Tipping Is Racist Says 1619 Author Nikole Hannah-Jones

Tipping Is Racist Says 1619 Author Nikole Hannah-Jones

Tipping Is Racist Says 1619 Author Nikole Hannah-Jones

Tipping is racist. That’s the latest urgent opinion offered by Nikole Hannah-Jones, author of the horribly inaccurate 1619 Project.

Nikole Hannah-Jones’s frequent accusations of racism have finally reached the “tipping” point.

The “1619 Project” author and former New York Times writer who believes America was built on racism started a Twitter controversy with the claim that the practice of tipping waiters, waitresses, bartenders, or apparently anyone else whose livelihood depends on an extra 15-20% for good service is racist.

It’s laughable, unless you realize that she was damned serious about her assertion. It also shouldn’t be surprising that she views everything through the racism lens given she continues to opine that our country was founded on slavery and racism.

Keep in mind, Magness is a noted historian. It didn’t take him long to bring receipts showing how asinine her “tipping is racist” premise is. 

I find it both humorous and sad that she claimed tipping happens nowhere else in the world. Having traveled internationally on multiple occasions, I can say with confidence that yes, tipping DOES occur in multiple countries. Botswana, for example, you tip safari guides $50 per day per family group. In Germany tipping at restaurants runs around 20% in our experiences. So don’t tell me tipping doesn’t exist elsewhere in the world. 

What I also find sadly humorous is that many of the responses to Phil Magness showing her historical inaccuracy is to yell about serfdom in the 1700’s. 

Exactly so. Tipping, even tipping one’s serfs in Europe has been a centuries old practice. It isn’t new, and it is NOT a slavery legacy. Keep in mind, per her claims, tipping is only racist against the blacks, when there was significant discrimination against the Irish and Chinese as well. But…that’s different because REASONS. 

She makes a habit of this. Back in November, we somehow missed her weird and historically…wrong take on Japan and the U.S. dropping the bomb on Hiroshima. 

“Feeling ashamed of shameful things is not BAD. It’s called being an empathetic and moral human being,” she wrote, adding, “Shame helps us do better. When I visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum about the impact of the US’s atomic bomb, as an American, I felt shame.”

If only she could feel shame over her own flaws and serial lies.

Hold on, though; things are about to get much worse.

Responding to her tweet, someone wrote, “No suprise she still poorly understands history. A land invasion of japan would have cost millions of lives.”

And here was Hannah-Jones’ total lie of a response (which has now been deleted):

“You’re the only one who poorly understands history,” she tweeted. “They dropped the bomb when they knew surrender was coming because they’d spent all this money developing it and to prove it was worth it.”

Then she closed with this self-own: “Propaganda is not history, my friend.”

And she was handed a Pulitzer Prize for the 1619 Project! One that has been debunked by a plethora of historians all across the spectrum! Quite frankly, it’s a slam against historians to classify her as such. 

Remember, she’s also against any support for the folks in Ukraine. Why? Because they are …white. Tell me, who is the racist here? 

Now, even as she has deleted the original tweet, she continued to defend her incredibly dubious position. She’s not STINGY, but tipping is racist! WAHHHHH!!!

Except that ALL waitstaff around 98% of the restaurants in this country don’t pay even minimum wage REGARDLESS of the color of their skin. Yet she continues to imply that tipping and the practice of paying waitstaff less originated with slavery, even citing this USA Today article on how tipping was utilized to keep Black Americans down after the Civil War. The problem is, the article even admits that quite a number of the claims are dubious and ‘more context is needed.’ Uh huh….that tells me that the history of tipping isn’t as racist as one would think. 

You have to wonder where she gets her information. Oh wait, perhaps she watched this from CNBC last year and was just waiting for the right time to drop her inaccurate fact into the Twitterverse!

Oh wait, it becomes abundantly clear as to why she is asserting that tipping is racist. It’s because of the unrealistic expectation that Blacks MUST tip even if they are given poor service. They don’t get good service no matter where they are, so why tip? 


This is where we are. The creator of the incredibly flawed 1619 Project is here to tell us that everything is racist, especially tipping. Then again, this is also the same person who doesn’t like push back and declared that parents should have zero say in their child’s education. 

She’s already claimed that pushback on the 1619 Project is racist. She’ll proclaim that any negative response to her tipping assertion is racist in 3, 2, 1…

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  • James Thompson says:

    When the only tool in your tool box is hammer everything is a nail. Hannah- Jones only has one song and racism is it. Dollars to doughnuts she can’t have a casual conversation without bringing racism into it.

  • JAW3 says:

    I hate tipping. To me it’s the profligate spender who will get better service than a soul who’s money is dear. Did i agree with that racist? You know she doesn’t tip ever!

  • NTSOG says:

    I’m Australian and have never tipped any one for service here as the union-driven rates/terms of employment for waiters and others who provide services are so high as to ensure a satisfactory wage other things being equal. Tipping is seen as an American practice creeping into Australia and is loathed by many of us. It’s often seen as a form of “show-boating” or “grand-standing” by certain wealthy types.

    • Nina Bookout says:

      Australia! On my bucket list for sure. That said, It’s good to know how things are structured there. Here in the US I’ve always known that the prevailing wage for wait staff is definitely MUCH less than. For many I know in the industry it’s been a matter of pride to give 150% of their effort. I’m glad to hand them $$ in thanks for how they’ve made the entire dining experience a supremely enjoyable one. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a Red Robin or a 5 star whatever, if we walk out thinking it was the BEST ever, it was due to the food AND the wait staff.

      • Scott says:

        The federal requirement for tipped employees is 40% of minimum wage. I know some restaurants around here have gone away from tipping, but most have not.
        Having been a tipped employee a number of times in my life, I can tell you that almost without exception, the only servers that refer a set wage to tips are the lazy ones that are bad at their job. Good servers / bartenders bring in far more in tips than an employer could ever pay them, I know plenty that make over 100k a year.. but yeah, they hustle, . Long ago when I first started in the industry, I was told that TIPS stood for “To Insure Proper Service”.. still does.. or at least it should. Some people act like you should tip regardless of the quality of service, but nothing could be farther from the truth. As a server, average service gets 15%. substandard gets 10% or less. Great service gets 20-25%..
        Just my two cents

        • Wyldkat says:

          “As a server, average service gets 15%. substandard gets 10% or less. Great service gets 20-25%..”

          I tend to use 10%, 15 – 18%, 20%. I will mentally start at 15%; the tip can go up or down depending on service. leave me sitting there for too long, it does down. Let my glass go empty for more than 5 minutes it goes down. Take care of me, and my family, keep our glasses full, have a good attitude, and it goes up.

          One big pet peeve – those tip suggestions they put on the check – some places want you to tip Post tax. No, no, no. Tip is on Pre-Tax. I ignore those and use the handy tip card I have in my wallet. 😉

          • Scott says:

            Agree 100% with your last Kat, I always tip on PRE tax amount. Rest of your comments about service too.
            We used to have a large group of us that went out every week to the same place. Servers usually took great care of us, and were tipped accordingly. One night, the server we had (she’d taken care of us before that) was surly and gave terrible service, to the point that a number of us had to go to the bar for drinks.. It was so bad that a crowd that would tip 25% without a thought when well taken care of all felt that no tip at all should be left.
            Knowing that this COULD be misconstrued as we’d forgotten the tip (we were paying in cash), I suggested a different approach. The women dug through their purses and found a bunch of pennies ( little copper 1 cent pieces for the youngsters in the crowd), and each of us left one, face down, on the table in front of us. This was a clearer message than if we’d written SERVICE SUCKED in sharpie…
            We came back the next week, and got the same server. This time her attitude was much better, and we didn’t wait unreasonably for anything.. and once again, her tip reflected the service received. Obviously she got the message.

  • Yeah-Me-Neither says:

    Well, gosh, I don’t want anyone to accuse me of racism.

    Maybe I just leave a note along with one of the Biden “I did this” stickers? The note would say, “Noted authority on racism, Nora Hannah-Jones, says that tipping is racist. So, no tip for you, today! Have a nice day.”

  • GWB says:

    One complaint I have is that this falderal seems to have been taken off from a midway point in a conversation (as much as you can ever call something on Twitter a ‘conversation’). It’s certainly easier to see some of the points she tried to make when you know the original question – why should anyone tell her she always has to tip, because she’s black. And, I think, the implication was she must do it because of solidarity for “wage slaves”. (It’s a complaint because I don’t think it fairly demonstrates how she gets to this point.)

    Then, she goes off into this weird world where aristocrats tipping their servants is the origin of performance-based commission wages. I will admit I have never looked into the history of tipping. But that smells funny right off the bat, given how much other history I’ve studied.

    As to tipping in Germany…. I don’t recall that being a ‘thing’ when I was there. Unless it was around American military bases. But I did try to tip wherever I was, based on service.

    My one bad tipping story came about at a fancy steak place that did a buffet on Sundays. The buffet was decent (better than Golden Corral as far as the meat went, but limited in other options), but the service was … well, it was a buffet. And our water glasses didn’t get much attention. So, we go to pay. And the ticket that came ALREADY HAD THE TIP FILLED IN at 18%. Mind you, we were a family of 3, one of those being a pre-teen. I scratched out the tip and wrote a big ‘0’ on the ticket, recalculated the total, and signed it.
    And we’ve NEVER been back.

  • Ever since our lords and masters in Washington began taxing tips, and using the business as their collectors, I fill in the check for whatever I think the service deserves – but only up to “average.”

    When it’s exceptional, cash gets slipped into the check pad when I sign for the charge.

    Mom waitressed for several years back in the 1930s – tips paid for a good chunk of her college degree. (The rest was taken care of by running booze from wet Nebraska to still dry Kansas…)

    • GWB says:

      Why should tip income be excluded from taxation? It’s not any different from any other income. Why should waitresses get to evade paying the lawful taxes placed upon the rest of us?

      I don’t mind complaining about tax burdens. But nobody should get special dispensation to exclude some portion of their income, and “conservatives” sure as he** shouldn’t be encouraging it!

      (This is a pet peeve of mine. And no, I’ve never worked for tips, and that’s also irrelevant to the matter at hand.)

  • Skillyboo says:

    Tip cash, the government steals enough from us.

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