A customer recently left a negative review on the Facebook page of The Chowder House, in Fairbanks, Alaska, because one of the restaurant's servers was wearing a shirt that said, "Hi. Don't be racist. Thanks." That server, who goes by @bryantinak on Twitter, posted the review and a selfie while wearing the t-shirt, and it went totally viral.
"Someone complained about me wearing my favorite shirt today on our Facebook page, now I can't wear it at work anymore :.(," the post reads. In the review, the customer, Jason Lassiter, writes, "As a customer I'd prefer not to have your employees' ideologies plastered on his t-shirt... This isn't a professional shirt for work and will be the last time I visit your establishment."
Since Jason Lassiter posted his review from his personal Facebook page, he quickly started getting "roasted" on Facebook for his review. According to @bryantinak, "So many people direct messaged the guy that he deleted his bad review."
Many laughed at the fact that he called the t-shirt "unprofessional" when it literally "thanks" you for reading it. "That's actually an extremely professional shirt," one Twitter user wrote. "How much more professional can you get?"
Unnecessary greeting? Check! "Thanks" at the end of your one sentence request? Check! This shirt is more professional than some formal communications I've had. LOL.— Pearsephone 🍐 (@astro_ashley11) June 19, 2020
There was an initial misunderstanding, too, which @bryantinak cleared up in a follow-up tweet: "Talked to my bosses. They were upset at the customer for making an absurd complaint.
"I misunderstood the upset (we were in the middle of a rush) as being directed at me. They have no problem with me wearing the shirt and actually urge me to continue to if I wish to do so." How great is that?
Since @bryantinak's viral thread, the Facebook page for The Chowder House has been flooded with positive reviews. "Great place," one person wrote. "Lets its employees be decent human beings."
"Came for the anti-racism, stayed for the chowder," another wrote. "I am so glad I had the chance to come here on my brief trip to Fairbanks. I had delicious racism-free salmon chowder and I'll certainly be back next time I visit."
@Bryantinak explains that they bought the shirt from an Etsy shop but that it seems like "some fast fashion Etsy bulls--t." Instead, they suggested getting a shirt from a Black-owned business and linked to a bunch of activist apparel fundraisers and companies with Black owners.
Those who believe "don't be racist" is a controversial and "unprofessional" statement really need to examine why they think that, and I think it's safe to say that Jason Lassiter has been forced to consider why he had such a negative reaction to such an innocuous statement.
As for @bryantinak, we're glad they work in a place that understands the importance of the message on that t-shirt and supports their employees in the fight for equality.