Racism…we hear about it all the time. In the South it is almost always assumed to be a white on black issue. This past week proved different.
Rabbi Ted Riter had a craving for Greek food and headed to a local establishment known as “Wraps” at Maywood Mart in Jackson, MS. With his sermon for Rosh Hashanah in hand for editing while he ate, he headed to the counter to order his meal. What he received was a complete tongue lashing from the owner.
According to the local newspaper, The Clarion Ledger, the Rabbi ordered the Greek salad. John Ellis, the owner, then asked him if he wanted, “A full size or a Jewish size.” The Rabbi thought he may have heard the man wrong, but Ellis explained that the Jewish size, “Was small because they are cheap.” Rabbi Riter was so shocked by this statement that he asked Ellis if he was serious. At this point Ellis began to shout expletives and racial slurs at Rabbi Riter. Ellis ran the Rabbi out of the store!
Ellis at first denied the incident, but then changed his story and blamed the Rabbi for being rude and disrespecting his establishment. According to many comments on local media Facebook pages there were witnesses to the incident. All of these witnesses validated the Rabbi’s account. Other posters mentioned incidents that they witnessed with other customers in the past.
Hopefully the public will take a stand and find another place to eat in the future. There is no room in America for this kind of behavior.