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Two Draper Black-owned businesses turn harassment into teachable moment

Posted at 6:48 PM, Feb 28, 2021

DRAPER, Utah — Two Draper entrepreneurs are sharing their stories after receiving phone calls and being harassed simply for being Black business owners.

Two separate phone calls came in Thursday night from a man identifying himself as "Lee." One came into Sauce Boss Southern Kitchen, the other to Sheer Ambrosia Bakery. The owner of Sauce Boss, Julius Thompson, shared recordings of the phone call to his Soundcloud account.

"I received a phone call from a gentleman at 9:41 on Thursday evening," said Rita Magalde, the owner of Sheer Ambrosia. "I, you know, didn't think it would be business related at all because it was so late."

The caller asked both Thompson and Magalde the same question: 'Are you a Black-owned business?"

"He then veered off on, you know, Black History Month and why is there a Black History Month, why isn't there an Asian history month, or a brown history month," Magalde said. "He said that there was going to be a race war in this country."

WATCH: A look at Utah's first Black History Museum

The two separate phone calls shared many commonalities, but what is most surprising is how to two entrepreneurs responded.

"I felt that I should stay calm and kind of reason with him a bit," Magalde added.

Rather than come back with hateful words of their own, both Thompson and Magalde saw the conversation as a teachable moment.

"Not get angry. That was the main thing," Magalde said. "I decided that getting angry was only going to add gasoline to an already smoldering... you know, a fire."

READ: Some parents upset Black History Month display removed at Bountiful school

The two spent a combined 55 minutes on the phone with the man, trying to come to an understanding. Magalde said this is not the first time she has been harassed for being a Black business owner.

"There are people out there who have an issue with Black anything," she added. "We are not victims. We want to be part of the community, we want to be active members in the community, hardworking members, but we're not looking for handouts."

Magalde wanted to share her story to show that in order to overcome our differences, we must come from a place of empathy and understanding.

"If somebody lashes out at you, to lash back, that's human nature," she said. "But my experience is that when you do that, you get nowhere with that person. In fact, you in a way justify their behavior."