It doesn’t take much to envision the sparks that would fly when a bunch of Trump-supporting cowboys interact with a very liberal black woman. But hold the stereotypes.
Even in the polarized moments of January 2017, when Jason White and his cowboy-hat-wearing pals friends from Texas sat in the liberal activist confines of a Washington, D.C., restaurant and were waited on by Women’s March participant Rosalynd Harris, it was possible to bridge the gulf pundits want Americans to think can never be spanned.
The visit to the restaurant became a national story because the Texans left Harris a $450 tip on an order that came to only $72.60.
They also left her a note.
“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. Not race. Not gender. Just American. God Bless!” the note said.
We rise by lifting others. A lovely act of kindness pic.twitter.com/S01SV3w8ts
— Busboys and Poets (@busboysandpoets) January 24, 2017
It wasn’t smooth sailing at first. The Texans felt a little out of step in the crowd at Busboys & Poets.
“We started getting looks. I told my friend, you need to take your hat off. I don’t want people to think we’re coming in here to flaunt our Trump stuff. We’re just coming here to have lunch,” White said, according to Today.
The Texans were in town for former President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Enter Harris. And people act like, well, people.
“She started laughing when we said we were from West Texas, and she said, ‘I can tell you’re from the South,'” White explained. “I said, ‘What’s your favorite thing on the menu?’ She said the avocado panini is delicious, and I love avocado, so I got that … It was a relief for both of us. This was just lunch.”
White said all the claptrap about people not getting along just went away in the moment.
“We interacted like regular human beings, not white, not black, not Trump supporter, not black waitress,” he said.
Harris said she enjoyed the breath of reality.
“You automatically assume if someone supports Trump that they have ideas about you,” she said, according to the Washington Post.
“But [the customer was] more embracing than even some of my more liberal friends, and there was a real authenticity in our exchange. This definitely reshaped my perspective. Republican, Democrat, liberal are all subcategories to what we are experiencing. It instills a lot of hope.”
“It was all intense. The note was extremely touching and unexpected, and then of course the biggest part was definitely the amount of the tip he left,” she said, Today reported.
The interaction received notice when it was shared on social media, but Harris said it was not a political collision, but a moment of human communication.
“This is being taken as a black-and-white situation, and it was more two people having an authentic moment,” she said.
White offered a similar comment.
“It’s not about me and her … I just want people to take the example, and stop and think a little bit before they judge people — on all sides,” he said.
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