Home / Work & Life / Drunk White Privilege Forced Me to Call 911 at a Restaurant

Drunk White Privilege Forced Me to Call 911 at a Restaurant

An incident happened a few weeks ago that took me awhile to process emotionally before I could share it here on the show.

In a nutshell: a drunk White guy verbally harassed me so badly at a Brookhaven, Georgia restaurant that I called 911 –  thinking it would stop what happened to me. It didn’t.

You’re welcome to stop reading now if you’d prefer to stick your head in the sand about white privilege and the age of Trump-ism.

Saturday, August 13th I looked down at my feet and noticed I was in dire need of a pedicure. I called one of my favorite Atlanta salons, Natural Body Spa Brookhaven, made an appointment for 6 PM that evening and told my husband he’d be on his own for the night with our son. My pedicure was everything that I imagined. It was relaxing and I had a great conversation with the nail technician. I always love going to Natural Body Spa because they treat you like a queen. Any tired parent should go there as a retreat.  I left feeling fabulous and beautiful. For the next 20 minutes anyway.

Verde Taqueria

As I walked down the sidewalk of Dresden Drive in Brookhaven I noticed a restaurant that I’ve never been to –  Verde Taqueria. I walked in and ordered a margarita to cool off. Once I took a better look at the menu, I decided to order a quesadilla that sounded tasty to-go . I sat at the bar with my drink and tried to enjoy the evening as any Mother on a “night out” would.

But that was short-lived. The bar and waiting area were both packed with lots families and small children. So packed that one couple seated next to me at the bar sat their children on the floor –  at their feet. I thought it was weird.  It’s something that I would never do, but hey none of the servers or bartenders stopped them and that disregard by the Verde Taqueria staff should’ve been a red flag for what was about to happen to me.
A drunk white guy (I’ll call him “Brent”) and two of his less drunk friends stood next to me and ordered more to drink. Part of Brent’s conversation included the use of the F word. I turned him and said “Hey, there are  kids right there. Do you mind not cursing?”

“Brent” gave me a piercing, threatening look like `How dare you speak to me? I can curse where ever and however I please.”

He said the kids shouldn’t be there in the first place. I agreed. Kids don’t belong at a bar. But since they were there, I thought it was reasonable to ask an adult NOT to curse in their presence. How wrong I was.

After a few minutes “Brent” stepped a few feet behind me and continued talking with his friends who tried to get him to leave. “Brent” refused to. Instead, he turned his drunk attention to me – the Black woman sipping a margarita at the bar by herself. Even with my headphones on and the bar TV screens blaring a sports channel I heard “Brent” say:

“I bet you she didn’t even leave a tip.”

A popular stereotype about Black people is that we don’t tip well.

“Why are you still sitting there when you have a to-go order?”

“Look at her taking up the whole bar.”

That may have been an insult about my hips and weight.

“Just leave already!”

I turned and asked him,  “Are you serious? Are you in the third grade?”

Brent snarked and responded, “No, I’m in the fourth.”

Clearly he had gone into “jerk mode” with his sights set on me. The harassment wasn’t going to stop.

One bartender asked me what’s wrong. I told him “Brent” was behind me saying rude things. The bartender did nothing and kept making drinks.

“Brent” kept going with the insults. My order arrived. But I still had plenty of margarita left in my glass. Was I supposed to leave to make room for “Brent” and his buddies at the bar? Nope. No way. No how.

I asked to speak to a manager who I told “Brent” was bothering me. I asked,  “Can you make him leave?”

Drunk White Privilege

 

“Brent”  dug his feet in even deeper and refused to leave. He exchanged words with the restaurant manager, but the manager came back to me and said “Well it’s your word against his he said he didn’t say anything to you.”
So essentially I’m a 43-year-old woman trying to have a peaceful dinner who has nothing else better to do but make up lies about a guy standing next to me verbally harassing me?

Believe me I’ve got way better things to do with my time. 

This seemed to motivate “Brent” to keep going.  He was doing the kind of third grade harassment where the kid behind you in class calls you names in a volume too low for the teacher to hear (the bartenders couldn’t hear what he was saying either), yet just loud enough to get under your skin.
Keep in mind, there’s a guy sitting next to me eating (“Chuck”) who CAN HEAR me ask “Brent” over and over to leave me alone. “Chuck” did nothing. He kept his eyes glued to his menu. Thanks so friggin’ much for NOT having my back “Chuck.”

I almost whipped out my iPhone to document the fiasco, but knew that would escalate the situation, especially if Brent grabbed my phone. I’m alone and Black in a restaurant in an exclusive Atlanta suburb. I wanted “Brent” away from me without things getting physical.

I asked for the manager for the second time who claimed they were trying to get a table for “Brent” and his buddies.

I asked, “Why do they get to sit down and he’s been bothering me?!  You can’t make him leave?”

The manager said:  “I can’t make them leave.”   So I said I’m calling police.

When they heard this, his friends begged “Brent”  to go to another spot to get more drinks. But for the second time “Brent” absolutely refused. By now, anyone near the bar it was obvious something is going on. “Brent” and I are exchanging words loudly. The bartender who overheard me say I was calling police rolled his eyes at me as if to say –  “Why is she making such a big deal of it?”

Within five minutes Brookhaven Police Officer Latif and his supervisor arrived to get my side of the story. I pointed the officer in the direction where drunk  “Brent” and his buddies were now seated in a booth. Officer Latif talked to them, came back over to me and said “Brent” apologizes.

The officer reminded: “I can’t make them leave. Only management can.”

So here I am feeling like the victim who asked for help over and over – and got NO RELIEF. Why was I expected to LEAVE to escape the harassment instead of the harasser being forced to leave a private business? Come on, now!

As a blogger and journalist, I immediately knew I had to do something. I called the Verde Taqueria Westside location of the restaurant and reported the harassment. Over the next few days I exchanged calls with an owner, Scott. His tone was: “Yeah it happened. It shouldn’t have happened. Here’s your money back.”

I feel like I never received a real, heartfelt apology – that I was right and the staff who did nothing was wrong.
I received a “I’m sorry it happened” which is as heartfelt as telling someone “I’m sorry YOU were offended.”

Even if Scott offered me a gift card to come back to the other location with my husband for dinner, I wouldn’t have accepted it. My experience at Verde Taqueria Brookhaven left a bad taste in my mouth and a disappointing pit in my stomach.

When I knew I’d share this on my blog, I prepared myself for online harassment from people who wouldn’t believe me. Or from people who didn’t think that “Brent” was believed because he’s White and I wasn’t because I’m Black. I don’t want Verde Taqueria staff fired or removed. But I think any establishment that serves alcohol in the age of Trump-ism and diarrhea of the mouth “racist speak” –  needs to know when to cut people off from alcohol. Instead, “Brent” and his party were seated and served after my repeated complaints.

Why does it seem to be so hard for people to believe the Black victim of harassment or violence?

Why will people who read this believe I should have just walked away – instead of “Brent” being forced to leave?

Here are a few things I know, for sure:

If I wasn’t dining alone, “Brent” wouldn’t have felt bold enough to keep bothering me.

If anyone sitting near me, like “Chuck” had said “Dude, leave her alone,” it would have ended sooner.

If I had cursed at “Brent” the way he cursed at me, I would have been kicked out and I would have been seen as the “loud Black woman.”

If my Black husband with his big, curly afro had verbally harassed a woman (of any color) to the point where she felt like she needed to call the police at Verde Taqueria – that management  would have kicked him out!

 

Joyce Wedding Pics

So what’s next?

Maybe my story will open your eyes. Maybe you will see a “Brent” out in public and call him out on his crap when his drunk white privilege is raging.

Maybe you’ll be the opposite of “Chuck” and speak up and defend a Black victim.

Without you, there will be more Brock Turner(s)  and Ryan Lochte(s) in this world.

Either way, I’m not going back to Verde Taqueria. And I may not go out for a drink and a meal by myself AGAIN.

[Tweet “Will you continue to serve abusive drunk patrons @Verdetacos?”]

Update: The Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA) contacted me via Twitter and said Verde Taqueria is not a member of its organization.  “The GRA promotes responsible alcohol service through ServSafe alcohol training for employees and staff. This program prepares restaurants to provide a safe and enjoyable dining experience for all, and teaches employees how to handle difficult situations

About Joyce Brewer

Creator & Host of Mommy Talk Show. Emmy award-winning TV journalist.Wife & Mommy; Mom Blogger; Social Media Coach; Long Island, New York transplant living in Atlanta, GA. Follow Joyce on Twitter @MommyTalkShow Author of Use What You Know: A Business Idea Guide for Moms featuring interviews with mompreneurs who created businesses using their skills & backgrounds.

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59 comments

  1. Don’t let this incident stop you from having your me time! This makes me angry.😡 Please continue you stay STRONG and do you.

  2. It is sad that you had this experience. A great man once said that the only thing evil needs in order to succeed is for good men to do nothing. That is once of the things you experienced. If you ask most people if they would do something, anything, to help a woman who was being verbally harassed and bullied by a drunk at a bar they would say yes. But here this guy was allowed to harass you with no penalty legally or socially.

    You are correct in your assumption that a man who looked like your husband would not have been allowed to act that way towards a woman who looked like Taylor Swift. The patrons in the bar would have come to her defense and the police would have removed your husband from the premises for the exact same behavior.

    Until people are willing to acknowledge that this incident and incidents like this one are evidence of white privilege and the disregard and refusal to protect black feminity the way white feminity is protected, the racial divide in the United States will not be healed. We do not solve racism by pretending it doesn’t exist. We solve it by acknowledging it and taking steps to stop it.

  3. This is not the way it should have ended. If management didn’t help why didn’t the police? Oh wait, you’re Black and the offender is White. So now as Black woman we have sit through yet another victimization? Another Raping of our lifestyle? When are WE protected and valued in this world like our White sisters?

    Surely someone somewhere values us and the money we can spend at their establishment?

  4. I am angry for you. The staff at the restaurant definitely should have done something to deescalate the situation. Doesn’t sound like they tried at all. I hope you don’t let this prevent you from enjoying a drink at other establishments.

  5. If it had been your husband harassing someone they wouldn’t have asked him to leave – they would have had him arrested. That I know for sure!

  6. I am angry for you too. That should have been allowed to happen. No woman, no matter what color she is, should have to go through that. I can not believe the management did nothing. I thought it was part of their job to handle things like that. I’m sure other people were aware of what was going on, but in this age of not getting involved, they all said nothing. I also thought that there were laws on the books about serving alcohol to someone who is already drunk. Seems like this manager needs some training. And “Brent” needs an intervention.

  7. This pisses me off so much. I’m so tired of the rude and crude white people ruling the world. And I’m white! Who raised this man? Alcohol is no excuse, because I bet he’s close to acting like this in any situation.

    I’m sorry this happened to you. I’m sorry people suck.

    Hugs.

  8. Complete and utter BS. The establishment clearly had no interest in making patrons of any color feel safe, especially black patrons. He was clearly harassing you and should have been kicked out. Period. I agree had the tables been turned he would have been ejected in a heart beat. Having been a bartender and waitress in my past life, I can tell you the establishment I worked for a a zero tolerance policy before zero tolerance was a thing, and he would have been booted regardless of whom he had been harassing. Their management need a swift kick in the white privilege ass. Im angry for you. I hope you don’t let this keep you from enjoying evening out again soon!

  9. I tweeted your comment. I believe you–every word of it. Burns me up.

  10. Wow, that’s crazy and so scary!! I believe every single word and this is my first encounter with your blog. I wish I was “Chuck” or that there was someone there to get your back. It made me think of the only time I asked a bartender for help. A different situation (a drunk guy in a bar wouldn’t leave my friend alone and was too close for comfort. I physically put my body between theirs and asked him repeatedly to leave. Eventually he did but not before I removed his hand from her thigh. I don’t believe I actually got much help, just smiles from the bartender. Uh, hello??)

    I hope you allow yourself to enjoy another evening out because your kid-free evening sounded wonderful initially! ❤

  11. Moral of the story? Never argue with a drunk, white or black. And never provoke an argument with a drunk. I read your story with an open mind, and it seems you were the one who escalated the situation. It is sad to me that the parents brought their children into an adult environment and exposed them to the possibility of hearing adult language, but it was not your business to protect them. Your story reflects your own bias and only serves to stoke the fire of racism. Do I think the Country is cured yet of racism? No. But this is an isolated incident that didn’t need to happen, and you participated. Now you place the blame on “white privilege” and condemn everyone else rather than accept the fact that you started it.

    • Yeah, I was just thinking this was a “Mind your own business” thing. I think it was up to the parents of those children to say something. After all the kids could know more curse words than you or “Brent”. Just think who the heck brings their kids to the bar and sits them on the floor?! That was a bigger issue before Brent.

      This is definitely one if those mind your own business situations. And honestly I think Brent would’ve harassed anyone. Had your husband been there he would’ve tried to fight him.

      • Dear LM, Chuck, and EJ: thanks for showing your white privilege. Whether she commented about these peoples parenting skills is of no consequence. You are likening her situation to a rape victim who wouldn’t have gotten raped if she hadn’t been drunk or worn suggestive clothing or had a vagina. Your thinking is backwards.

    • ‘Mind your own business’ is the problem. We should all be looking out for one another. This reminds of an episode of ‘what you do’. Both cases – a drunk belligerent patron spewing foul language in the presense of children. And then his attack on you. You did the right thing by speaking up. Those were not your children, but they are the future and what they deem appropriate will influence how they behave as adults. Kudos to for speaking for those who couldnt speak for themselves. Too bad no one was there to back you up. I know those same people would’ve had plenty to say if your husband were speaking to a white woman that way

    • No at what point did u close it cause u know a black man would been kicked out and got his but kicked so when do u think this is OK whether provoked or not

  12. First of all I really appreciate you writing this blog post knowing that you were going to open yourself up to comments like the one I just read above me. You didn’t start anything for being a good human being for defending children from hearing filthy language. You didn’t deserve that experience. Management should have done more for you, the patron that was being verbally abused. And the fact that the cops didn’t do anything really bothers me as well. Thank you for sharing your experience. I’ll definitely be tweeting your comment and will take over Verde from my list of places to eat.

  13. I agree with LM. You escalated the problem and continued to participate in it. And the only evidence you give of this being a racial issue is the fact that you are black and he is white. That’s a common mistake that far too many black people make. If a white person insults them it’s a racial issue. And it’s one that I personaly extremely tired of hearing. Maybe he was just an asshole who’s rude to everyone. But to blame it on racism or white priveledge is just taking the easy way out. And your claim that your husband would be arrested if he did the same thing is totally unsupported in this instance. I think the real racist here is you.

    • The author is not saying that “Brent’s” behavior was necessarily about race. She said it *might* have been racially motivated. But the point here is that she feels the bartender and manager didn’t believe her because of race. It was “his word against hers,” and they chose to believe his. If the bartender and manager were both white men, they’re far more likely to believe the word of a white man–it is a deeply held human bias, to agree with people who look like you. That deep bias kept them from examining the evidence or listening to the author’s statements.

      • Except that we don’t know that it’s race that stopped them from helping her. Maybe he’s a regular, and it’s their familiarity with him or even friendship that caused them to ignore her. She’s laying the blame on white privilege because that’s what black people do. Blame a person’s race rather than look for the real reasons behind their behavior – reasons that often have nothing to do with race at all.

    • Thank you… I was seriously thinking the same thing. If the parents of the kids didn’t speak up I feel like you shouldn’t have either. I believe you really did escalate the whole situation. I feel you should have minded your own business. Besides you can’t argue with a drunk white or black.

  14. I CAN NOT believe this happened. I’ve had my share of drunkies try to ruin my night, too, but not in this context. It makes me livid. Only in my “old age” have I had the foresight and guts to shut anyone down. If I was at a bar and I saw or heard something like this happen, I wouldn’t hesitate to bring it up and SIMMER DOWN NOW, SNL style. I have no tolerance for assholery.

    • Why in the world is this a race issue??? Have you ever been to a bar in Atlanta before? They are filled with immature drunk boys that when prevoked love the opportunity to harrass ANYONE. I would never go to a bar alone and certainly would never confront a drunk person for that reason. My guess is the father sitting next to you did not want confrontation or a fight so that is why he did not intervene. His children never should have been in that bar and if he had offense with the language he should have said something not you. Unfortunately some people are just rude when drunk and you should now that and if you didnt now you do and next time just stay away from them. Sounds like you poked the hornets nest. As for the staff, if they kicked out every person for being a jerk while drinking they would not have a business as from my experience in ATL it is just all too often. I am very sad you made this a race issue and assumed the staff was being racist too. That just shows your closed mindset about whites in general. Open your heart and mind to the possibility that maybe its not the whites that are racist that its possibly the blacks stuck in the past and are constantly looking for a fight or confrontation. I hear “black lives matter” but when will they matter to blacks? White gangs are not shooting blacks, black gangs are shooting blacks. Its all so sad. A black man shot Dwane Wade’s black cousin. Did he think her black life mattered? If we can all just put the boxing gloves and defensive thoughts down for a minute maybe we can live more peacefully.

      • Verde is a family resturant with a small bar up front.

      • Well put. And what is trump -ism anyway? She lost my respect when she blamed it on Trump. This whole thing could have easily happened to a white woman. Maybe a babe would have got more help…but we were not there and did not see or hear what happened. The policeman said the guy was sorry. Why does bad behavior have to be a skin color thing? Bad behavior is a soul thing. I would suggest boycotting the restaurant for allowing a woman to feel unsafe.

  15. That is so effed up!! I will definitely not be eating there for sure! Whether by myself or with a group. I’m glad you wrote this post because even though they (the restaurant) may have thought it was trivial, they need to know how big of a deal it is to us! And all the Chucks in the world who just want to stay out of it when a man is behaving that way towards a woman, need to be checked too! I think you did the right thing considering management wasn’t going to do anything about it.

  16. I don’t think it was white privilege, drunk jerks come in all colors. The management should of asked him to leave and the patrons around you should have stood up to a loud mouth drunk. cowardice doesn’t equal privilege.

  17. Why am I not shocked by the asshole, restaurant, bartender, management, even the patrons sat in silence which means the condone his behavior

  18. Wow! It sucks that the management didn’t do anything but continue to serve them drinks. They were definitely at fault and obviously what mattered more to them was money. Honestly, l feel there is no reasoning to be had with a drunk person, no matter what color. Even his friends knowing he was wrong couldn’t handle him. Amazing that the parents didn’t move their kids or even more incredible that the staff did not tell them to get their kids off the floor. It sounds like a bad place altogether. Don’t let this experience stop you from eating or drinking out alone though 🙂 .

  19. The restaurant absolutely should have kicked Brent out. There is no excuse for his behavior and the manager should not have tolerated it. You did the right thing by calling the police, it’s unfortunate that this incident was handled so poorly.

  20. Cantor Mark HalpernCantormh@aol.com

    First of all I would like to tell you that I am sorry that that whole incident happened to you. I am quote unquote color blind so it doesn’t matter to me the color of your skin, no woman should be spoken to rudely like that. Perhaps it wasn’t your place to ask Brent to stop with his foul language for the sake of the children on the floor in a bar?( That I totally don’t understand.) But perhaps you can learn from this what you think you need to learn from it. It seems like it’s so hard to get time away to treat yourself special so why let a jerk like that spoil it? That being said my beautiful holy sister, wouldn’t you have preferred to move away and continue to enjoy your evening peacefully as you deserve? All the best I hope this never happens to you again and I also hope that you are strengthened by it enough to always hold your head up high and love yourself. God bless you in all that you do. Sincerely,Sari☺

  21. Hello Mommy Talk Show

    I am so sorry that happened to you, the manager should have asked them to leave! There is too much Trump-ism in this world. The Atlanta cops were so useless and did not want to help at all, if the situation was on the other foot…. just saying, it was wrong on all levels and everyone should have been treated fairly.

    Thank you for sharing your story!

  22. I am so sorry that you had to endure that special brand of stupid. And I’m even sorrier that you were alone in your attempt to stop the harassment. That no one had your 6. Not even the police. Thank you for sharing your story.

  23. I’m really sorry that happened to you.

    I read an article in the NYT recently that included a line that spoke to me. It said something along the lines of: the great battle today is between doing good and doing nothing.

    Every bad actor in your experience chose to do nothing — the bartender, “Chuck” and the restaurant’s management. I hope that with a little reflection, and some bad PR, they will reassess their actions and make a different choice next time.

  24. I’m not going to defend Joyce or say that I believe her. She doesn’t need that from me since she is strong, professional, graceful, and when she says it, it’s true regardless of anyone’s belief.

    I am going to say this, and she knows it’s true because we sat next to each other every weekend for three years at Starbucks Lehmann’s Plaza and had a nice, quiet bubble around us:

    Had I been there, I damn sure would have spoken up and said and done something, having her back to the point of either a fight or a police intervention. I’m not a badass (nor do I portray myself as such), but nobody messes with my friends in my presence. I might get beat down, but douchebags don’t get a pass from me because I’m afraid. Right is right, and I’m not going to let douches/racists/cowards get away with bullying.

    Managers and bartenders often don’t want to get involved or really do something because of fear of personal retaliation from the offender, or fear of being second-guessed by higher management or ownership and/or getting fired if that person complains. That said, there are bigger things in life than being manager of a crappy little bar in Brookhaven, and by not enforcing reasonable behavior they not only enabled, but ENCOURAGED that behavior.

    Joyce, stay classy and keep rising above the trash that you encounter. And here’s hoping that there is a special level of hell for them.

  25. Many have said they couldn’t believe this happened–I can. Unfortunately many in our society feel comfortable rearing their ugly heads, but this is not a reflection of you. Be encouraged, queen.

  26. Joyce, obviously this bar, which might have appeared upscale or nice on the outside, was very ugly on the inside. Kids sitting on the floor at a bar? Totally a tip off. Chuck and his wife could have gone to many places much more kid friendly and not have them sit on every disgusting thing that is around a bar (it makes me sick thinking of it)
    Brent should have been cut off from alcohol period. He obviously had way too much to drink, and I dont care what skin color someone is, you just cant reason with a drunk. Why the police didnt help is anyones guess, perhaps they are called this establishment a lot or they were being lazy. Chuck wasnt much of a man either to let some drunk curse in front of his kids and his wife and just sit there like a mouse.
    Dont let assholes (pardon my language) of any color ruin your night. And assholes come in every color- ask any doctor!

  27. I will never allow someone to have power over me. I can’t control others but I can control me.

    You can’t reason with unreasonable people. I would have disengaged early on.

    I would have sat and are and drank a bit longer than i applauded

  28. so you’re going to call me an asshole (or just delete my comment entirely) for saying this, but at least in my (very limited) experience, black people ARE bad tippers, at least in the limited sample i took.

    i used to deliver pizza for a major chain whose name you’d recognize. the majority of my income came from tips, so if you didn’t tip, i didn’t get paid. that “delivery fee” they tack on there? zero of that goes to the driver, who’s probably making no more than $4/hr from the store.

    so the store’s other drivers believed anecdotally that the black population in our area tipped poorly. being trained as a science major, i understand that anecdotes are not evidence, so i undertook a statistical analysis of tipping patterns. i recorded day, date, weather, race of customer, dollar value of order, and dollar value of tip, for the next several months. i worked full time, day and night, weekday and weekend.

    with a sample size of over 1000 trips over the next several months, i found that tips were slightly higher in the rain, but only for whites and hispanics. i found that i was three times more likely to get no tip (a “stiff”) from a black customer as a white or hispanic; that the average tip per order was about $3; that whites tipped, on average, about $4.25 per order; that hispanics tipped, on average, about $3.25 per order, and blacks tipped, on average, about $1.22 per order. (there is not a statistically significant population of asians in my delivery area, so while i didn’t forget them, i couldn’t include them.)

    so, while it’s true on an individual basis that you can’t know if a black person will tip well or not, at least in my pizza delivery area, when ordering pizza from my chain, it’s true: on average, they’re shitty tippers. i have the numbers to prove it.

  29. First off, It was none of your business if the children were there and their parents didn’t care if they heard foul language. Their parents could be cussin crazy at home – so again – none of your business. Second, you saw his skin color and immediately put him into a category. Then everything became about race and no matter what happened, you thought he would cause issues because he is white and you are black. Third, anyone that has been in a bar in Atlanta knows that ANY RACE gets drunk and will become belligerent if you tell them to NOT do something.

    The best thing to do in this situation is to have NOT said anything to them. It is not your place to police others. When you did say something and it escalated, you then CHOSE to stay and make the situation worse. The cops are not there to deal with petty issues. And this is PETTY. The guy did not commit any crimes so what could the police do? The restaurant doesn’t have to do anything on someones word either and it doesn’t matter about race. They did not see that the situation warranted a removal of a paying customer.

    Whenever I would get into a bad situation at school, my parents would always tell me that I should be more mature AND WALKED AWAY. That is what you should have done. Once you received your take out, LEAVE. It is very immature to stay just to continue a banter with someone drunk. You can’t argue with them, it just escalates and makes things worse.

    I still do not see race in this issue except from you.

  30. I am so sorry that you had this experience. This is awful. The restaurant’s management definitely could have handled this better. He should have been kicked out.

  31. As a resident of Brookhaven I’m sorry this happened to you. Verde has lost my business. Black, white, man, woman… People shouldn’t be harassed like that and Verde handled it all wrong.

  32. What color was the bartender? What about the manager?

  33. That was awful. Some businesses suck. If I’d been there I would have stood up for you. I was screamed at for breastfeeding my baby in a salon. By another customer and I never went back. They didn’t ask the screamer to leave. Some times businesses are awful and you have to vote with your wallet. I won’t be eating there. This guy was a here, the people who didn’t defend you were jerky.

  34. I’m sorry that you had that experience. If the tables were turned and someone complained about you, the situation would have been different and you would have been asked to leave, on that I’m willing to bet money.
    It’s also not cool that the management didn’t want to get involved nor apologize.

  35. I am familiar with your type that approaches situations with a chip on the shoulder and itching for confrontation; self righteously orchestrating the self fulfilling prophecy.
    This matter did not concern you. No one needed you to speak up for them. Reflectively attributing this to race undermines the many many many legit race discrimination claims.

  36. Making the assumption that your husband would have been treated differently if he was the “Brent” in this situation is a stereotype… you’re assuming that the white people in this neighborhood would act a certain way based small samples of how they have acted elsewhere. You’re also making an assumption that people would have been racist in a completely hypothetical scenario. Isn’t this the exact thing you’re fighting against? This is a two way street. Is it possible that Brent was drunk and would have argued with anyone who confronted him about using foul language and had nothing to do with you being black? I don’t believe that Verde handled this situation very well, but you did get into a verbal altercation that you essentially started with a drunk guy – black or white the scenario probably ends the same way.

  37. I guess I am conflicted by your story. Theoretically you had every right to request that the patron tone down his language (you didn’t even need to request it for the sake of someone else’s). You have the right as a paying customer to enjoy your food and drink in relative convivial peace. It is to the establishment’s benefit that that atmosphere be maintained. But when you spoke up, your first clue that you dropped a fart in church was when no one rose to defend your honor. Not the others seated at the bar, not the bar tender, not the manager and not even the police. Who dials 911 because a drunk is being disrespectful to you? Seriously?
    Who’s to say that it was race? Maybe it was because you escalated a scene with a drunk guy and were becoming holier than thou more annoying than the drunk?
    Even so, all you did was endanger yourself needlessly. What if he (or someone else) pulled a gun or a knife (where would your kids be then)? I also bet your blood pressure went up and your adrenals were tweaking.
    It’s sad that it happened but at the same time you could have avoided it altogether by paying for your food and leaving. A phone call to the manager about your experience would have netted you a comp without your having to been unduly ruffled at all. This is not about black and white; this is survival and common sense.
    It’s a powder keg out there and I am puzzled why you took on a drunk and thought that you would win anything by it. As a woman living in an increasingly hostile and uncertain world, I am always on the lookout for danger. Because he wasn’t endangering anyone, and, no one else was intervening, I think that my first instinct would have been to pay for my drink and get the fleck out of Dodge and live to blog onward another day.

  38. OMG! I so sincerely wish the incident didn’t happen, speaks so poorly of the restaurant’s management and the circumstance. Although I sincerely feel the blogger does make several assumptions about what she calls ‘White Privilege’ in this instance. Being a Black male and having lived in this immediate area for nearly 30 years I remember days when racism was actually racism and blatant in this area. I do feel slightly conflicted opinions though because I believe most times navigating these situations isn’t always about race or being alone or the size of someone’s hips. However from my personal experience, I’ve witnessed when the abuser was a person of color he/she would’ve experienced a higher probability that they were asked to leave the restaurant.
    So unfortunate as this lesson may be, we in fact didn’t lose, we learned, one, often it’s the energy we bring, two, we’re not gonna’ argue with a drunk people White or Black any more and finally maybe we should re-route those dollars away from the establishment as they completely dropped the ball.

  39. Black or white a drunk is a drunk, I believe you poked at that bear and you received exactly what anyone would have if they start an argument with a drunk. The parents didn’t say anything then you shouldn’t have either. Going forward people should learn to mind their own business the drunk didn’t start with you.. You started with him. I honestly don’t believe this was a racist situation I do believe it was busy body situation of a woman trying to be relevant or maybe in need of a story for your blog. I hope you learned a lesson “mind your own self business “

  40. I’m so sorry this happened to you when you were just having a momma’s night out. I hope the post picks up steam and the restaurant loses business.

  41. Regardless of color, management should have taken care of this out of respect for all of their patrons. The drunkard was indeed a paying customer; however, allowing situations like this to occur could have turned into a negative report on the 11 o’clock news and it would have served them well to receive negative publicity.

  42. Wow! Just wow. I was about I can’t believe this happened to you but I ABSOLUTELY believe you. That’ so unfortunate the restaurant did nothing to protect you as patron. I would not have given them any of my future business either.

  43. First off, let me say that this never should have happened…to anybody! However, I do not see anything in your recount where this “white privilege”, or anyone else in this story, made any racist comments at all. Brent clearly is a piece of trash and a horrible person no matter what ethnicity he is! Why would you try to incite more racism and hate by assuming this all was due to the fact that you are a Black woman? I guarantee you that anybody who confronted a drunk guy like that would be treated the same way, it just would have escalated into a fist fight if it was a guy saying it to him. I feel you are abusing your blog so you can make political statements in the guise of a “story” (albeit a true one). Everything in the world is not due to racism…

    I have a story for you too…my husband’s car was rear-ended near Windy Hill Rd and the other driver with Alabama plates was tearing his own car apart looking for his insurance card which he was unable to locate. When the police finally arrived, the officer ticketed the Alabama driver and then while giving my husband the info on where to get the police report for his insurance, my husband asks the officer if the other driver had insurance. You would have thought he had asked if the driver was a serial killer…the officer gets a disgusted look on his face and then gets attitude with my husband and retorts, “YES, HE HAS INSURANCE!”. Then, my husband, getting scared with the vehemency of the answer from the officer, has to quickly explain that his comment merely stemmed from the driver’s own statements. Clearly the officer assumed that my husband asked the question because the other driver was black (as was the officer) and my husband is white and driving a BMW. If that isn’t racism too, I don’t know what is…this is all getting ridiculous.

  44. this is so sad and as a single, black fem ale living in NYC I can understand. This is a situation that I think happens all to often. I believe the manager should have done more, could have done more. Including the bartender. I feel that we, as the human race have to take care of each other and not be a by stander that doesn’t want to make matter worst. smh.

  45. Next time (and I hope there isnt one), just kick back, let them keep ordering drinks and proceed to get more and more intoxicated. When they leave jot down their license plate number and the direction theyre headed in, call the police and report a drunk driver that damn near mowed down an old lady on the sidewalk and give them the plate number. The end.

  46. What a horrible experience. You’re so right about so many things. If your husband had that same behavior who knows how that would have escalated. If the guy next to you had the general respect to defend a woman, things would have been different. It’s really a shame the mental gymnastics we have to perform to exist. Knowing that being in a particular suburb means we’ll be less supported and seen as a problem is a HUGE problem. One that shouldn’t be the norm.

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