It was an ordinary day at work for Kelly Carter until six little words made her stop in her tracks.
Carter (who is African-American) works as a waitress at Anita’s New Mexico Style Café in Ashburn, Virginia.
She had just finished serving a table and was collecting the receipt when she noticed something written on the bottom of it: ‘Great service, don’t tip black people.’
Carter’s first reaction? Total shock.
“I looked at the receipt three times,” she told NBC Washington.
“I’ve never seen that.”
As indicated on the bill, the customer did not leave Carter a tip.
A local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) heard about the incident and posted the receipt to Twitter.
Hatred will not be tolerated and we will not keep quiet. This has been confirmed and did happen per Mgr @ Anita's in Ashburn. pic.twitter.com/UKaLCaKf9h
— Loudoun County NAACP (@NAACP_Loudoun) January 8, 2017
Carter said there was nothing out of the ordinary about the customers she believes wrote the note, and certainly nothing to indicate such blatant racism.
Tom Tellez is Carter’s boss. He described the incident to FOX32 as, “appalling, disheartening, outrageous — all of the above.”
Tellez added that he’s never witnessed a racist incident like this one in his 42 years in the restaurant industry.
Members of Carter’s community have been rallying around her, stopping by the restaurant to offer hugs. They’ve also been sharing their support for her on social media.
As for Carter, she’s staying positive.
“My arms are still open,” she told NBC.
“One hateful remark cannot stop me.”