The Social Justice War Is Coming

, , , , , | Working | May 15, 2018

(I’m taking my friend to see a popular superhero film with an African American lead character on opening night.)

Me: “Hi, I’ll take two adults for the next showing of [Film] please.”

Employee: “No.”

Me: “Oh… Uh, is it sold out? We can hang around and get tickets to the showing after this one.”

Employee: “No, it hasn’t sold out, but in case it does, those seats are saved for the people who this movie is actually for, to make sure they can see it tonight. This movie is for them, not us!”

(My friend and I exchange looks of complete confusion.)

Friend: “Excuse me?”

Employee: *sighs* “Of course you wouldn’t get it. This movie is very meaningful to African Americans! It’s the first time they’ve been the lead in a blockbuster superhero film! We’re white; this movie doesn’t mean anything to us, so the seats in that theater are reserved for the people who deserve it most after waiting so long to see themselves represented on screen. Pick another movie!”

(My friend and I are completely stunned and speechless. The employee then speaks to a customer that has come up behind us, who is African American.)

Employee: “Sir, are you here to see [Film]?”

Customer: “Yes, but I believe these two gentlemen were before me.”

Employee: “No, they’re still deciding what they want to see. How many tickets for you?”

Customer: “Oh, just me.”

(The employee takes the customer’s money and prints out the ticket, all while my friend and I are still rendered speechless by what we are seeing.)

Employee: “I’m so happy to hand you this ticket today. Please accept my apology that it took so long, and know that I sincerely hope it gets better for you all going forward.”

(The customer looks about as confused as my friend and I first were, but he accepts the ticket and walks off to the theater.)

Friend: “Yeah, I think you can get your manager, now.”

(The employee rolls his eyes, goes out back, and returns with a woman who identifies herself as the manager. I explain the situation to the manager, whose expression turns to one of shock and anger.)

Manager: “[Employee], please tell me that isn’t what actually happened.”

Employee: “Yes, it is what happened! This movie isn’t for us; it’s for the African Americans! They need this movie! They shouldn’t have to come in to a sold-out theater and have to wait for another showing for a movie that’s already many years overdue for them because a white person who this movie means nothing to is taking up a seat that should rightfully be theirs!”

Manager: *after a moment of taking in what she’s just heard* “Office.”

Employee: “Wait, what?”

(The manager just stares at the employee until he goes out back again. She then prints out our tickets without charging us and reaches under the desk and hands us each one free movie pass.)

Manager: “I’m so sorry that happened; treating our customers in that way is beyond unacceptable. Please accept my apologies, and my personal promise that you’ll never have any sort of issue with that particular employee in this establishment again.”

Me: “Oh, no, we didn’t get anyone in real serious trouble, did we?”

Manager: “Well, while I can’t get into specific detail, if anyone were to face consequences over this, I assure you that it would have been their own doing, not yours. Please enjoy your movie. I hope to see you again!”

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