*So…three white Texan men – one in a “Make America Great Again” hat – walk into a D.C. restaurant that promotes social justice and racial equality, where the walls are adorned with art and images that celebrate black culture. One might think it wouldn’t end well, but the African American woman who waited on the trio walked away with a $450 tip.
The big spender, Jason White, told the Washington Post that he and his boys were hesitant to walk inside of Busboys and Poets, but were put at ease when their waitress approached the table with a warm disposition. They told her they were from West Texas. White is a dentist and he complimented her on her smile.
Unbeknownst to the men, their waitress, 25-year-old Rosalynd Harris, had arrived at work that Monday morning still high off the energy from the Women’s March, full of renewed optimism that had been reflected in her patrons.
Harris told the Washington Post that she did indeed prejudge the Trump trio, assuming they were in town for the inauguration just by their appearance, even though by that point White had hidden his signature red baseball cap.
When the men finished their meals White decided to leave Harris a personal message on the receipt. Then, after he wrote it, he left a $450 tip on their $72.60 bill, which is nearly 625 percent.
“We may come from different cultures and may disagree on certain issues, but if everyone would share their smile and kindness like your beautiful smile, our country will come together as one people,” the note reads. “Not race. Not gender. Just American.” Then he added, “God Bless!”
The men had already left before Harris looked at the receipt. She read White’s words before she saw the tip, and the words alone were enough to overwhelm her.
“You automatically assume if someone supports Trump that they have ideas about you,” she said, “but [the customer was] more embracing than even some of my more liberal friends, and there was a real authenticity in our exchange.”
A professional dancer, Harris started waitressing about a year-and-a-half ago to make extra money to pay her bills. She needs to move to a new apartment soon and has worried about how she’ll have enough cash to pay any upfront costs. She scheduled herself to work extra shifts to ensure she had enough, and the extra $450 is “a huge weight off my shoulders,” she said.
Watch a local news report about the tip below:
Here’s what White told the Post about why he left the big tip:
White, 37, didn’t even tell his friends what he’d done. But he’d felt so moved by all he’d seen in Washington that weekend. A Trump supporter from the very beginning, he said that he believed Trump would infuse the government with new leadership and a new mindset. A devout Christian, he doesn’t agree with all of Trump’s rhetoric, but said he believes that the president sometimes speaks without thinking first.
Being in Washington for Trump’s inauguration and then witnessing the Women’s March the next day, White felt both events represented the very foundation of what it means to be an American. On Saturday he and his friends went to Arlington Cemetery and he said he was so moved watching the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, thinking about how they perform the same 21-step tradition regardless of politics or who the president is.
“We have to think about being better Americans, we have to look into ourselves and how we treat one another,” he said. “If everyone did a little something to show respect…we can love one another.”
“As I sat there I thought about the entire weekend and I thought I don’t know her, she doesn’t know me, but if most Americans have a preconceived perception about people then we’re never going to get better,” he said.