While the New York Times shrugs off true hate crimes like the “knockout game” as mere anecdote, what they would term a hate crime is self-inflicted:
A New Jersey waitress who received thousands of dollars in gratuities after claiming she received a homophobic note in lieu of a tip has been let go by the restaurant at which she worked.
Dayna Morales, a 22-year-old former Marine, claimed last month that a family of four who racked up a $93.55 bill at the Gallop Asian Bistro in Branchburg, N.J., left her no tip, only a note saying they couldn’t leave any extra cash for her service because they “do not agree with your lifestyle.”
Morales quickly emailed the story to a gay advocacy website and later posted a photograph of the purported check on her Facebook page. The alleged incident made national headlines and resulted in thousands of dollars being donated to Morales, who said she would send all proceeds to the Wounded Warrior Project.
But Morales’ credibility has come under heavy scrutiny since, and the family who allegedly stiffed her has disputed her story.
The restaurant announced on its Facebook page Saturday that it had conducted its own internal investigation, and although it was “inconclusive,” the eatery said it had come to a mutual agreement with Morales that she no longer work there.
“In light of the investigation and recent events, both Ms. Morales and Gallop Asian Bistro have made a joint decision that Ms. Morales will no longer continue her employment at our restaurant,” said the Facebook post, which did not specify the conditions under which she left. “We wish her well in the future.”
Liar, professional victim, slanderer, thief—I don’t agree with her lifestyle either.
Meanwhile, a representative of the Florida-based Wounded Warrior Project could not confirm Morales had made any donations as of Wednesday, Bridgewater Patch reported.
The couple accused of leaving the note for Morales has since denied doing so, telling NBC 4 New York they did in fact leave an $18 tip on the $93 bill. The unidentified couple also provided the station a credit card statement that indicated the tip, according to the report.
NBC News has also reported that a Pentagon source said Morales was dismissed from the Marine Reserve Corps in May because she was not attending drills and that she was discharged under “less than honorable” conditions.
Several of Morales’ acquaintances also since questioned her credibility. Kristina Calamusa, who described herself as a former friend of Morales, told The Daily Caller late last month that the waitress claimed to her that she was “blown up by a land mine overseas.”
But, according to Calamusa, that story was false; Morales was never on active duty. The Journal News of White Plains, N.Y., has also quoted acquaintances of Morales who say she lied about her military service and that she suffered from brain cancer.
There are real victims of homophobia and real victims of racism. But many of the recent reports are turning up hoaxes. Not only does that diminish any real incidents, it over-sensitizes us toward gullibility. A report may prove false, but it may still leave an impression of truth.
Meanwhile, young black men really are sucker-punching people (sometimes other black people) in the head—in spite of what you may read.