An Atlanta waitress said she was shocked after a customer drew an anti-Semitic symbol on a menu and then handed it to her during her shift.
Shelly Sidney said she was waiting on a private party at the Antica Posta restaurant in Buckhead on the night of July 20 when the incident happened. Sidney, who is Black, told local station WSB-TV that once she got to the last person in the group, a man handed her back a menu with a swastika drawn on it.
She described the entire ordeal as one of the most most blatantly hateful things anyone has ever done to her.
“I was hurt and frustrated,” Sidney said.
Stunned by the incident, the waitress said she immediately showed the offensive drawing to restaurant owner Marco Betti, who cited the customer’s right to freedom of speech. His response stopped way short of Sidney’s expectations, as she wanted the customers to be kicked out of the restaurant.
Sidney also noted that she heard another guest in the party use the n-word to describe Black people.
“I was really in tears when I was overhearing the conversations, the private conversations of just how horrible Black people are, immigrants are [and] gay people are,” Sidney told the news station.
Furious, the waitress later told her boss she was done serving those particular guests.
Manny Arora, the restaurant’s attorney who spoke with WSB-TV over the weekend, said as soon as Sidney alerted Betti to anything inappropriate that was said, the restaurant owner asked if she no longer wanted to wait on that party and offered to assign someone else to the table.
Restaurant staff also noted books in the room where the customers had dined. It turned out that author and known Holocuast denier David Irving was holding a speaking event there, according to the news station.
Arora said the restaurant was unaware of who Irving was before they booked the private dining area.
“You don’t check into people’s backgrounds or their political beliefs before you agree to a reservation,” the attorney said.
Sidney told the station she hopes her boss will be more considerate and sensitive to the feelings of his diverse staff members.
“He never told them that they had to leave,” she said. “I think that it’s unacceptable for this to be able to go on. It’s 2017.”