By Chinta Strausberg, Gary Crusader
The KFC officials in Munster, Indiana are on the hot seat for firing 20-year-old African American twins because a white female customer kept calling one of them the “N” word, resulting in one twin using a curse word.
Tracy Green, the mother of Alyiah and Aliese Green who once lived in Munster but now resides in Homewood, said she is looking for a lawyer and that her daughters are emotionally distraught and confused over being fired by KFC officials after a white female customer repeatedly called Alyiah the “N” word then bragged that she would get her fired.
The twin’s nightmare began on April 4, 2018 when Alyiah was working the KFC drive-thru. A white woman, whom Alyiah said always gives them a hard time in the morning, kept demanding her food.
They were short staffed that day and Alyiah told the woman it was coming. When Alyiah finally gave her a bag of food, she said, “The woman snatched it and threw the money at me, but when she started looking into her bag holding up a line of customers behind her, I asked her to kindly move up so I could serve the other customers.”
“She started cursing me calling me a “N” and saying Black people “always messing up her food.” Alyiah said the woman called her the “N” word so many times that she snapped and told her to “get the F out of the drive-thru.” When the woman said, “Excuse me,” Alyiah said, “Ma’am please get out of the drive-thru because we are very busy.”
The woman told her she would call the restaurant every day and demand that she be fired. She kept her word and two-days later, Alyiah said her regional manager, Karen Cox, fired her for cursing and would not answer Alyiah’s question—did she talk to the woman who hurled racial slurs at her or ask the customer to apologize?
According to Alyiah, after talking to the owner, Bryant Robertson, for two-hours, he allegedly told her, “I am not going to talk to anyone or ask them about their behavior. You got fired for cursing.”
Alyiah said Cox looked at the tape of the incident but did not talk to workers who witnessed the encounter. However, KFC is denying the racial confrontation. The tape did not have audio.
When Alyiah’s sister Aliese, asked Cox why did she fire her sister, she too was fired for raising the issue. Alyiah, who would have been working at this KFC for two-years this July, said, “I am so used to going to work. I know I should not have used the F word, but I was defending myself. She called me the “N” word so many time I couldn’t take it any more,” said Alyiah.
She was very upset when Cox called the police and one of the officers rushed at her as if he were going to arrest her. Alyiah said the other workers stepped up in front of her prompting the police to arrest them. “When the other policeman arrived, he didn’t understand what was the big issue,” recalled Alyiah. The twins called their mother and left the establishment.
The twins and their mother think it was wrong for KFC not to have spoken to the woman who used the “N” word and believe she should be banned from the restaurant. “It’s not fair to work in a place where management allows people to call you the “N” word and nothing happens to them. Yet, I’m fired for using a curse word. I didn’t deserve this,” said Alyiah.
In response to the allegation, KFC issued the following statement: “First, KFC does not tolerate discrimination of any kind, nor do we tolerate abuse of KFC team members or customers.
“We conducted a thorough investigation of this incident with the franchisee who owns this restaurant, and the team member did not report the use of a racial slur against her to her supervisors when the alleged incident occurred, nor when she was asked about it following the guest complaint. The franchisee also wasn’t able to confirm this allegation with other team members working.
“We understand from the team member that she used inappropriate language when addressing the guest, which was a violation of the franchisee’s company employee conduct policy. That is what led to her termination by the franchisee,” stated Lori Eberenz, spokesperson for KFC
However, when asked if KFC management spoke to and/or reprimanded the woman who called Ms. Green the “N” word, Eberenz did not respond.
Mrs. Green has filed discrimination complaints against KFC with the EEOC and the Illinois Human Rights Commission. She has reached out to a Black civil rights attorney. “I am not going to let this go,” she said. “My daughters are in college, and they are having a rough time emotionally getting over this racist incident.”