For being destinations for together and merriment, restaurants also seem to bring out the worst in people. Last week, Nancy Goodman interrupted the meal of a group of black women at a Bonefish Grill in Raleigh, North Carolina so she could tell them that they were being rude and use a racial slur. And a few days before that, two elderly women were caught on camera at a Florida Burger King as they berated the store's manager for speaking Spanish.
"Yeah, yeah, go back to Mexico if you want to keep speaking Spanish. Go back to your Mexican country, your state, your country," one of the women told Ricardo Castillo. They also told him to "speak your Mexican at home."
"Guess what, ma'am," Castillo responded. "I'm not Mexican. But you're being very prejudiced and I want you out of my restaurant right now." (He also said they were being "ignorant and disrespectful," and one of the women responded "We aren't ing-or-ant." So, there's that.)
Although Castillo threatened to call the police, the women eventually gathered their trash, one of them picked up her cane, and the two of them inched their way out the door. Castillo, who is from the all-American territory of Puerto Rico, even told them to have a nice day as they left.
"I was not disrespectful at any time, but I did tell them they had to leave the restaurant,” he told the Daily Commercial. “The only couple that was sitting down in the lobby was a Puerto Rican female and a Mexican guy. They told me after, ‘We felt offended.’ The best thing to do was to get the people out of the restaurant.”
Castillo said that he would call the cops if the women came back—but that was before he got their letter. Shortly after they went the worst kind of viral, they sent a letter to the Burger King, and addressed it to Castillo. In it, they said that they were acting out of character that day, and it was only because one of them "became a widow last week," they both had "painfully raw" hearts, and they were both anxious about being unemployed. Also, they repeatedly pointed out that they were "senior citizens" and "nearing 80 years of age."
"It is with sincere remorsefulness my sister and I write to apologize to you for our very bad behavior at your restaurant [on] July 6th. Our behavior termed by others as 'racist, hateful, ignorant, and prejudice' reflected badly on us and poorly upon you and the Spanish speaking community in a manner out of character for us," they wrote. "As Christian's [sic] our otherwise loving nature hit an emotional brick wall." After quoting Ephesians, they signed off as "Two Old But Much Wiser Ladies from Eustis, Florida."
Despite the fact that these women spent two lengthy paragraphs making themselves the victims of the situation—of loss, of heartbreak, and of underwhelming account balances, Castillo accepted their apology, because he's apparently much more forgiving than the average person who's needlessly berated by racist strangers. In a Facebook post, he not only said that he was pleased with this response, but he also hoped that someone would SET UP A GOFUNDME TO HELP THEM COPE WITH THEIR LIVES. (Although the comments on Castillo's post almost universally praise his kind heart and willingness to forgive, not everyone was on board. According to Yahoo, GoFundMe itself denied his request to start a fundraiser for the two of them.)
Nancy Goodman, on the other hand, has no interest in writing an apology. After she was identified as being the Bonefish Racist, she wrote her own Facebook post warning her friends and family that she was going to appear in an WRAL segment about the incident. She also referred to the patrons that she insulted as "three rude, loud obnoxious black women," and seemed to blame her use of a racial slur on "anxiety."
When she did speak with the news station, she still wasn't even close to being apologetic. "I’m not going to say I’m sorry to them, because they kept pushing at it," she said. "I would say it again to them. They are the rudest individuals I have ever seen."
We have a feeling she won't be getting a GoFundMe, either.