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IHOP manager thinks ‘Blacks don’t want to work’

Managers are more inclined to hire Latinos over Black applicants because many Latino applicants are bilingual, affording Latinos an unfair employment advantage

Compton Herald | IHOP

IHOP on Slauson. Photo: Google.

Not that simple; many variables play into Black unemployment in LA County, not the least of which is bilingualism

Editor’s Note: Journalist Jasmyne Cannick ignited a firestorm of dialogue on social media when she posted the following on April 10, 2017 at laprogressive.com

“So, I’m sitting in International House of Pancakes on Slauson [Avenue in South Los Angeles] when it dawns on me there are no Black employees. So I ask about that and I’m told there are only two Black people employed there out of the entire staff at the IHOP on Slauson and Western. Two! Meanwhile half of the patrons in here are Black.”

“The manager asked me how he was supposed to hire Black people if they don’t reply. To which I quipped, ‘so are you saying you have a problem with Blacks not applying to work at IHOP?'”

“The conversation ended with the manager telling me that yes, he thinks that is the problem and that if “they” meaning Blacks don’t apply, it’s because “they” don’t want to work.”

Editor’s 50 cent worth:

I simply don’t believe the manager’s hype. It’s ridiculous to stereotype an entire race of people as unwilling to earn their keep. What I believe is happening in South L.A. with respect to the hiring practices of banks, fast-food establishments, department stores, supermarkets, and other venues is that managers are more inclined to hire Latinos over Black applicants because many Latino applicants are bilingual a bonus for local public service enterprises. This hiring policy, however, affords Latinos an unfair employment advantage. From the point of view of the managers many of whom are Latino it makes sense to hire a bilingual applicant when Latinos outnumber every other ethnic demographic in L.A. County – some 4.9 million in a populace of 10 million. Not sure if the hiring practice is illegal. Not sure if it’s even discriminatory.

This issue should be addressed in the LA City Council, especially in the districts where most African-Americans are concentrated. Marqueece Dawson is the 8th District councilmember where the IHOP in question is located. This is a countywide problem and Black politicians have dropped the ball.

The Compton Herald will address the employment problem in a series of articles to call out politicians negligent in addressing the issue.

Here’s what others are saying about the matter and whether Black consumers should cease to patronize this particular IHOP:

Micah Carter: “I guess I don’t totally understand why anybody would necessarily care. To some extent, it’s kind of like walking into a church and asking why there are no atheists there… especially if they indeed have a couple. Would it mean that they are partially racist?”

Forrest Harrison: “I stopped eating there because of that.”

Michael Davis: “Well, how many ‘knee-grows’ do you know that have applied for a job there? I guess that would be a start on figuring out if there’s a problem with them hiring local Black folks.”

Jasmyne Cannick: “I need to find out if working at IHOP is a job Black people don’t want to do. If that’s the case, then I have nothing further to say on the matter.”

Donna Turner: “I don’t like being called a ‘knee-grow.’ That out of the way, were there any people of color (Asian, East Indian etc.)?”

Michael Carter: “I think about it though. White people are serving you at a mutually agreed upon price; now if they start giving customers some kind of discrimination based on their ethnicity or some other superficial inadvertent attribute, I would see that as being of even greater concern. My two cents.”

Kelvin Okuns: “A lot of IHOP jobs in Atlanta are packed with Black people. They are in a lot of stores and shops working. The issue is if management is of a certain race, nationality or culturally, there is a tendency to fill all other jobs with people they know.”

James Pederson: “Not necessarily true, Kelvin. Atlanta, Ga. Is a major hub for Blacks in America, as is the South in, general. Most of our race is concentrated there. So naturally, you’re going to see our race very visible in the workplace, including IHOP. The converse is true for Latinos in Los Angeles.”

Pam Richardson: “It’s like that everywhere I go; no Black employees anywhere. I keep saying there is ‘sanctuary’ for Latinos and Black people are left to eat from the dumpsters.”

TeRenna Rivera: “Well, what is the manager’s race? That will answer a lot of questions. No matter how many Blacks apply, they won’t get [the job], because the manager won’t hire them. Been there, done that.”

Derek Washington: People don’t get all weirded out by race. They know they’re getting called out

Serena Boykin: Never mind. I see it

Micah Carter: “Shouldn’t be eating IHOP anyway, menu’s overrated. Getting excited about a job at IHOP is the main problem.”

Jasmyne Cannick: “The manager straight up told me, my guest, and the folks watching and listening, that Black people don’t apply to work there and that if they don’t apply it’s because they don’t want to work. Yes, he said that.”

Patrick M Kelley: “My IHOP in Costa Mesa on has two White people that work there.”

Micah Carter: “Ahh…IHOP on Harbor [Boulevard] perhaps. In a sense, it also might say something that these White people seem to be willing to live and work in a predominantly Black neighborhood or area. At the same time what do you expect; the menu has things like eggs and toast, and All American Grand Slam…and slugger and all that nonsense.”

Elise Brown: “No Black employees. I noticed the same and stopped eating there. Unfortunately, this is my daily reality at CSULB’s University Relations & Development/Alumni Relations. I am the only Black person there. Systemic habit and practice to only hire people who look and think the way they do — all under the guise of ‘inclusivity, diversity, and equality.’ It is a farce … retiring soon!”

Roger Quinney: “Hey, I notice that two years ago — mostly Latino. The issues are just like IHOP, McDonald’s all the fast food restaurants; they do background checks as well random drug tests. Well, I’m generalizing [but] the brothers smoke weed. It’s sad but it’s reality. If the applicant can’t be bonded they can’t hire them.”

Nana Gyamfi: “Thanks for this info, Jasmyne Cannick. Seems pretty clear from what you’ve posted that the issue is the management’s racist ass(es). Black folks are working at other local eateries, including Simply Wholesome, Starbucks, Denny’s on Crenshaw, just as examples. Nah, there are no Black folks working at that IHOP because the management doesn’t want Black employees. They need to be put on blast.”

Kenny Brooks: “There are several industries where there are little to no Black People employed. But probably for the same reason you aren’t working there, other Black people feel the same.”

Stacey Brown: “A friend that lives in Vegas just enlightened me to the same thing. I was just there for our Annual Tennis Tournament weekend, you know, Rancho and the rest. You can’t count three blacks for every 100 non-Blacks working in the casinos or anywhere else for that matter, I said ‘you can’t.’ Glad I’m no gambler because I hate giving to those that blatantly don’t give back.”

Charles Henderson: “It’s much too late to change it now. In L.A., for every Black there are 10 Latinos. They can do just fine without us. They are now the majority.”

Rodney Church: “I hear and agree, in part, with everything that has been stated. For over 30 years I have worked hospitality & retail in L.A., mostly on the Westside — Beverly Hills, Century City, and Santa Monica. There was always a handful of us mixed in with a handful of ‘others’ — Asian, Latinos.”

Jaron Tayler: “Most of my Black peeps don’t want to work for minimum wage or in customer service jobs. Young peeps say it’s a waste of time. To get an accurate account here [regarding IHOP], one would need more facts …how many Blacks have applied? How many have been rejected? Almost any ‘hood I go to, I see Hispanics working. They are the majority and they [accept] these minimum wage service jobs. All of the busboys in restaurants I see are Hispanics. Same with fast food. But like I said, I talk to my peeps and they don’t want to work a minimum wage job and one that is in the service industry.”

Charles Henderson: “Hey, Jaron, your peeps are just a small fraction of Blacks who feel that way. The one thing I can say to any young Black person who may be reading this: Get a career that’s in demand, be as knowledgeable about your choice as you can be. After some time on the job begin to think about starting your own business in that same field. That’s always something to fall back on. Skill and expertise is what will give you an edge.”

Jaron Tayler: “Why not send someone in there to pose as an applicant and see. I’m sure you are right about this but you also can’t just make blanket statements without any real facts to back it up. How many have applied and how many have not been offered the job? Please provide facts and statistics to back up your claim. Was this manager Hispanic?”

Derwin Henderson: “I’ve had so many young people of color tell me, ‘I’m not working for anybody. I want to win my own business. I don’t work for people.’ That’s great, but you have to have a start. I guess the elder generation did all of their sweat and tears for nothing.”

Camille Wyatt: “Y’all need to stop eating [at this IHOP] until they hire Black workers. Trust me [Blacks] have applied for work.”

Crystal Johnson: “When the application goes into the trash and then [they] hire friends and family and they fill out application later, I’ve seen it many times. This is one of the reasons I stopped supporting many places. I even ask the fast food places, ‘where are the Black workers?’ And they then act like they don’t speak English.”

Compton Herald is a digital news publication providing clear, fair and current news, information and commentary about Compton, the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Los Angeles County, California, and the world.

  • Richard June 12, 2018

    I have done concrete work for 30 yrs.with the same non-union company. In those thirty years we have had 3 african americans apply for jobs. We hired all 3 , first one was shot in a drug deal , second worked for 2 weeks then stole $15000 worth of equipment and the third was a good guy but was the newly hired and one of the first to be let go when the economy tanked.On the flip side of that , there would be white and mexican guys waiting at our shop every morning looking for work. The post above is 100% correct , the black population is not interested in having a job , if i received more money for having more kids i would not want to work either.

  • Paula June 20, 2017

    How on Earth did you go from learning that few black people actually apply or call back for a job at IHOP to “he said they don’t want to work”? And how is being bilingual an “unfair” advantage?! It’s like saying being educated or qualified is “unfair” — It’s insulting.

    The sad reality is that people like me who hire know that black job seekers are simply not applying for, following up, or showing to interviews at anywhere near the rates of Latino, Asian, or white applicants. This isn’t a racist anecdote — My company has reams of data showing that black applicants simply aren’t pursuing available jobs at the same rate.

    Racism is ever-prevalent in hiring, of course, but we MUST acknowledge that 1) bilingual skills ARE important in this community now, 2) if you don’t apply, you won’t get the job, and 3) calling back to express interest or hustle is NOT optional when others are competing.

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