Today in People Are Horrible, comedian Kamau Bell was accused of pan-handling from his own wife and her friends because he is black and she is white. Stereotypes, come on down!
Earlier this week, Bell went to a restaurant called Elmwood Cafe in Berkeley, California for a birthday breakfast with his wife, Dr. Melissa Hudson Bell, Ph.D. Then he left and she met up with a group of friends for lunch at the same restaurant. Meanwhile Kamau was down the street typing away at another restaurant until he decided to leave, buy a book, The Case For Loving, at a nearby bookstore and return to Elmwood to meet his wife and friends. Here's what happened next, according to Bell's blog. Prepare to be furious.
1. After buying the book and deciding not to get a bag for the book, I walk to the Elmwood Cafe.
2. I see my wife and her new mom friends all happily chatting and holding their babies while sitting at an outside table. It struck me how well my wife fit in with these new friends. (And not just because they were all white… although I think that may have made a difference to you.)
3. I walk over to them. My wife introduces me to them.
4. One of them asks about the book I am holding.
5. I show her the book.
6. Seconds later there is a loud series of knocks on the window of the Elmwood Cafe. They are coming from the inside of the restaurant.
7. I look up and see one of your employees staring daggers at me.
8. The employee then jerks her head to her left aggressively and I see her mouth say something to the effect of…
Bell writes that he felt like a dog being punished—except he's ass grown man standing 6'4" and 250 lbs. The waitress assumed, because he was black and his wife and friends were white, that he was either begging for change or trying to sell random wares to strangers inside Elmwood.
Big mistake. Huge.
Bell's wife was furious and told the waitress what's what to which the staffer offered a milquetoast apology.
"Oh, we thought you were selling something."
The waitress probably regrets this comment now because people are calling for a full boycott of the restaurant (not endorsed by Bell).
Then the Elmwood management learned about this giant, rude and racism flub and offered to have a "public" chat about the incident, I assume to avoid being boycotted.
It remains to be seen what will come of this talk, but as a Bay Area girl, I'm staying clear of Elmwood Cafe when I go home. Thank god this didn't happen at La Note.
Image via wkamaubell.com.