An Atlanta waitress was shocked and upset after she said a man drew a swastika on a menu and handed it back to her while she was working. The waitress in question, Shelley Sidney, said that it was the most hateful thing that has ever been done to her.
And that was only the beginning of one very long shift, to hear Sidney tell the story.
According to WSB-TV, Sidney was waiting on a private party at Antica Posta in Atlanta’s Buckhead section Thursday night when she got handed back the menu.
“I get to the last person in the party, and they give me a menu that has a swastika drawn it,” she said.
She immediately went to her boss and showed it to him, but according to her, the restaurant’s owner, Marco Betti, cited freedom of speech. Sidney, who wanted the guests kicked out for the hateful act, was not pleased by her boss’s response.
“I was hurt and frustrated,” she said.
The guest was apparently there as part of a group at the restaurant for a notorious Holocaust denier’s speaking event ... which is never a good sign. Staff reportedly noticed books being displayed in the room and, upon research, discovered that David Irving, a Holocaust denier, was hosting a speaking event at the restaurant.
“I was really in tears when I was overhearing the conversations, the private conversations, of just how horrible black people are, immigrants are, gay people are,” Sidney said, adding that she told Betti that she would not be serving the guests.
WSB-TV spoke to Betti’s attorney, Manny Arora, who said that his client handled the situation.
“As soon as she made any reference to anything inappropriate being overheard, Marco immediately asked her if she didn’t want to wait on those folks, and reassigned somebody else,” Arora said.
“You don’t check into people’s backgrounds or their political beliefs before you agree to a reservation,” the lawyer added, referencing Irving, saying that Betti was unaware of who he was.
Still, Sidney is insistent that management needed to be more sensitive toward the diverse staff.
“He never told them that they had to leave,” Sidney said. “I think that it’s unacceptable for this to be able to go on. It’s 2017.”
Arora countered that the group did not cause any disturbances while at the restaurant.
Sidney told the news station that Betti told her not to come back to work for the past few days, but Arora said that Sidney still has a job if she wants it.
Read more at WSB-TV.