A gay TikToker says in a viral video that he was assigned to work as a server for a Confederate meeting alongside the restaurant’s only Black waiter.
In a video with over 1.1 million views, TikTok user Connor (@connorgee2022) shares his reaction to the group. He later shared the whole story in a follow-up and said he no longer works at the restaurant.
The restaurant in question is Texas Music City Grill and Smokehouse in Tyler, Texas, which was allegedly hosting a meeting of The Sons of Confederate Veterans.
According to its website, the organization is dedicated to “preserving the history and legacy” of Civil War veterans “so that future generations can understand the motives that animated the Southern Cause.”
“We were both like, ‘No. We’re not taking this party. That’s a setup. That is a setup,’” Connor recounts. “We’re going to get treated shitty, and then get no-tipped, and possibly hate-crimed.”
As a result, Connor and his co-worker asked to not serve the party. The restaurant obliged.
“They are regulars there. They come once a month… and that fucking place eats them up,” Connor continues. “They love them.”
Connor reiterated this in an Instagram message exchange with Daily Dot. He said the Sons of Confederate Veterans frequented the restaurant, but he “never got to see what they would talk about.”
He said a second group that he didn’t know the name of “would discuss how they were wanting Texas to secede from the US.”
“Some of the things that they talked about [included] banning gay marriage,” he added.
Connor also said that in his experience, management at the restaurant tolerated—and occasionally outright endorsed—these groups.
“I would talk to the owners, and they actually agreed with the groups and invited them in with open arms,” Connor stated.
Customers occasionally joined in, he continued.
“When I would [hear from customers], it would actually be people wanting to join or to learn more,” Connor shared.
Connor said he kept the job despite his disapproval of the restaurant’s patrons because he needed the money. But he said after repeated incidents, including a situation in which one of his co-workers called him “the F slur,” he decided to quit.
As for the group that was hosted at the restaurant, according to its website, “The Sons of Confederate Veterans neither embraces, nor espouses acts or ideologies of racial and religious bigotry, and further, condemns the misuse of its sacred symbols and flags in the conduct of same.”
But The Sons of Confederate Veterans has stirred up controversy in the past. In 2011, the Southern Poverty Law Center documented an event promoted by the group that proclaimed that “the South was right” and insisted that “there is no difference between the invasion of France by Hitler and the invasion of the Southern states by Lincoln.”
The group also garnered headlines after filing several lawsuits to prevent the removal of Confederate monuments.
Back on TikTok, users voiced their dissatisfaction with the events that took place in the video.
“Id quit on the spot. Why did they even allow that in the first place,” one user wrote.
“Your job said ‘exposure therapy’ for honestly everyone involved,” added another.
“Seems like a hostile work environment,” offered a third. “I would need compensation.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Texas Music City Grill and Smokehouse via contact form and to a Sons of Confederate Veterans representative via email.
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*First Published: Nov 24, 2022, 1:55 pm CST
Braden Bjella is a culture writer. His work can be found in Mixmag, Electronic Beats, Schön! magazine, and more.