Scamming Sympathy

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On September 7, Toni Christina Jenkins was working her shift at a Franklin, Tennessee Red Lobster restaurant and got quite a shock when her customer, 20-year-old Devin Barnes, left her a scrawled note on his receipt: under “Tip”, he wrote “none”. And under “Total”? “Nigger.” Jenkins snapped a photo and posted it to Ye Olde Book of Face…

"This is what I got as a tip last night...so happy to live in the proud southern states..God Bless America, land of the free and home of the low class racists of Tennessee," Jenkins wrote.
“This is what I got as a tip last night…so happy to live in the proud southern states..God Bless America, land of the free and home of the low class racists of Tennessee,” Jenkins wrote.

There’s just one problem…well, actually, no, there are SEVERAL problems. First, Barnes claims he did nothing of the sort and went so far as to have his lawyer hire handwriting experts to analyze the note.

Barnes’ attorney and pastor, Richard Dugger, hired Thomas Vastrick, an independent handwriting expert who has worked as a specialist for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, to compare the receipt to writing samples provided by Barnes and his wife.

Vastrick determined that it was “more likely than not” that whoever wrote “none” was not the same person who wrote the racist word.

“There is evidence to indicate that Devin Barnes (K-1) did not write the Total entry on Exhibit Q-1,” he concluded.

A second handwriting analysis was performed, independent of Dugger and Barnes.

“I believe within a reasonable degree of certainty that the waitress actually wrote the word,” said forensic handwriting expert Bob Baier, who examined a sample of writing taken from the waitress’ Facebook account for TheDCNF.

“If you look at the g’s, the e’s, the r’s, they match up,” said Baier. “Those are the most unique writing habits she had.”

Baier did caution that a stronger analysis could be undertaken with a larger sample of Jenkins’ handwriting, as well as original copies.

Secondly, when she posted it, Barnes’ name was unredacted and he’s received death threats.

Barnes’ name was on the guest check.  He told News 2 his life has been turned upside since the picture was posted and he has received death threats from all over the world.

He says he was wrongly labeled a racist by people who don’t know him and who don’t have any proof.

Barnes said, “A lot of people on the Internet who I don’t know are calling me a racist and I’m thinking people have their own opinion but I know I am not a racist. I don’t see color. I have many mixed color friends.”

Barnes says he’s also had to change his bank information and obtain new credit cards.

Barnes told News 2 he’s confused and upset but taking it “day by day.”  “No one should go through this at all,” he added.

And thirdly, Jenkins has now collected over $10,000 from rubes who bought her story. Read the rest of this entry »


Peanut Butter Jelly Crime

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Did you know sandwiches are racist? Yep. If you are anything but the whitest of lily-white caucasian crackafaces, you shouldn’t be touching that delicious meat/vegetable/preserve between two slices of white/wheat/whole grain. Because oppression and stuff. So saith Verenice Gutierrez, principal at Harvey Scott K-8 School in Portland, Oregon:

Verenice Gutierrez picks up on the subtle language of racism every day.

Take the peanut butter sandwich, a seemingly innocent example a teacher used in a lesson last school year.

“What about Somali or Hispanic students, who might not eat sandwiches?” says Gutierrez, principal at Harvey Scott K-8 School, a diverse school of 500 students in Northeast Portland’s Cully neighborhood.

“Another way would be to say: ‘Americans eat peanut butter and jelly, do you have anything like that?’ Let them tell you. Maybe they eat torta. Or pita.”

“Somali”…that’s oddly specific. Lot of Somali students in Portland, are there?

Call me crazy, but I don't think these guys would turn down a meal just because it contained Jif instead of Nutella.
Call me crazy, but I don’t think these guys would turn down a snack just because it contained Jif instead of Nutella.

Regardless, the whole idea that a sandwich in and of itself is racist is patently ridiculous. If a school in Mexico uses a fajita or enchilada or taco or burrito as an illustrative tool, should it be considered racist if there’s a caucasian student in the class? Never mind that a good chunk of Mexico’s ruling class is, in actuality, of European descent and therefore whiter than even my Dutch-Irish-German behind (thanks to that little sliver of Muscogee in my family). How about if one of those Hispanic students went to the Mediterranean…how dare this Greek classroom talk about pita when all this child knows is tortilla?! Read the rest of this entry »