Shaun King: Why I’ll Never Go To Waffle House Again


Today is one of those days where I have several different important stories about injustice in America to share so I am going to jump right in.

Let’s start with Waffle House.

As you may know, Black folk make Waffle House. We don’t have them here in New York, but when I lived in Atlanta, as unhealthy as it was, my family and I loved going. We had one close to our home and went several times a year.

I’m never going back there again. Ever. I’m not negotiating. I’m not boycotting with an expected outcome. I’ll never go back. They could come out tomorrow with some brilliant plan – it’s too little, too late.

Earlier this year, as you may have seen, a young woman was assaulted and arrested by police there. Last month, a young man, in a full tuxedo on prom night, was brutally assaulted and choked by police there. And it’s just happened again. Employees at The Waffle House continue to call the police on black customers knowing good and well what’s going to happen as a result.

This weekend, a Black couple placed a to-go order at The Waffle House in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. When they got the receipt, they noticed that the orange juice was $2.50 instead of a $1.00 – as it is listed on the menu. When they disputed the charge, which is just a $1.50 difference, and asked to call customer service about it, the store manager called the police.

When the police got there, they arrested the couple for theft and trespassing.

Here’s what’s wild – the Black couple never even received the food. They didn’t eat the food and refuse to pay – they never received it in the first place. And their money for the meal was actually on the counter, they just didn’t want to be overcharged for the orange juice. After arresting and assaulting the couple, police later dropped the charges once they accepted that no actual crime had even been committed.

Listen to me. Don’t you dare go back to Waffle House. Either make your own damn breakfast or find a Black owned establishment to go to, but patronize this company again. They don’t value us. They don’t value our business. And when they call the police on people over a $1.50 mischarge for orange juice, they know good and well that those police are going to arrest and brutalize those black customers.

Some of my friends are having a protest at Waffle House headquarters in Georgia on Friday, and I support that, but whether you protest or not, just don’t go back. We have to use our buying power in smarter ways moving forward.

I want to switch gears for a moment talk about something truly despicable going on in this country. The tendency is for us to believe that immigration issues in this country have nothing to do with us, but I want to quickly correct that and unpack why we need to be vocal and outraged about the widespread mistreatment of immigrants and refugees in this country.

First off, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Whether immigrants are Black or not is beside the point. What Trump is doing right now, separating immigrant children from their parents, sometimes sending the children thousands of miles away to prison like detention centers, is despicable. It’s grossly inhumane. And they are only doing it because they want to ruin the lives of immigrants and make it so hard for them to enter the country that other immigrant families get word and never try to enter the country again.

But I want to make three quick points.

First – this whole system is driven by white supremacy and bigotry and is truly just an expansion of the systems of mass incarceration. This is all about locking up and criminalizing more people of color. Donald Trump doesn’t have a problem with immigrants. His grandparents were immigrants. He’s married to an immigrant. His first wife was an immigrant. His problem isn’t with immigrants – it’s with immigrants of color.

Secondly, many of the immigrant families being separated are actually Black. A huge percentage of American immigrants are from Africa and the Caribbean. This shouldn’t be the only reason we care, but don’t think this isn’t about us.

Lastly, and I’ll close with this – we have plenty of injustices of our own to fight against, but at the end of their lives, Dr. King, Malcolm X, and Fred Hampton of the Black Panther Party – all three of them came to understand that it was not just smart, but right, for us to form alliances with other oppressed people groups. And let me tell you who else understood how powerful such alliances could be – the federal government – which did everything they could to break up such partnerships.

Even if all you’re doing right now is reading, researching, and sharing articles about your concerns about this issue on social media, do that, be outraged, and let’s figure out some smart ways to help.





22 thoughts on “Shaun King: Why I’ll Never Go To Waffle House Again

    • Chris on said:

      BAW – don’t listen to a damn thing Mac Daddy has to say. He is a house ninja, coon dancing Uncle Tom who doesn’t give a DAMN about Black People! He’s got mommy issues and is on this site every day spewing his hate for Black People

  1. Chris Mason on said:

    This is the same artery clogging food that causes obesity, heart disease and DEATH!! Three more reasons to stay the hell away from the Waffle House!!

    • alicia samuel on said:

      I recently went to the Waffle House for the very first time in Orlando or close to Orlando, so a family friend wanted to go so I stated all right. I wanted to know what’s the big deal about the Waffle House what is so good about it. I ordered for me and my son so I as I wait and see them cooking the food after I received my order and all I taste was grease everything was greasy. I started looking about and looking how they cook the food and I was wondering what are they pouring on the food and it was oil I said omg that’s why the food is greasy and tastes like oil and I said to myself I wasn’t going back ever before Shawn King stated it; It’s going clogged black folks arteries and make you sick why are we going crazy over this greasy nasty food why we can make our breakfast food better and it’s tastes better. They don’t want you there why still go. Why wake up black people stop going to places don’t value us. Stop going there why yall come on. we can do this.

    • Lydia Bell on said:

      Mac Daddy there’s nothing you can do about you and other people IGNORANCE when IGNORANCE means to IGNORE. LlSTEN TO WHAT IS BEING SAID!!! IT IS NOT ABOUT HIM BUT THE MISTREATMENT OF OTHERS. Funny thing is, if it happen to you or anyone in your family you probably be looking for a Shaun King. Wake up!!!!

    • jhuff on said:

      There mostly in the south however there are 16 in Pa considering the size of your state you could go a life time and never see one, by contrast Ga has nearly 400

  2. Darlene Gay-Allen on said:

    I turned around after a protest at Waffle House in Saraland, AL seeing a Black family in the parking lot and wondering if something was wrong, They were out of town and aware of the protest and most of all the same restaurant where Chikesia Clemons was subjected to improper procedure by a Saraland Police that have tons of report from Black citizens down through the years concerning the police brutality and improper procedures that I addressed when speaking to the Chief, Officers and mayor concerning the handling of this young lady. A school took kids to Waffle House after this and the young kids was turned away until a parent called their Corporate Office who addressed in fear that it would get out. Why were they taken there to patronize them anyway? Why did the lady go to Waffle House after Chikesia situation and the kids killed in Waffle House without any acknowledgement from Waffle House as a public apology? Why did the lady go to Waffle House after all of this in North Alabama and video the Manager threatening them and not allowing Blacks to come inside the establishment? Why did the kid after the prom go to Waffle House and got choked out by police when they too were aware of the employees going to called the police and knows what will take place? Why did this couple go to Waffle House in Fort Walton Beach, FL and got arrested for not agreeing on the price of orange juice? It is not just Waffle House in Saraland, AL! STAY OUT OF WAFFLE HOUSE ANY LOCATION, PLEASE!

  3. A.E. on said:

    Also, we have thousands of people here in Nashville wearing the Waffle House spred the love t-shirts because they said the proceeds go to the family. How do we know that??? and why provide free advertisement supporting Waffle House when it’s obvious love is not what is being spred around there. #justsaying

  4. S.D. on said:

    Affect them where they are effected the most……in their pockets. Remember the bus boycott my people. We have got to stop being disrespected and disregarded yet continuing to give them our dollars. When we had to support one another, we did it. Let’s join and do it now because we want to.

  5. Justbeingme on said:

    I agree and also black people make most of these white owned business wealthy from clothes to food. But they seem to still discriminate against us. But they will take your money. Yes we need to hit them in there pockets and stop patronizing there businesses . I’ve never eaten in a Waffle House or a Starbucks either and I will never spend my money in any of there franchises. Yes boycott it is important as people of color to come to gether to get the respect and equality that we deserve.

  6. johnsondarlene66 on said:


  7. Waffle House seems to have a serious problem with folks of Color.

    Civil Rights icon, Rosa Parks SHUT-DOWN an entire bus company due to her REFUSING to give up her seat to some white man.

    If a business does not RESPECT us–fuck them!!!!!!!!!!!
    They SIMPLY GET NONE OF OUR DAMN $$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    That’s how you deal with the UGLINESS in good ole Amerykah!!!!!!!!!!!!

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