The recent events in Dallas, Louisiana, and Milwaukee have got me thinking about my own experiences with race relations here in America. I remember one of my early experiences during my last year of high school in 1979 when I was working at Howard Johnson’s Restaurant in Fredericksburg, Virginia. I was a dishwasher/busboy at that time, and I’ll never forget this one particular waitress who would always say, “I hate waiting on colored people ’cause they never leave a good tip.”
In my naïve attempt to change this waitress’ attitude towards Blacks, one day I took three dollars from my own pocket (which was my gas money for my ’72 Pinto) and I placed it with the two nickels left by a Black lady who had a slice of pie and a cup of coffee. (Back then, of course, this tip was certainly greater the lady’s check.) I couldn’t wait to see the surprised look on the waitress’ face when she came back to the table to pick up her tip money. Minutes later, I’d learned a valuable lesson that day because when the waitress gathered up her tip from the table she turned up her upper lip in disgust while rubbing the three dollar bills against her short waitress apron, as if the bills had some type of ‘colored people germs’ on them.
Yep, that day I’d learned that some of our problems in America go far deeper than money. – Randolph Randy Camp