Dozens of marchers walked on the metro Atlanta national headquarters of all-night breakfast chain Waffle House today as part of an effort to bring light to the company’s treatment of its Black customers, according to reports.
The company has been in the hot seat due to several, nationally publicized incidents involving Black customers being arrested at the location.
Today, marchers took their issues to the company’s central office in Norcross, Georgia. The event was long planned and organizers say there could be more to follow.
One Waffle House customer, Chikesia Clemons, ended up arrested after she complained about a 50 cents charge for plastic eating utensils. Police officers who arrived on the scene threw her to the ground and her breasts were exposed in a recorded video that went viral.
The march’s organizers labeled the incident “sexual abuse”.
“This was not simply a brutal police beating; it’s sexual abuse. Chikesia was violated, humiliated, and then, like so many Black women before her, arrested and charged for her own assault”.
Organizers of the march also accuse the company engaged in an extreme homophobic act against a customer as well.
Just two weeks after Chikesia’s assault, Anthony Wall, a 22-year old gay Black man, was subjected to homophobic abuse from a Waffle House employee in Warsaw, North Carolina. Police arrived, violently assaulted and choked Anthony, and placed him under arrest. He, too, has been charged for his own assault.
According to the march’s Facebook event page, The Women’s March will be joined by the National Black Justice Coalition, Georgia Alliance for Social Justice, Alliance for Black Lives, Justice for Chikesia Clemons and Rally for Black Lives.
While Anthony Wall was fortunate enough to eventually get an apology from the Waffle House CEO, the company has otherwise stood by its employees when police were called in other incidents that Black folks who ended up in cuffs say were driven by racism.