Filipina waitress in U.S. shares first racist encounter

Don Kevin Hapal

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Filipina waitress in U.S. shares first racist encounter
Instead of tipping her, students write ‘build that wall, Trump daddy’ on the receipt’s tip column and ‘nah’ on another receipt

MANILA, Philippines – It was just going to be a normal day at work for Rachel Mau, a Filipino-American living in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

She had to take a double shift one Friday night because a large group of high school students came in to party. The next day, most kids had left and only 5 remained. Rachel waited for them.

But instead of tipping her, the students wrote, “Build that wall, Trump daddy” on the receipt’s tip column and “nah” on another receipt. 

During his campaign, Trump vowed to build a wall along the US border with Mexico and impose a minimum federal prison sentence of two years on any deported illegal migrant who attempted to return. He also said he would ask Mexicans to pay for the wall.

“I was pretty shocked and I didn’t know what to do. My feelings were hurt and I didnt know how to take it in at first. I’ve just kept thinking about it and it upsets me because they didn’t seem like they have a problem or anything,” Rachel told Rappler. “They were respectful the night before.”

Rachel has been working for IHOP for 4 to 5 years now, but it was the first time she’s ever encountered racism. 

“Usually we have a lot of older people that come in, and there’s also high school kids and they’re usually respectful – so that was my first time dealing with that and I didn’t really know how to react towards it,” she said.

Shocked, Rachel didn’t tell anyone about the incident and went straight home after work.

Currently a nursing student, Rachel said she doesn’t really get into politics and she didn’t even vote in the last election. But she’s been hearing a lot about incidents of racism and violence ever since Republican candidate Donald Trump was elected.

What happened to her really brought the issue to her attention more. “Trump being president-elect has really made a difference on how people treat others.”

Receipt rage

Reports of hostility toward minorities and immigrants have become widespread ever since Trump began his campaign. There have also been a lot of reports of similar “receipt rage” incidents where customers write hateful, sometimes racist, remarks on their receipts.

Asked if she’s scared, she said that she’s only now “scared for others.”

“I don’t personally feel too scared anymore because I realized how much support I had. But I’m scared for others and that’s why I wanted to put my story out there so that it would make a difference on how people treat others, no matter their race or what politics they support.”

After the story hit the news, one of the guys in the group came back to apologize to Rachel, which she was thankful for.

President-elect Trump has been heavily criticized for promoting racism and discrimination. 

During the campaign, Trump promised to deport millions of illegal immigrants, spawning a tsunami of fear among the undocumented.

In an interview with CBS, Trump said he was saddened to hear about the hate some of his supporters are hurling against minorities and told them to “stop it.” –

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Don Kevin Hapal

Don Kevin Hapal is Rappler’s Head of Data and Innovation. He started at Rappler as a digital communications specialist, then went on to lead Rappler’s Balikbayan section for overseas Filipinos. He was introduced to data journalism while writing and researching about social media, disinformation, and propaganda.