Brookfield Zoo in Chicago fired a black employee who complained on Facebook about serving “rude ass white people,” the Chicago Tribune reports.
Rochelle Robinson, 22, worked at the zoo’s concession stands. She told the New York Daily News that most of her customers were white people. Some of them would call her names, throw items at her and steal food from the concession stand, she said.
Fed up over the mistreatment, Robinson expressed her frustrations on Facebook, posting what appeared to be a selfie from the concession stand with the message, “Wassup y’all? At work serving these rude ass white people.”
The posting quickly drew scores of comments from angry patrons. Robinson, who denied that she’s racist, according to the Daily News, said that her Facebook post received comments that were far more racist than hers.
The backlash continued the next day after the zoo received numerous complaints. Robinson told the Daily News that she quit her job over fear of retaliation. But zoo officials say they fired Robinson, a seasonal hire. On Tuesday they released a statement on Facebook saying that Robinson’s comments were a “violation of our policies and do not reflect our institution’s values.” A spokeswoman told the Tribune, “We do not tolerate this behavior.”
Robinson told the Daily News that she regrets her comment and blamed it on frustration. “I absolutely didn’t want to offend anyone with what I said. I would tell people not to post their problems on Facebook. A lot was made out of nothing,” she says.