Jason Wang, co-owner and CEO of Xi’an Famous Foods in New York City, posted a video to Facebook showing two customers shouting at two black employees with one throwing racial slurs.
The restaurant has around a dozen locations across Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn, but this incident occurred on Sunday at the 54th Street branch, where the two men yelled racist insults at the worker who happened to be black.
Identified by Gothamist as Ellon, the employee in the video said the unidentified customers were ticked off after he told them that the eatery doesn’t accept American Express.
“They basically told me that I was a representative of my race and that I make everyone look lazy,” Ellon said.
The manager, who is also black, then asked the men not to bring race into the situation.
That’s when they “started screaming the n-word as they walked toward the door,” Ellon said.
“There’s no reason to mention my blackness; it’s obvious if you look at me, it’s not like a burden,” he added, describing the men as tall and muscular, and one was white and the other was Asian.
In the video, which you can see in its entirety below, the disgusting duo can be heard taunting the employees, with one yelling: “Being lazy is part of your community,” and “black is not a racial slur sweetheart,” before shouting “F-ck you, n-gger.”
In the Facebook post on Wednesday, Wang said that he “personally would not have taken this as calmly as my staff did, and while there’s no ‘Yelp’ for me to give 1-stars to these two, I want to at least try to get some sense of justice by spreading awareness by highlighting how close racism still hits home.”
The two culprits have yet to be identified, but they are permanently banned from all Xi’an Famous Foods locations.
“It’s New York, you don’t think it’s going to happen, and then it actually happens,” Ellon said. “I mean do whatever you want, but saying things like that really hurt, you know?”
In a statement to Gothamist, the CEO of Xi’an Famous Foods said:
“I am a minority and have been subject to racist attacks growing up, but there’s no way for me to fathom the African-American experience, I can only try to relate to how painful these attacks are. Our company has no tolerance for this type of behavior. It was very shocking and painful for me to review this video and to imagine the what my employees felt at this time. I cried a few times while compiling this video at midnight, which while painful to watch, I felt the need to show people that these racist behaviors are not a thing of the past, and we must stay ever so vigilant to not fall back on dark times in these recent days. Regardless of what the grievances people have, they should have shown more respect for their fellow men and women and be aware of the shameful history of the n-word. These two are not welcome in any of my establishments, as our stores are places of tolerance, for all of my valued employees as well as my valued guests.“