An interracial couple received a racist message on their valet ticket after dining at one of their favorite restaurants for a New Years Eve celebration. After enjoying what they said was a lovely meal at Spondivits Bar and Grill in East Point, Georgia, Sergeant Major Sam Aarons and his wife Candea Aarons had their car pulled around by the valet and started their drive home to Columbus, Georgia. Upon inspecting the valet ticket left on their key chain however, they saw that the valet had scrawled the derogatory term “Jungle Fever” across the face of the ticket as a description of the couple. They were outraged and shocked. Both Spondivits and their valet service contractor Advance Parking Solutions have responded with statements stating that they do not tolerate racial speak of any kind on their property.
APS says the valet driver was fired less than 12 hours after the incident was reported and Spondivits was quick to offer a free meal, but the Aarons say there is nothing that can help clear the shock they felt when they saw the message. APS went on to say in a statement that drivers often write small notes on the tickets to help them remember which keys belong to which drivers and that the ticket is usually removed before the keys are given back to their owners. The Aarons feel that the practice may be common but this driver went out of his way to deliver the slur.
Spondivits owner and chef Glenn Gagne disputed the valets intention of insulting the couple, but acknowledges that the behavior is unacceptable no matter what the idea behind it may be. In this case two poor decisions have cost the employee, who has not been identified, to lose his job. The fact remains that the interracial couple received a racist message on their valet ticket. Ms. Aarons insists that the attendant fully intended to insult her and her husband and wrote the note with that specific intention. They feel the firing does little to ease their shock and they are disappointed that such ugly attitudes persist into 2014.
Sam Aarons, who recently returned from a tour in Kuwait, recalls the driver was very courteous, opening the car door for Candea and bidding them both a good night. After giving a generous tip and driving away, they discovered that the ticket was still attached to the key ring, the boldly written insult impossible to miss. The interracial couple says that by bringing media attention to the incident they hope to make people realize that you cannot say hurtful things about others and expect to get away scot-free. The Aarons say they are disappointed that Spondivits has not offered any further apology beyond the declined free meal and want to stress the unacceptable nature of this incident. The interracial couple received a racist message on their valet ticket and they want everyone to know that such things are nothing more than ignorant crimes that only serve to prolong such baseless, spiteful actions.
By Daniel O’Brien