Black Army soldier responds to racist tirade at IHOP: ‘This is America’

Justin Vallejo
·2-min read
 (Facebook @Joé Jeffers Jr )
(Facebook @Joé Jeffers Jr )

Army soldier Joé Jeffers Jr says he forgives a woman who harassed him with a tirade of racial slurs at an IHOP in a video that went viral on TikTok.

Mr Jeffers posted the encounter at the pancake chain in Virginia where he was he was having lunch with friends on Monday.

The video shows Mr Jeffers remaining calm and professional as the woman allegedly called the group "lying, c***sucking N-words", before she turned to customers who tried to step in, saying: "Motherf****er, I will drop you. You wanna go? You wanna go?"

Mr Jeffers posted a reaction on Facebook to describe the interaction, which he said started politely but ended with him climbing over booths to get away from the woman.

"We pray it doesn't happen again, but wherever she is, if you're seeing this ma'am, it's okay. I forgive you. Let's just move on from this. Say 'no' to racism," he said, according to Newsweek.

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Mr Jeffers said the woman dropped off $6 at their table as a tip for their waitress while saying she supported the troops. She allegedly came back later and asked them to give her $30 – saying that was how much she had left – and when she was reminded that she only left $6, the tirade began.

Mr Jeffers said the IHOP manager told him the woman had done similar things at the restaurant on multiple occasions. 

A spokesperson for IHOP confirmed in a statement to The Independent that the incident occurred at their Lorton location on Monday, 19 April.

"IHOP and its franchisees do not condone the statements made by the guest in this video, and will not tolerate racism, bigotry or harassment of any kind," the statement said. "This isolated incident is not reflected of that ongoing commitment.”

Mr Jeffers said the moment made him angry, but that he was more sad than mad, as she “clearly needed help”.

"It was rough man, I've seen racist videos in the media all the time… Seeing it, the media is different, but when you actually encounter people who think less of you because of the colour of your skin ... This is America," he said. "But this is the country we serve and defend. These are the people we fight for."

Director of Public Affairs at Fort Belvoir, Joseph Richard, confirmed to Newsweek that a situation between four Black soldiers and an unidentified woman occurred at their local IHOP.

"We are committed to fostering an environment of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in our force," Mr Richard said.

"A view of the video will show the Soldiers maintained their composure and military bearing throughout this shocking incident, they are well trained and disciplined.”

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