US restaurants’ racism rows continue: Patron kicked out, ex-employee called N-word

Johnny Wimbrey

In picture: Motivational speaker Johnny Wimbrey, who was forced to leave a Texas restaurant. Picture credit: Facebook/Johnny Wimbrey

Alleged incidents of racism and racial profiling continue to surface across the United States.

In one case, a motivational speaker said he was kicked out of a restaurant because of the colour of his skin.

In another case, an ex-employee has sued a restaurant chain for $1 million because other employees called him the N-word. And this is just one of the allegations he has levelled.

These are just the latest allegations of racism to surface in the US hospitality industry. Whole Foods has been accused of running a restaurant with a racially insensitive name.

Texas man alleges racism by Sambuca 360

A motivational speaker named Johnny Wimbrey has alleged that a manager at Sambuca 360 in Plano, Texas, called the police on him and accused of him getting violent. Wimbrey said he was kicked out because of the colour of his skin.

An ABC report says Sambuca 360 has since suspended the manager indefinitely, and without pay.

Wimbrey was out on the night of April 28 with his wife, dining at Sambuca 360, when the incident took place. He said the manager asked them to shift to another table as they were preparing to order. The manager apparently wanted a white man – a regular – seated at the table.

Wimbrey said the manager got angry when he refused to give up the table. He said the manager asked him to leave. When he asked why, the manager reportedly said: “Because I don’t like you.”

Wimbrey was later quoted by ABC as saying: “I do believe it’s because of who I am and how I look that they asked me to move tables.”

The manager then called the Plano police, and that was when Wimbrey made the decision to leave.

ABC managed to access the tape of the 911 conversation that got the police at the eatery. In it, the manager is heard saying that Wimbrey was being aggressive.

Listen to the audio here:

Ex-employee sues Little Caesars for $1 million

Meanwhile, an African-American man named Dionte Lawrence has sued Little Caesars for $1 million. Little Caesars is the third-largest pizza chain in the United States.

According to a report in The Blast, Lawrence has claimed that he was called the N-word and physically attacked when he was employed with the pizza chain. He worked at a Chicago outlet of the chain from September 2015 to January 2017. He was let go from the chain.

The Blast report said Lawrence claimed in his lawsuit that his harassment continued despite complaints to human resources. Lawrence said his coworkers even showed him chains and asked if they looked familiar to him – a reference to slavery that was prevalence in the southern US before it was abolished by Abraham Lincoln.

The report then quoted a Little Caesars spokesperson as saying: “Little Caesars has a zero-tolerance policy against any forms of discrimination or harassment. We take this extremely seriously and we are investigating the alleged incidents. We cannot comment further on pending litigation.”

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