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Racism In San Marcos

todayDecember 8, 2014 77

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By Allie Ibarra
News Reporter

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    Racism In San Marcos

The San Marcos-based Kobe Japanese Steakhouse restaurant. Photo by Reynaldo Leanos Jr.
The San Marcos-based Kobe Japanese Steakhouse restaurant. Photo by Reynaldo Leanos Jr.

A social media video explaining a recent experience with racism in San Marcos goes viral, reaching 102,000 views and counting.

Texas State University student Celeste Mejia went out to celebrate a friend’s new job position at Kobe Japanese Steakhouse in San Marcos, only to receive bad service and racist comments towards her friends, Mejia claimed.

Meija explained that when she went out with her two Hispanic friends and three black friends they all received questionable service from their waitress, who spoke negatively and openly about them to other customers in the restaurant.

Meija said the waitress ran one of her friends’ credit cards on a wrong tab and openly spoke about it to a couple sitting at the bar. The woman sitting at the bar turned to face Mejia’s table, she said, and targeted her black friends by making demeaning comments which escalated into racist comments. Mejia said she was surprised by what was said toward them.

“I’ve never felt that before,” said Mejia. “I’ve never had racism towards me. I think they could’ve handled the situation differently.”

Mejia said the manager requested they leave. She said the manager made excuses regarding the couples comments, like they were drunk.

There have been several comments made on social media aimed toward Mejia’s comparison of her experiences at Kobe Japanese Steakhouse and the issues in Ferguson, MO.

“Because of comments like that is what has those ideas in peoples heads,” said Mejia. “Those stem to be something more.”

Andrew Chen, Kobe Japanese Steakhouse manager, said he thought the entire situation and the video was blown out of proportion. Chen said he isn’t sure how it all started but asked both parties to stop and leave the establishment.

“I told them they need to leave, both of them had to leave,” said Chen. “And then Celeste [Meija] and her friends had already paid out, so I asked them to leave first. The couple sitting at the bar, I brought them their check [and] told them they had to leave as well. Celeste and her friends were waiting, sitting outside the door, so I felt like an issue was going to happen, so I told them to just wait a second, wait until they leave and then as soon as they leave I need you guys to leave the restaurant as well.”

Chen wants to clarify that race had nothing to do with asking both parties to leave. He said he asked both parties to leave because it was disrupting the other parties in the restaurant.

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