Sadie Elledge, a server at Jess’ Lunch in Harrisonburg, VA, went to pick up her signed receipt from two customers who “wouldn’t talk” to her, and was confronted with a racist message written in the ‘Tip’ field.
After serving the duo lunch, Elledge, the child of a Mexican mother and a Honduran father, was presented with a receipt bearing the words “we only tip citizens” where a tip would ordinarily go. Elledge was born in the United States.
A photo of the receipt was posted on Facebook by John Elledge, Sadie’s grandfather, where it was shared hundreds of times.
Speaking with the Huffington Post, the elder Elledge described his granddaughter as “calm and collected,” adding “I was more upset.”
“I just thought it was really disrespectful,” Sadie Elledge told WHSV’s Isabelle Rosales during an interview on Facebook Live. “You should treat everybody the same. Like, just because you can tell that I’m Hispanic does not mean anything bad. Treat me the same way as you would want to be treated.”
The incident has made waves in Harrisonburg, whose official website calls it “the dining destination of the Shenandoah Valley” as one of the city’s nicknames. It is also known as “the friendly city”—a name some of its citizens are reportedlyworking hard to exemplify in a letter delivered to Elledge containing a replacement tip, “as an expression of our support.”
“Coward is the word to describe what they did,” Angeliki Floros, Elledge’s Jess’ Lunch boss told WHSV. “I have worse words to use, but let’s go with coward.” On its Facebook page, Jess’ Lunch describes itself as a “family owned and operated business that has been filling stomachs and giving patrons a smile for almost 100 years.”
Elledge, however, is surprisingly open minded about the whole situation, telling the station, “it makes me the stronger person to not let these things bother me because I know I’m a good person. I know that.”
No one deserves that treatment. Watch Sadie speak on her experience below.