Last Friday night, 22-year-old Zack Running Coyote was kicked out of a McDonald's restaurant in Red Deer, Alberta. Staff accused Coyote of instigating a fight, when in fact he was the target of a racist verbal attack. Coyote is Indigenous, and is speaking up to give his people "a better chance."
In an interview with Red Deer Express, Coyote said he was eating in the restaurant when a news story came on about a rancher who's charges were dropped after he allegedly shot at trespassers. A man sitting near Coyote said the dropped charges were "a victory for Canada."
Coyote claims that all he did was shake his head to himself at his comment, which prompted the man to lash out at Coyote. "That, "insert expletive," little Indian know-it-all should mind his own business," the man said.
At that moment, Coyote decided to confront the man about the racial slur, telling him that he should say it to his face. The man continued to swear and "sneer" at Coyote, hurling even more disgusting racist insults.
"You know, dude. I am sick of your f**king people mooching off my tax dollars and living off welfare,” he said to Coyote, "You’re a poor-ass f**king squaw." The man walked out and sped off in his car, mimicking racist gestures at Coyote as he drove off.
Coyote returned to his seat to finish his meal, but the manager told him he had to leave for "starting a fight." Coyote said to the manager, "Dude, you saw the whole thing. He called me slurs, I stood up for myself and you are kicking me out?" The manager said he would've kicked the man out as well.
Coyote initially posted a public video of the altercation on Facebook, but has since made it private. Coyote said he received a lot of criticism for the Facebook post, for saying "hates Canada" as a result of the incident.
"My statement that I hate Canada is not racist. Canada is not a race. It is not a statement that I hate white people. The statement is that I hate Canada, because I do. Canada really sucks," he said.
“I am referring to the system that is Canada. A system that has oppressed my people for generations and a system that continues to oppress my people,” he said.
Bob Carpenter, the owner of the McDonald's where Coyote was attacked, says that "McDonald's is a place for everyone."
“Discrimination of any kind, including racist taunts, is simply not tolerated in my restaurants," Carpenter said, "While the situation is obviously disappointing on many levels, we have spoken with Zach over the weekend and let him know that he is certainly welcome in my restaurants."
Source: Red Deer Express