By Aaron Diamant
EAST POINT, Ga. (WSB-TV) — A Georgia couple says they're still in shock after they were the target of racism at a popular local restaurant.
A U.S. Army sergeant major just back from Kuwait and his wife went to Spondivits in East Point on New Year's Day, but what they found on their key ring when they got home left them deeply hurt.
"I shouldn't have to feel this way," said Candea Aarons.
When Candea and her husband Sam got home they noticed the tag left by the man who they say valet parked their car, with the words "jungle fever," a derogatory slur used to describe interracial couples.
"We have never been so blatantly described in such a blatantly appalling manner ever," Candea Aarons said.
Aarons said the ugly message left her and her husband deeply hurt.
"We had no idea that the valet was looking at us or thinking of us in such a manner," she said.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Aaron Diamant asked for an explanation, but Spondivits leaders refused our requests for an on camera interview.
The restaurant's chef, Glenn Gane, told Diamant the valet worked for a contractor called APS Valet.
In a statement, Gane said, "Spondivits does not tolerate racial speech of any kind."
Later, APS Valet's owner told Diamant by phone that "the valet in question is no long working with APS. APS does not tolerate racism of any kind whatsoever."
But Candea Aarons said the fact the valet got fired is little consolation.
"I was unaware, I was unprepared and I was unaware racism is alive and well," she said.
Neither Spondivits or APS Valet would identify the name of the fired valet, but the Aarons said the individual was African-American.