MYTH ONE: NO ONE IS CONNECTED
Let’s dispel the biggest myth about this story from the get go…
Ada and Tom (the two patrons) were presumably an out-of-town couple, presumably white (because of the “WE DON’T TIP CITIZENS” comment), that had never set foot in Jess’ Lunch previously. They knew no one in the restaurant, and generally ignored the young waitress while they ate silently at the counter during their meal, as if they were disgusted to be served by someone of a different background than them.
Ada is Puerto Rican and speaks Spanish as her first language, with a very limited command of English as her second. She also does not write frequently in English. That’s right, the person accused in all of the news stories of writing very clearly in English on the receipt “WE DON’T TIP CITIZENS” is herself a Spanish-speaking Latina, who predominantly speaks, reads and writes in Spanish. Listen to Ada in her own words categorically deny the deed in question:
“Me [sic] only signed my name, and that’s it. I no put nothing on the ticket, and [went] home and take a shower and go to my work. That's it.”
“Tom” (not his real name) is African-American with a prominent New York accent. But Tom was very familiar with the restaurant, Jess’ Lunch. In fact, Tom used to stay in downtown Harrisonburg for work and ate there often. As one of their regular patrons, he even knew the owner, Angelique (though it’s unlikely that the 18-year old/relatively new-to-the-restaurant waitress Sadie had waited on Tom or Ada previously.)
Personal connections here run even deeper: Sadie’s mother used to work with Tom. Sadie’s mom currently works with Ada. (They were in fact connected on Facebook as friends before this whole episode transpired).
In fact, ALL of the core people involved in this incident – the patrons (Tom and Ada), the waitress (Sadie), and the owner (Angelique) – were connected with each other at some level, in some cases significantly (co-workers of direct relatives, for example), before Tom & Ada even set foot in the restaurant that day.