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Waitress loses job at Santa Maria diner after rant on social media

Posted at 6:10 PM, Oct 23, 2018

A Snapchat video made by a waitress in Santa Maria that criticizes some Hispanic customers is circulating on social media. Now, members of the community are sounding off on the Santa Maria Black Bear Diner restaurant’s Facebook page and other forums to share what they call disgust for the woman’s comments.

The waitress starts off her Snapchat rant saying “no offense”, but people were offended.

“I hope no one takes offense to this, I’m just speaking about my day. So, working in the restaurant in the business a lot of you know that Hispanic culture does not tip very. Well, there’s a certain section in my work that is made for bigger tables to sit at which majority of the time is Hispanic people. Of course I got stuck back in Tijuana today and made barely any money,” the woman says.

The video was seen by thousands of people after a version of it was posted to YouTube.

Vanessa Popoca-Espinoza, the daughter of a migrant worker who came to California with nothing, says she sympathizes with the family referred to in the video.

“I don’t know why she targeted our race specifically because there’s a lot of people that don’t tip well even when they have good financial means, a lot of people that go into field work and don’t make a lot of money. That little bit that they do have to take their kids and families out to a fancy restaurant like Black Bear Diner is something of luxury. So if they do have that little dollar or 50 cents or however that person saw it, that is the most they can give,” Popoca-Espinoza said.

The owners of the Santa Maria Black Bear Diner sent us a statement which reads: “We are very disappointed and concerned to hear these highly offensive comments made by one of our former employees. These comments were the employee’s own statements and in no way represents our values or how we treat and value our guests at Black Bear Diner. Our understanding is the video of the offensive comments was taken down shortly after being posted. As a result of these comments this individual is no longer employed at our restaurant.”

While it’s possible the woman in the video never intended on her Snapchat story being publicized, attorney Joshua Lazar says it’s a harsh reminder of how social media posts can come back to haunt you.

“This is a good lesson for everybody. When you put something out in the world there can be ramifications for your actions whether intended or unintended and nothing is really private,” he said.

The woman in the video tells KSBY she is not a racist and never intended to hurt anyone.