On social media, those who supported Trump and those who would have rather had anyone else in power are locked in a bitter and brutal feud. But out in the real world, where people aren’t avatars but flesh and blood, things are often different. This was proved once again on Monday when a white Trump supporter in town for the inauguration left a black waitress a huge tip in order to remind her that we’re all in this together.
According to The Washington Post, Jason White and his friends walked into Busboys and Poets (a restaurant which promotes social justice) in D.C. on Monday morning for a bite to eat. When his friends saw the walls — which are adorned with African-American imagery — and the clientele, one told White that he might consider taking his “Make America Great Again,” hat off, because being a visible Trump supporter in the establishment could prove to be problematic. He put it away.
White’s waitress, Rosalynd Harris, agreed that the group stood out. And even though White wasn’t wearing the hat when she came up to their table, The Washington Post reports that she could tell that they didn’t belong. Still, White and Harris engaged in polite conversation, joking about his profession as a dentist; White even told Harris how nice her smile looked.
What White didn’t know is that Harris was in such a good mood because of the positive experience she’d had at the Women’s March on Saturday. She was “buzzing with energy” and that led to a positive interaction, despite the fact that Harris did assume the men were Trump supporters, even without any MAGA paraphernalia visible.
At the end of the meal, though, White did something that those fighting on social media — what with their cries of “libtard” and “regressive left” — wouldn’t expect: He left Harris a $450 tip. He also left a note.
From The Washington Post:
“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 amount of money White tipped was symbolic, too; it was “a nod to the 45th president” of this country. And it was a 625% tip on a $70 bill. White’s message, he said, was one of healing. He’s hoping that all Americans can unite and move forward. White’s actions were motivated by what he had seen in Washington, both the inauguration and the Women’s March. He had also spent time at Arlington National Cemetery.
“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.”
Harris, who is a professional dancer and waitressing to make ends meet, got the money when she needed it most. The tip, she said, was “a weight off her shoulders.” But it was also an important moment for both White and Harris.
“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.”
White’s act is just a calm patch in this raging sea of divisiveness, but we’re hoping to see more of these moments. It’s not enough for some of us to be “right” while making sure others know they are “wrong.” Unity is what’s most important as we head into the next four years. And if nothing else, the tip was a “lovely act of kindness,” as Poets and Busboys wrote on their Twitter account.