Right now the nation is staunchly divided over political, cultural, and ideological matters. If you’ve looked at your Facebook, specifically in the past week (Especially if you haven’t blocked everyone who has conflicting views as you), friends and family are clashing over their beliefs. However, if we took the time we spend on bashing fellow Americans and focused that energy into celebrating fellow Americans the nation would not seem like there’s an ocean of psychomagnatheric slime from Ghostbusters II underneath our great nation. A Trump supporter reminded the entire country that it is called the “United” States of America for good reason with his amazing act of compassion.
It has been an eventful and explosive weekend in Washington D.C. that witnessed the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the President of the United States followed by protests and riots in the streets of the nation’s capital on Friday and then the Women’s March on Saturday. Three Trump supporters dined at the Busboys & Poets restaurant in Washington on Monday. Busboys & Poets is a restaurant created by Anas “Andy” Shallal, an Iraqi-American artist, activist, and restaurateur. His popular establishment prides itself as a “community where racial and cultural connections are consciously uplifted…a place to take a deliberate pause and feed your mind, body and soul…a space for art, culture and politics to intentionally collide…we believe that by creating such a space we can inspire social change and begin to transform our community and the world.”
Upon entering the restaurant, Jason White told his friend he might want to remove his red “Make America Great Again” cap, the signature symbol of being a Trump supporter. Rosalynd Harris knew immediately that they were in town for Trump’s inauguration.
“I could tell they were from the south because they had their cowboy hats on and I was like, ‘Oh, you’re not from the city,'” Harris said. “It was an interesting situation because it is a Liberal, Democratic kind of feel to the entire Busboys establishment, the people that come in, the people it attracts.”
Harris, who typically works 7-days-a-week at the restaurant or as a freelance dancer and creative director, admitted she was exhausted after the eventful weekend.
“I was just trying to get through the day,” she said.
But instead of giving the men an attitude for being on the opposite of the political spectrum that her normal customers are, she welcomed them with a smile. White, who is a dentist, took notice.
Jason not only paid the $70 bill, but also gave Rosalynd an extremely generous tip of $450 (For the 45th President), which is nearly a 625% tip. White, a devout Christian, has been a Trump supporter from the beginning, but said he doesn’t agree with all of Trump’s rhetoric. He does believe the new President will infuse the government with new leadership and a new mindset. White also wrote a note to Rosalynd, that the entire nation to take notice of and heed.
“We may come from different cultures, and we may disagree on certain issues, but if everyone would share their smile and kindness like your beautiful smile, our country will come together as one people, not race, not gender, just American. God bless.”
Harris said plans to use the money to pay her bills, and it has lifted “a huge weight off my shoulders” because she is moving into a new apartment soon and was worried if she would have enough money for the upfront costs. However, it is the important message of the note that opened her eyes and will stay with her for a long time.
“You automatically assume if someone supports Trump that they have ideas about you,” she said, “but [White] more embracing than even some of my more liberal friends, and there was a real authenticity in our exchange.”
“We may have different opinions and disagree on different issues, but the fact that he still looked at me as an equal and someone of value, it said something, like OK, not all hope is lost,” Harris continued. “Never judge a book by its cover and always be open with people to experience something miraculous like that.”
“We have to think about being better Americans, we have to look into ourselves and how we treat one another,” White said. “If everyone did a little something to show respect…we can love one another.”
“As I sat there I thought about the entire weekend and I thought I don’t know her, she doesn’t know me, but if most Americans have a preconceived perception about people then we’re never going to get better,” White said.
I truly hope this inspiring story prompts more understand, compassion, and unity. We need to remember that in our flag is comprised of red and blue and they constitute a pretty badass symbol of freedom, valor, and justice.