Wednesday, September 3, 2014

May's Counter Co-Owner Learns a Lesson About the Social Media Age

Posted By on Wed, Sep 3, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Just before the Labor Day holiday the internets exploded, OK, just a little, after all it was just the Arizona Daily Star's Facebook page. Reaction to a post on the child who was missing after an Aug. 27 carjacking, turned interesting when local restaurant owner John Foster of May's Counter made that mistake many out there have done before—shared their opinion. Gulp.

When we contacted Foster, since folks on the thread were talking a May's boycott, he responded that he learned a lesson on sharing his opinion on social media.

His opinion/reaction to the carjacking:

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When we contacted Foster, we explained that Tucson Weekly readers emailed us screen shots of the thread conversation. We wondered if he understood where they were coming from and if he was worried about May's, because many of us love his chicken and waffles and the grits and the po boy and ...

His response:

Got it. I am learning quickly about how important it is to think through a comment in any communication especially on social media. I certainly see how my comments could be taken the wrong way. Any assertion that I am or that my comments were racially motivated is completely false. My comments were based in emotion and were directed at the overwhelming amount of crime that stems from being a border town. I am from Tucson, born and raised here. I am from the west side by way of Tully Elementary, raised in El Rio Park, went to Tucson High and Sunnyside. I have had the benefit of growing up in the Mexican-American community. I was the minority most my life and was shown nothing but love. I am raising my children here with a beautiful Mexican American woman I might add, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I am not a racist ma'am. A concerned father and citizen who did not consider the implications of his choice of words spoken in a public forum? Yes for sure. In regards to Mays, I would like to believe Mays is one of the most racially diverse restaurants is Tucson. That was the intention when I crossed stereotypical racial lines to bring chicken and waffles to the city.

So, this has been a teachable moment for me and one that I won’t soon forget. I think the greatest thing I learned from this was to not paint things in such broad strokes and to be more compassionate for others. Lesson learned.

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