of excellence at all times so that they never let their people down.

      5. A White Nationalist cultivates camaraderie and fosters unity amongst our people for we will triumph together as one or we shall perish alone.

      6. A White Nationalist thinks before they act so that they do not bring shame, harm, or disgrace to their self or our people.

      7. A White Nationalist strengthens their body through healthy living, sharpens and hones their mind through the pursuit of knowledge, and fortifies their spirit with steadfast determination in order to become the personification and vehicle of White Nationalism and victory.

      8.A White Nationalist lies not to their comrades and people; for they are our family and honesty is our virtue.

      9. A White Nationalist adds special significance to the concept of honor and will not accept any transgression against their cause, people, or their person.

      10. A White Nationalist never surrenders, never retreats, and would rather die than accept any defeat.
      —————————–
      Now, except for the never surrender stuff…it sounds fairly run of the mill brainwashing propaganda. I’m sure some of their more “advanced” mess is less friendly or fortifying but the basis ain’t so scary.

      • http://vanityinperil.blogspot.com Vanity in Peril

        Alot of web comments are just pimple-faced teenage boys trolling for a fight so I try not to read that stuff. Hmm, if you replace “White nationalist” with some of “our” stuff it’s interchangeable. (yes I know the struggle aint the same) :)

        • http://jouromeo.blogspot.com Sagey Bear

          I agree with you

        • Leonie UK

          I agree, how many pan africans could recite the rules just by chnaging the white with Black. Asian, Pacific,Arab, etc,etc, etc. Every race and faith has their own ” No others allowed” manifesto, it’s the rule of survival for some and non acceptance for others.

      • Dione

        That manifesto sounds great… but read some of the forums. The one I read was about Beyonce’s movie, “Obsessed.” I was writing an article on interracial dating for a social justice magazine, and Google-ing to find examples of interracial couples. I had no idea what Stormfront was — so I clicked and started reading. Everyone was in a huff because Beyonce fought a white woman for the black man, who, as they all agreed, would never have wanted that black man in the first place. And that is a G-rated summary.

        • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

          “…for the black man, who, as they all agreed, would never have wanted that black man in the first place.”

          o______________O What world they live in? LOL

    • Chris Streetz P.O.E.T.

      Yea I stumbled across stormfront once…made me wonder just how many white people think this way, and the lengths they went to disprove african achievements (such as egyptians aren’t really africans smdh)

      • Chris

        Oh lord. Instead of watching horror movies I just read Stormfront. That stuff is scary!

        I especially like their forum about day to day life, which is basically “This big black gorilla sat next to me and my children at the movie theater and I know he was just thinking about raping my aryan princess. I hate black people. Expletives.”

        • http://athenasantics.blogspot.com AthenaC

          Lol yeah because he couldn’t have been thinking about, I don’t know, the movie he was watching?