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A coffee shop owner in San Francisco fired her own husband after he repeated a racial slur during an argument.
“I want to tell you about a difficult and personal situation that is happening at my company, Ritual Coffee. Last week, I terminated my husband, John Rinaldi, from working at Ritual on a freelance project and from doing any future work in any capacity at Ritual,” Eileen Rinaldi, owner of Ritual Coffee, wrote in an Instagram post on Tuesday.
“Words have power — and the word he repeated is undoubtedly racist and harmful,” she continued in her post. “To me, it means hate and dehumanization. I am thinking about and gutted by the unimaginable pain, anger, and trauma this word has caused throughout history and in every moment a white person uses it.”
The message came in response to her husband having an argument with a customer, who is black, over a parking spot outside the company’s warehouse and "made the horrible mistake of repeating the racial slur."
John Rinaldi, who was working on a construction project for the company’s warehouse in a freelance capacity at the time, also confirmed the incident, saying that he has apologized for using the slur.
“[He] asked me and I quote: ‘What’s your name, b**** a** n****?' To which I, unfortunately, replied, ‘Yup, that’s my name. B**** a** n****,’” he said of the argument. “This was an unfortunate incident over a parking spot. I have apologized for repeating the derogatory word that was shouted at me. A word I never, ever use.”
Eileen Rinaldi said she and managers also called every employee after the argument to “let them know that I’m welcoming and wanting to talk.”
“Staff have shared with me that they are really happy with the results we have seen from our work, especially over the past year,” she wrote in an email.
In her Instagram post, Eileen Rinaldi emphasized that she’s committed to providing customers with an “anti-racist, inclusive and equitable” place for coffee.
“And I embrace that this work has no closure,” she said. “We need to work on it every month and year and for the life of the business.”
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Original Author: Emma Colton