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Restaurants Social Experiment That Charges White Customers More Has Interesting Outcome

A restaurant owner in New Orleans tried a little social experiment to level the playing field when it comes to 'racial wealth disparity'. The owner of the pop-up establishment charged white customers more money, and passed on the extra cost to black customers.

The ironic twist is that black customers didn't want to take the entitlement.

Tunde Wey, the owner of the Nigerian eatery, offered white customers the opportunity to alleviate some of their white guilt. He announced that for the month of February, his food court pop-up, Roux Carre, would charge white customers more, and give the excess money to black customers.

“Give me 15 minutes and I’ll change your life," Wey said on an Instagram post announcing the initiative. If white customers agreed, they would be in for a 15-minute orientation/interview about the racial wealth disparity.

“We’re told that if you work hard you’ll become wealthy—and that’s not true,” said Wey, who claims white people have historically had access to tools to build wealth that has been denied to black people. “We want to provoke further thinking.”

After Wey delivered some statistics about the income gap between white families and black families, he would ask them questions about their own privilege.

"Have you ever inherited money or received gifts from family like a car, college tuition payments, or other high-value gifts?” customers were asked.

After getting grilled, white customers had two options: pay $12 for lunch, or pay $30 to attempt to balance the income gap. The additional $18 would be given to black patrons.

Wey said that some 78 percent of white customers agreed to pay the $30 price. He believes part of the reason so many customers agreed to pay him more is because he's black.

“Refusing to pay more comes off as anti-social and people don't want to be judged for that. People look on the other side of the till and see me standing there and they're thinking that I'm judging them.”

“If they couldn't pay a higher amount, they gave a me a list of caveats why they couldn't,” he said.

Some white customers refused to pay the higher amount on principle. One 'liberal fellow' told Wade he objected to the experiment.  

“He thought interpersonal interactions that discuss race and class actually distract from larger discussions and that the issue is best addressed by civic engagement and voting.”

The number of white customers willing to fork over an extra $18 for their meal wasn't that surprising. What seemed to surprise Wey is that nearly 76 percent of black people at his restaurant refused to take the extra money.

Some even attempted to pay the $30 for more needy families.

"No, it's not for you," Wey informed them.

Wey says the results of the experiment may have been flawed because his clientele generally earns well above the New Orleans median household income. While for the city the median income is about $39,000 per year, for his restaurant, diners earn a median income of $65,000.

This is likely due to why so many white people were willing and able to pay, while so many black people felt they didn't need to accept the money.

“A lot of the Black folks said, ‘I don’t need that money, give it to someone else who needs it,'" he explained.

Source: IJR
Photo: Instagram

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