Negative Yelp reviews can make or break a business, but after Jim S., the owner of Whitney’s Tire and Auto Repair in Ann Arbor, Michigan received a negative review he didn’t promise to improve his customer service, instead he used the opportunity to blame Black folks.
When a Black woman gave the business zero stars after allegedly being called “stupid,” Jim responded that most negative reviews were “left by Blacks from Ypsilanti” because he doesn’t want to service their cars.
I am disgusted. Ann Arbor and surrounding area friends NEVER use Whitneys Auto on S State!!!!! The owner is a degrading racist pig who has already been on fox 2 (and mark my words, he will be on again) for treating people with such disrespect. You messed with the wrong girl, Whitney Passino… #AnnArbor #A2 #AutoShop #Ypsilanti #Michigan
“Most reviews will be left by Blacks from Ypsilanti because I don’t want them to call here,” he wrote. “Nothing against them, but given an examination, I found a way to make a boatload more money avoiding them doing commercial water heaters.”
If that wasn’t enough racism, Jim continued, adding this little tidbit: “Ghetto people need to stay in the ghetto.”
According to a phone recording obtained by Mic, Jim also said he “doesn’t serve monkeys.”
“There’s no law against refusing service to ghetto people. I don’t serve fucking monkeys, little fucking primates,” Jim told Shalynn Renee Vaughn, a student at the University of Michigan who called to ask about tire service.
Despite his offensive comments, in an interview with Mic, Jim claimed his stance on refusing to serve “ghetto” people wasn’t about race.
“We really don’t want to serve ghetto people, that’s a fact,” he explained. “Race has nothing to do with this, let me clarify. What we’re trying to avoid is people who number one can’t afford service.”
It doesn’t really matter what Jim meant, his words–ghetto, monkeys, etc.–are quite clear. And now, his Yelp reviews are in shambles because of it.