An employee at a North Carolina car dealership, who used a racially derogatory term to congratulate a Black customer who had purchased a vehicle from the company, has been fired following backlash.
According to The Fayetteville Observer, the customer, identified as Trinity Bethune, purchased a 2016 Toyota Camry from Lumberton Honda. But a post on the company’s Facebook page congratulating Bethune on her purchase did not mention her by her real name. Instead, she was referred to as “Bon Quisha” – which is a racially derogatory term.
The Urban Dictionary defines “Bon Quisha” as “a loquacious white boy that acts like a Black women as a joke.” The post, which has since been deleted, was condemned by several people including Bethune.
“I’m not sure if this is a ‘joke’ or something but my name is definitely Trinity Bethune,” Bethune commented on the deleted post. “I’m very offended by this post, it’s almost a racial slur. If I’m not addressed by MY name then please don’t address me at all.”
A screenshot of the deleted post was also shared by Bethune’s brother who labeled it as “completely intentional, disgusting, unfair,” The News & Observer reported. “This was not a mistake. With the exception of the letter ‘N,’ her name is spelled using the first row of the keyboard,” Tyrone Jacob posted on his Facebook page. “Typing Bon Quisha requires effort and intent. I’m outraged that she was publicly humiliated without a public/private apology.”
In a separate Facebook post on Friday, Bethune also said she does not believe the post by the company was an “honest mistake.” “It was intended as a ‘joke’ I’m assuming,” she added. “I’m very offended. If you know what a ‘Bon Quisha’ (is) you will be also. As a black woman, I carry myself in a way where I will not have to be stereotyped. This is public humiliation and at the LEAST, I deserve an apology.”
In the wake of the backlash, Lumberton Honda released a statement apologizing for the post. The owner of the car dealership also told WTVD-TV the employee responsible for the post has since been fired. The owner said they had also gotten in touch with Bethune to render an apology.
“Lumberton Honda and our entire staff sincerely apologize and regret the recent inappropriate post towards one of our valued customers,” the company said in the statement. “This incident reminds us that there is always room for improvement. Again, please accept our sincere apology. We are truly sorry.”
Meanwhile, Bethune said she’s exploring the possibility of taking legal action against the car dealership. The company’s Google rating also plummeted in the wake of the backlash it received over the post.
“The name ‘Bon Quisha’ seems like a stereotype for someone, you know, for them to be like ghetto,” Bethune told WTVD-TV. “It’s something people use towards Black people as a racial slur and as an offensive term.”