We’re barely a week into Trump’s first week as president-elect and already we’re seeing the ugly effects that his victory is having on society. Over the last week, there has been a rash of hate crimes and other offenses directed towards racial minorities, Muslims, and members of the LGBT community, with over 300 reported. At a TGI Friday’s in Kalamazoo, Mich. a waitress found herself the subject of extreme hostility and humiliation when she went to retrieve the check from a table she had served.
Upon looking at the tip line, she saw that on the tip line, the customer had written “0”. Underneath was a both a racist and a homophobic insult that finished off with the proclamation of “#PresidentTrump”. In addition to being disgustingly prejudiced and hateful, the perpetrator is apparently not too good at math either, as he added up the meal subtotal of $41.45 and his tip total of $0 to equal $0. Did he think he would get a free meal for tipping nothing and being awful?
The authenticity of the hateful receipt has been confirmed by TGI Friday’s. The dining chain issued a statement of unity: “now is the time for everyone to come together. We’re focused on making sure every guest and team member feels cared for, valued and respected. We’ve reached out to the team member and the restaurant is aware of this situation.”
While Trump’s campaign and subsequent election might not have caused people like this customer to be racist, it is very likely that the racist rhetoric of Trump’s campaign normalized racism in some capacity. So now people feel like they have the right to be more outspoken with their hostile and close-minded views. By the year’s end, there could very well be several thousand discriminatory incidents in the name of the president-elect reported. Trump might try to deny culpability, but he has already spent months making inflammatory remarks about Muslims, Hispanics, and African-American, and appointed Steve Bannon, a known white nationalist as his chief strategist. If this a chilling preview of what four years of a Trump presidency will look like, we should be very concerned.