When Jason White walked into Busboys and Poets Monday morning, a Washington restaurant that promotes social justice, he looked around and told his friend he might want to remove his red “Make America Great Again” cap.
The three white Texan men knew they stuck out in a place where African-American art and images cover the walls. And White said he could sense when his waitress greeted them that she knew they did too.
But Rosalynd Harris had arrived at work that morning still high off the energy from the Women’s March. Her customers Saturday had been abuzz with an optimism that was contagious.
So she was especially cheery when she greeted White and his two friends. They chatted warmly. They told her they were from West Texas. White is a dentist and he complimented her on her smile. They were jovial and fun.
Harris admits that White was right. She did prejudge them, by instantly assuming they were in town for President Trump’s inauguration by appearance alone, even though by that point the signature red baseball cap had been tucked away.
When the men finished their meals White decided to leave Harris, a 25-year-old African American woman, a personal message on the receipt. Then, after he wrote it, he left a $450 tip on their $72.60 bill, which is a nearly 625 percent tip.
“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 $450 was a nod to Trump, the 45th president, White said in an interview, as a symbolic gesture that he hoped everyone could move forward together.
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.
Source: Washington Post | Colby Itkowitz