A black barista in Australia recently had to deal with a terrible customer.
Josie Ajak, a South-Sudanese woman, is a shift supervisor at Gloria Jean's Coffees in Cairns, Queensland, Buzzfeed reports.
About two weeks ago, when Ajak was working, a white woman came into the coffee shop and told her she "refused to be served by a black person," Ajak told the site.
“[The woman said] 'Get me a white lady,'" Ajak told BuzzFeed. "[I told her] 'that’s fine,' with a smile, and she moved aside, waiting for a white person. I told my staff that she is racist and that we won’t be serving her, while I continued serving other customers with a smile."
Later that day, Ajak's friend and co-worker Jade Arevalo posted the incident on Facebook.
"To the woman who recently visited Gloria Jeans in Central for coffee and refused to be served by Josie because of the colour of her skin; you're lucky she didn't shit in your pie like that woman did in 'The Help,'" she wrote on Facebook.
"Josie is one of the most kind and friendly people you could meet but irrespective of her character, she did not deserve to be excluded like this."
The post, which went viral, lead to the hashtag movement #buyacoffeefromjosie — encouraging customers to buy a beverage from Ajak to show support.
The coffee shop even put up a #buyacoffeefromjosie banner in the store and made a statement after Ajak's encounter with the customer, saying how grateful they were for Josie's supporters.
"A heroine in this situation was a customer by the name of Stacey who openly supported and stood up for our employee," they wrote on their Facebook page.
"The employees on shift were very young and shocked however refused to serve this customer, showing their maturity and zero tolerance for racism. The customer who displayed this conduct will not be served/tolerated in our store."
On her own Facebook page, Ajak responded with words of wisdom.
“Regardless of which colour, gender, age, size, and shape you are, we are all deserving of love and should be treated accordingly,” Ajak wrote.
"To everybody who has ever been refused service because of their skin colour, this is for you. There is absolutely no room for racism anywhere in the world!"
I would like to thank every kind soul who has shown me love and support since I was the target of racial discrimination last week. I have been inundated with so many beautiful messages from both friends and complete strangers that have left me feeling so blessed to be who I am. I never in a million years thought that the response would be so great and encourage you all to continue to spread this message. Regardless of which colour, gender, age, size, and shape you are, we are all deserving of love and should be treated accordingly. To everybody who has ever been refused service because of their skin colour, this is for you. There is absolutely no room for racism anywhere in the world! To everyone who has kindly planned to visit me at work, I will be on shift on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and welcome you to share a drink with me. Otherwise thank you all for supporting me and the #buyadrinkfromjosie anti-racism cause. 😘😘
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