Most news stories about restaurant receipts that go viral usually go viral for reasons of outrage. You’ve seen them before: Stories where the server is accused of harboring racist tendencies, or stories where patrons didn’t tip a waitress because of her skin color.
However, one recent receipt story from inauguration weekend has a more uplifting end.
Jason White, a Donald Trump supporter from Lubbock, left a hefty tip on top of his $72.60 bill Monday morning when he and some friends stopped in at Washington, D.C., cultural hub Busboys and Poets. A $450 tip.
The 37-year-old White told the Washington Post he figured he and his friends stuck out among other patrons when he saw all of the social justice-themed artwork on the walls of the restaurant, which also doubles as a bookstore and events space. He put his red “Make America Great Again” cap away before he placed his order.
White’s waitress, 25-year-old Rosalynd Harris, said she came to work that day still feeling energized from the Women’s March that weekend. While she admits she did prejudge White, immediately assuming he was in town for the inauguration solely based on his appearance, the exchange between Harris and White and his friends was “jovial and fun.” A dentist, White complimented Harris’ smile.
When it came time for the check, White tacked on a $450 tip, meant as a nod to Donald Trump, America’s 45th president. He also left a note:
“We may come from different cultures and may disagree on certain issues, but if everyone would share their smile and kindness like your beautiful smile, our country will come together as one people. Not race. Not gender. Just American. God Bless!”
Harris (who is black) said she was overwhelmed by White’s (who is white) generosity. A professional dancer, she told the Post she started waitressing about a year-and-a-half ago to help pay bills.
“It’s a huge weight off my shoulders,” she told the Post. “You automatically assume if someone supports Trump that they have ideas about you, but [the customer was] more embracing than even some of my more liberal friends, and there was a real authenticity in our exchange. This definitely reshaped my perspective. Republican, Democrat, liberal are all subcategories to what we are experiencing. It instills a lot of hope.”
As for White, he told the Post that he was so profoundly moved by everything he saw on Inauguration weekend, including the Women’s March, that he wanted to do something to show that Americans have more in common that not.
“We have to think about being better Americans, we have to look into ourselves and how we treat one another,” he told the Post. “If everyone did a little something to show respect…we can love one another. As I sat there I thought about the entire weekend and I thought I don’t know her, she doesn’t know me, but if most Americans have a preconceived perception about people then we’re never going to get better.”