A Houston restaurant owner has resigned after being called out for referring to his former general manager as a "n****r" in texts.
Yahoo reports Domo Schneckenburg, a Black woman, had been the general manager for two years at two separate Pho Shack locations in Houston when she decided to quit.
Schneckenburg said she was at one of the locations last Friday when she called Danh Le, one of the chain's owners, and announced that she would no longer be working for the restaurant.
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Schneckenburg says the conversation was calm and professional over the phone, but she soon received upsetting text messages. Le included his former GM in a group chat in which he referred to her as a "n****r" and a "b***h."
"F**k the n****r," Le wrote, in screenshotted messages that Schneckenburg provided to the Houston Chronicle. "Don't like that b***h attitude anyways."
Schneckenburg immediately responded with laughter, writing, "Lmaooooo thank you."
Le followed up by asking her to leave her key with another employee if she wanted to receive her last check. "Close tonight out correctly and professionally," he added.
"The n****r says f*** you," she responded.
Schneckenburg says that the messages weren't the first time management had used the slur around her. The 26-year-old said she had previously requested they not use the word in front of her as it makes her uncomfortable.
For the most part, she says, they obliged.
“When I got the text, I was extremely hurt and angry and I flipped a table over,” Schneckenburg told Yahoo Lifestyle. “I also called a staff meeting because I wanted everyone to know what the owner thinks of me.”
Le reportedly called the police later that night, telling the authorities a hostile employee flipped tables and broke glasses. He didn't press charges, and Schneckenburg refuted his account of events, saying she did not cause significant damage by flipping over one table and had not retaliated in any other fashion.
Schneckenburg shared her account on Facebook that night, writing, "It was a rude awakening that the stereotypes between Black and Asians are still true, new generation or not. Regardless of how long you have known them, how hard you have worked, how trustworthy you have been, whether or not the family knows you, etc. You’re still a n****r in their eyes."
The next day, Le reportedly received threatening phone calls. He told police he feared for the safety of his family and his establishment. Again, Le declined to press charges and did not state who made the calls.
Hearing about this, Schneckenburg took to Facebook to discourage people from making threats and leaving negative Yelp reviews.
A few days later, Le announced his decision to resign in a now-deleted post on the company's Facebook page.
“This is Danh Le. I am here today to apologize for my actions and behavior," he wrote. "I understand your anger towards me and I don’t deserve or expect forgiveness. This is the biggest lesson of my life as I know now how much words can hurt."
The former restaurateur also said he'd grown up using the word "n****r" but promised to stop using the slur, even in private.
“I have apologized to Domo, my Black employees, and my brother and co-owner, who want nothing to do with me,” Le added. “I am very, very sorry and I will never do this again.”
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