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Ga. restaurant: No racism intended with 'jungle fever' valet ticket description

Interracial couple feel slighted by valet ticket description.
Interracial couple feel slighted by valet ticket description.

Shakespeare would say it is a case of "Much Ado About Nothing" and a Georgia restaurant would agree with him. But an interracial couple is saying that when they received their valet ticket attached to their car keys and it had "jungle fever" written on one side of it that it was a racial slur. Yahoo News reported on Jan. 4 that Candea and Sam Aarons went to eat at Spondivits on New Years Day when they encountered behavior that made them angry and determined to call national attention to it.

You can't just do things or say things people and think there are no repercussions behind it," Aaron said.

Spondivits' chef and overseer Glen Gagne sees it differently, which is why the restaurant didn't issue an apology to the couple. And he makes some good points. First, it was not a restaurant employee who allegedly left the valet ticket in the first place, despite the fact that the couple dined at his establishment in East Point. The restaurant does like many other restaurants do: they hire out the parking logistics for their customers to another company. In this case it was APS Valet. And so an APS Valet employee was to blame.

But Gagne says that isn't even accurate, since the valet company employees are always leaving descriptions of the people who leave them their keys, so they can remember who to return them to, since they don't put people's names on the valet tag. For instance, they might write "tall with blonde hair" or "male with beard" to help them remember to give the keys to the proper person.

The APS Valet employee who wrote "jungle fever" could not possibly be using that term to describe the physical attributes of his Spondivitis dining customers unless he was referring to race, according to Candea and Sam, since the term is used to label interracial couples. And that's why the valet company fired the employee right after it was brought to their attention, even offering to pay for another meal at the fine restaurant on behalf of the couple.

But the Aarons say that isn't enough, refusing the offer of a complimentary meal but not the firing of the man who offended them. They aren't saying what they think would be "enough" restitution for being slighted by someone who parked their car one night and described them in a way they didn't like.

Most people would have thought the man losing his job was enough of a retribution for using a racial slur. Others would have eagerly accepted the free meal as well. But it appears the Aarons may think they need more in addition to those two things. But what? And from whom?

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