N.M. man says Dunkin’ Donuts kicked him out for #waitingwhileblack
A university professor believes waiting in the shop while his car was being serviced was no big deal, but managers there wanted him out and he says it was because of his skin color
A Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant in New Mexico only gives its customers a limited amount of time to sit and sip their coffee, but an African American man says he was kicked out because of his race.
Timothy Nelson said that his car was getting fixed at a nearby mechanic’s so he decided to chill and grab a cup of Joe at the Santa Fe shop and wait. But an employee approached him and said that he would have to leave because of the store’s one-hour rule, KOB.com reports.
“It’s as if saying, ‘We don’t need your kind around here. We don’t need your stuff. We don’t need all that you’re bringing around here,’” Nelson said. “‘We don’t need it.'”
Nelson believes he was racially profiled and as a professor at the University of New Mexico, he’s using the hurtful experience as a teachable moment to his students.
“I get what it could look like if you thought I had bad intentions, but that’s where the problem is,” he said. “I don’t think I would have had a problem if I looked different or if I was wearing something different.”
As Dunkin’ Donuts works to restructure its business model, it has been under fire in the past few months over customer treatment.
Earlier in October, a Somali family in Portland, Me., reported that they were refused service for speaking in their native language at a Dunkin’ Donuts. The franchise owner has since come forward and offered an apology, Maine Public reports.
Hamdia Ahmed, says she and her family were waiting in a drive-thru for someone to take their order, but after they started speaking in their native language she said they were accused of yelling and refused service. Then she says they had the cops called on them.
In June, a sign posted in a Dunkin’ Donuts in Baltimore told customers to report any employees shouting in a language other than English. The franchisee of the store had the sign removed after customer complaints, WBAL-TV reported.
Also, in 2012, parent company Dunkin’ brands was sued for “systemic racial discrimination” by an African American New Jersey couple who accused the company of trying to steer them to open a franchise in poor areas, according to TheStreet.com.
Nelson said a conversation needs to be had about his treatment, especially in such a diverse area.
“I’m not complaining, but (at) this moment we need to talk about this,” he said. “This is New Mexico, bro. You know what I mean? It’s New Mexico.”
Company officials provided KOB with the following statement:
“Dunkin’ and our franchisees share a goal of creating a welcoming and hospitable restaurant environment and treating everyone with dignity and respect. We are aware of the incident that took place at the Dunkin’ location at 1085 S. Saint Francis Drive in Santa Fe.
“The franchisee who owns and operates the restaurant informs us that this incident resulted from a misunderstanding, and that she apologizes to the guest for the poor experience.”