Sama’s Café and Market Middlebury-DO...

Sama’s Café and Market Middlebury-DON"T GO RACISTS

Posted in the Middlebury Forum

Chris

Middlebury, VT

#1 Jul 29, 2012
Dear Friends and Colleagues:
On a recent Sunday morning, I ventured into Sama’s Café, a brown swanky log cabin-style eatery and market in Middlebury, Vermont. Moreover, I bought a copy of the New York Times and a cup of coffee for some early morning reading---which is rather typical for a Middlebury student looking to unwind after a heavy load of academic exercise during the week. In addition, I left my books as well as a few items on the table, including my (copy of the New York Times and a cup of coffee—from the restaurant, in a “Ceramic coffee cup”). Additionally, I went to use the restroom (with emphasis:“in the restaurant”) for a few seconds only to discover that my items were then thrown in the trash like yesterday’s garbage pick-up.
Frankly, it was as if I never existed; thus one would only imagine that my presence,(for me, that is) appeared to be quite unsettling for the good oh folks at Sama’s Café and Market. Now, here comes the more interesting part: I confronted the manager (Marie Hayat- I believe) regarding this predicament and literally expected to be treated like a human being; indeed, what is one to think otherwise? Sorry to disappoint, but that “humanistic quality” was certainly not reflected in her tone and demeanor regarding the situation at hand.
I often reflect on my admiration for the local feel of Vermont: the rolling green hills, vibrant family-style stores and the sentiment of personal hospitality that is often quintessential for Middlebury living. Sadly, I received just the opposite—it was as if I had flashed back into the Civil Rights, 1960’s Woolworth lunch counter. I was treated with the upmost disrespect, not only as a student, but also as a male who really questioned the aggressiveness of their response, precisely when something as small as replacing my coffee and newspaper would had been sufficient. The key is, I think, is that we must remind storeowners of their loyalty to its customers, regardless of race, religion, gender or ethnicity. And, as tax-paying citizens, I feel it necessary that I speak out and continue in my efforts until justice is served— that is, through organizing, networks on and off-campus until the community is made aware of such wrongdoing.

I’ve never been treated with such disrespect in all of my days, and I certainly won’t forget that I was treated as such at Sama’s Café and Market, in Middlebury.

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