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ONLY ON 3: Woman says Enterprise worker greeted her with racist comment

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A Navassa woman is outraged after she says an Enterprise Rent-a-Car employee called her and her family a bunch of monkeys.

"I just could not believe she said what she said," Deborah Greene said.

Greene and her family wanted to rent a car for an impromptu vacation to Florida. But when they arrived at the Enterprise office on Castle Hayne Road, they were shocked by the service they received.

"We were greeted by the supervisor, Casey, as 'look at all the monkeys," Greene said.

Greene says it took her a moment to process what the worker said, but then she snapped into action.

"I looked at casey, and I said, 'Do you know what you just called us? You called us monkeys.' I said, 'Do you know back in slavery time that's what they used to call colored people?' I said, 'In other words, you're calling us n******,'" she said.

We spoke with Casey, who says this whole thing is a big misunderstanding, and she didn't mean to offend anyone. The family sees things differently.

"She was like, 'Well, I didn't say it in a.. Well I didn't mean it to say it in a way you think I'm saying it.' I said, 'What other kind of way is it to call African Americans monkeys?'" Greene's niece Shaquanna Gause said.

Casey had no response and said she couldn't go on camera.

In a statement an Enterprise spokeswoman said, "Enterprise has a long-standing commitment to treating all people with respect, and we are sorry about this unfortunate misunderstanding. Our employee's comment was intended simply as a light-hearted term of endearment toward the children with this customer. We understand, however, how our employee's words could be misinterpreted. She is sorry and so are we. We have called the customer and apologized, but she has demanded to be financially compensated."

Greene told us she has yet to hear back from Enterprise corporate about what happened. She says she and her family are hoping for some resolve and for Casey to be fired.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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Words can hurt

Words have power and they can hurt. Plain and simple. Think before you talk. Everybody has a threshold where they can feel insulted and feel singled out, for whatever reason. Ex: "People in the south are extremely racist"...(See, if that offends you, I just proved my point)It's a fact.

Wow...all the hateful

Wow...all the hateful comments. Racism aside...when you visit a place of business do you expect the employee to call you or your family members anything other than your name. You are not friends. You don't even know this person but you want to refer to them affectionately??? When I enter a place of business I conduct myself in a "professional" manner and I expect the same respect. Otherwise my green $$$ can be spent elsewhere. I am so sad that racism still exists in 2013. Fear and ignorance of someone different from you is all it amounts to. We can all pretend it wasn't intentional sacasm. God knows her heart.

Enterprise lost my business long ago. Apparently, unprofessionalism is prevalent in their corporation.

No disrespect was intended

No disrespect was intended in calling a group of young kids monkeys. While the mom was outside the enterprise worker was playing a game called monkey in the middle. When mom returned the worker made the comment about monkeys as in fun only. But in this PC country you can offend someone with out trying to do so. Now its about the money how much can I get out of this, sad.

I'm not sure why a simple

I'm not sure why a simple apology for the misunderstanding wasn't sufficient. Why is everyone so angry all the time? Can't people just try to see the good in each other instead of jumping to conclusions?

Monkey Business

Growing up as a child (Caucasian), my Father on occasion, referred to me as being a little monkey. My child who is mixed race (part Asian) was frequently referred to as a monkey. Sometimes teased. It looks like I will need extra insurance in case he sues me later in life for this horrible slander! Can I sue my Father? Oh, that's right...I can't, I'm white.

Let's just redefined the English language

Let's just redefine usage to keep from offending a group that was oppressed over 100 years ago. There is way too much of this crap going on.
Watch stand up comedy on BET (Black Entertainment Televison) and see yhow many comedians make "white people" white people jokes. Can white people apply for the United Negro College Fund? How about sell a product on BSN (Black Shopping Network)? Do people not realize that EVERY race at some point and time has been enslaved, targeted for eradication or suffered some racial bias?
You cannot move forward until you stop using what has happened to your ancestors as a crutch.
I also would like to take this opportunity to remind people that the first human remains came from Africa!! Humans started there and migrated over millions of years to other parts of the world. So with that in mind, can we all sue? I mean we all have a common genealogy?

How is this a story?

How is this a story?

Apparently, I have been

Apparently, I have been calling my daughter the "n word" for the past eleven years and I didn't even know it.

WWAY she be ashamed of

WWAY she be ashamed of themselves for even entertaining this story. If you are trying to be a respected and credible news outlet then actually cover CREDIBLE stories from CREDIBLE sources. The reporter who shot and ran this video should be fired if anyone. WWAY and Ms. Greene should probably be preparing themselves for a lawsuit I am sure that will be heading their way. This enterprises workers life could seriously be damaged over someone clearly just seeking money over a harmless comment taken out of context. Along with a news outlet fishing for any type of story even if it has no credibility or truth to it.

As one of Casey's dear

As one of Casey's dear friends, the most frustrating thing is that Casey has African-American, Latino, Jewish and Asian members of her family. There is not an ounce of racism in this woman's body, I have actually personally seen her stand up to other racist people. Moreover, while Casey has white skin, her ancestors were 100% Irish and they came over on a boat in the early 1900s, so no where in her ancestors was there slave owners. Casey is not from slave times and she had no intention of using a derogatory term. Casey used the term monkey as a term of endearment to a bunch of youngsters and now she is having her name and reputation run through the mud. Words cannot describe the anger I have knowing that such a sweet, amazing person could be treated in such a manner.

Just another typical black

Just another typical black person trying to get something for free.

I don't know what being

I don't know what being called "monkeys" has to do with race. Whites, blacks, hispanics, chinese are equally distantly related to monkeys. Wow get a life, deborah! If anything, you are acting like a monkey in that video.

Guess she couldn't find a wreckk to get into

"We have called the customer and apologized, but she has demanded

to be financially compensated."..

Really? Well there is a surprise! Sue Sue Sue... Get me mo money!

I have a new found respect for Enterprise for sticking up for their employee!

This lady is a disgrace to my race! Gold digger...!!

Oh my! Maybe she read the

Oh my! Maybe she read the story, "10 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed," one time too many. Should we take the m word out of the language?

Rewording not so good

So did anyone read THE I HATE PEOPLE COMMENT THAT WAS ON HERE well i reworded it and replaced the words WHITE with (BLACK) and the words BLACK with (WHITE) and they took that persons comment off and didn't even post mine....HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM should i feel offended???? Was it racist to do that? Probably not, my point being pick and choose your battles.

Thanks for your post.

I found your post to be intelligent and thought provoking. Thanks for posting.

Shocker, just one more

Shocker, just one more person looking for a monatery handout after an OBVIOUS misunderstanding. What is this world coming to that every word we say or action we perform can be immediately flipped around into something it is not? Ms. Greene, you disgust me, you want money for this??? I think you should re-evaluate your priorities and stop ruining someone else's life because of a simple misunderstanding. It is obvious this woman had no ill intentions with what she said. It's a shame you took a simple word and had to immediately turn this into a racist issue when it blatently was not intended this way. If you get a dime out of this whole misunderstanding, SHAME ON YOU! And shame on this news station for defaming this poor girl working at Enterprise when you don't even know the real story!

Perhaps the news station

Perhaps the news station should have gotten the full story before writing this ridiculous article. Ms Greene is lying. Perhaps it is MORE racist to assume that someone that is not the same race as you is racist. Since Ms Greene seems to only want to get some money out of this ... when the full story comes out, perhaps Ms Casey can turn around an sue for defamation of character. Casey followed the correct protocol to not speak to the news crews and to allow her employer's legal department to handle the situation. Sorry Casey and Enterprise that someone is putting you through this.

Truth

Okay the girl called you a bunch of monkeys, so what deal with it. To pay you anything is a joke, just like all you people a damn joke ! If it looks like a monkey and smells like a monkey sorry lady u are a monkey

Wow

Terms we will never be able to use anymore after this story. "I'll be a monkey's uncle!"- "monkey with someone or something" - "monkey business and funny business" - "Monkey see, monkey do" - "monkey suit"a tuxedo - "throw a monkey wrench in the works" - "a monkey on somebody's back " - "make a monkey (out) of somebody " - "monkey (around) with something" - “grease monkey”----Although the term does not generally carry a negative connotation, that wasn’t always the case. The phrase “grease monkey” likely has its origins in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, around the time when industry was growing in both Great Britain and the United States. During that time period, it was common and acceptable to employ child laborers to work around the industrial machines. Quite often, the children were sent to perform simple repairs and maintenance on the equipment because they were small enough to reach areas not accessible to an adult. The job often involved lubricating the gears, and was often a greasy, messy process.

The children who performed the jobs of lubricating and maintaining the machinery where recognizable by the grease and oil that smeared their faces and clothing. In order to reach certain areas of the machines, a child would often have to leap and climb. As a result, the child was often compared to a monkey. That comparison, coupled with the fact that a child’s clothing and face were often grease-stained, gave rise to the phrase, “grease monkey.”

Being a child laborer working on the machines in those early centuries was not an enviable position. When the term first originated, therefore, it was considered something of a demeaning slur to call someone a grease monkey. Over time, the negative connotations have faded and the term is generally considered harmless slang. Nothing racial here - not at all..... Yes there are those who try to make this association between monkeys and African American's, but these people are the true minority, And it is mostly directed at adults( see republican cartoons and photoshopped photos of Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign, as well as others.

True

So True! It would have been the opposite if she had called them porch monkeys or something like that but no. Greet someone with a smile and they will spit in your face.

5 little monkeys jumping on

5 little monkeys jumping on the bed. Wow so racist

One fell off and bopped his head

Mama called the Doctor and the Doctor said -- no more monkeys jumping on the bed.

Real Racist. Some people can find racist remarks no matter where they go.

Thanks for posting. Brought back fond memories of reading that story to my grandsons.

The Race Card is Overplayed, Outdated & Benefits ONLY Blacks

Get over it! While I don't agree with slavery, if it wasn't for those days, most African Americans would not be in America today. Be thankful for your ancestors past and how far things have come. Don't use the old, boring, overplayed, over-rated race card again and again and again for your benefit. The true minority in America is white males yet let one of them pull the race card and they will be punished to the max. Did you ever stop to think that African Americans just may actually be the most racist? First "black" president (forget the fact that his MOTHER was white), first black officer, first black this, first black that, black beauty pageants, all black colleges, black history MONTH, nevermind groups like the NAACP. Who is segregating? Who is racist?Let there be an all white beauty pageant or an all white college and see how far that goes.

Bottom line is this: Quit being RACIST and using the PLAYED OUT race card. Find something better to do. And no, the girl does not deserve to be fired and the family doesn't deserve any amount of financial compensation. This is life. If you take offense to something so little, maybe you should shelter yourself until you grow some understanding that everyone isn't going to walk around on eggshells in an attempt to keep themselves from being called racist. If the same thing was said to a white family, nothing would be said. Monkeys? Isn't this a bit of an outdated racial slur? By the way, Paula Deen admitted to using the word, "nigger" some 25 years ago at a time when the word, especially in her home town, was common. The word used not to be used in the context it is taken today. Then again, blacks use it far more as whites would ever think about it and that's okay.

To break this trend, something must be done: Act civil, be respectful, realize that America owes you nothing and you are just as equal as a white person (isn't that what we preach, equality?), and quit being the racist party just because your great, great, great ancestors may have once been a slave. We've fought that battle and equality was won. Segregation was done away with. Oopss...until blacks decided they wanted to start it all over in their favor.

RESPECT

RESPECT. THAT IS WHAT WE NEED RESPECT.TREAT PEOPLE LIKE YOU WANT TO BE TREATED. WORDS ARE A DAMAGING WEAPON. I AM A GRANDCHILD OF A WONDERFUL WOMAN THAT WAS BIRACIAL ( DIED AT THE AGE OF 93)WHO GRANDFATHER WAS A MEMBER OF KKK THAT HATED HER AND HER SIBLINGS. YET SHE LOVE HIM BECAUSE SHE HAD TO DO THE RIGHT THING BECAUSE SHE LOVE THE LORD.RUDE WORDS DO HURT BECAUSE I EXPERIENCE THE HATRED IN SOME PEOPLE OF WHITE RACE. BUT I LOVE AND KNOW A LOT OF WHITE PEOPLE THAT I AM GRATEFUL THAT IS IN MY LIFE. THEIR RESPECT AND COMPASSION FOR ME DIM THE HURT I EXPERIENCE.THEIR FRIENDSHIP I AM GRATEFUL FOR. ONE THING IS TO STOP SAYING 'GET OVER IT.' INSTEAD SAY 'WHAT CAN WE AS AMERICANS,NEIGHBORS,AND HUMAN BEINGS DO TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM AND HEAL IT.' COMPASSION IS FREE ,HATE IS AT A COST. MS. GREENE TRY TO FORGIVE. I KNOW YOU FELT HURT AND PEOPLE COMMENTS MIGHT ENRAGE YOU MORE,BUT YOU HAVE TO PRAY. SIT DOWN TALK TO CASEY AND HAVE A OPEN TALK.GO SOMEWHERE, JUST THE TWO OF YOU AND TALK.EXPRESS YOUR FEELINGS. I RENTED CARS FROM THAT LOCATION NUMEROUS OF TIMES. SHE SEEMS VERY SWEET.SOME PEOPLE ARE NOT SMART OR WISE IN WHAT THEY ARE SAYING. NOT HATEFUL.YOU ARE IN MY PRAYS.

Truth is the Wilmington Area

Truth is the Wilmington Area is one of the most racist areas I have ever lived in. You peeps are a good 30 to 40 years behind the rest of the country in race relations. Maybe it's the history of the Area. Maybe it's the heavy influx of Northerners, who claim we Southerners are more racist, but prove every day the opposite is true.As for this particular event I see fault on both sides. But it always seems they who yell loudest are apt to be the more ardent racist.One thing I would like to know. How many of you slamming the Greenes and praising the agent consider yourselves Republican??

Ive been here for about 45

Ive been here for about 45 days and as a latin 28 yr old male with no troubled history and having a Russian fiance i will be the first to say wilmington nc natives are in fact very very racist black and white alike..And dont get me started on the cops..smh we were pulled over, assuming we were buying drugs in the downtown area coming from an ice cream run in the opposite direction......get with the times!!!!!

Democrat

That statement in itself is pretty racist. I'm a Democrat, and happen to side with the agent on this one. Bringing stereotypes of religious and political values is exactly what is wrong with this country. Everyone identifies themselves as who they voted for in the last election, or what imaginary friend they talk to in the sky. Until our country can get over the small stuff, like this story or example, we will ALL stay 30 - 40 years behind the curve. America used to be the greatest country in the world, it's simply not anymore because of silly things like this story, and your comments about your neighbors. Good day.

Brass Monkey, That Funky Monkey

I am a proud left leaning liberal Democrat. I majored in Sociology where I concentrated my studies in the area of Social Inequalties. I am outraged that Ms. Greene is crying false racism. Crying false racism is just as bad as an actual racist act. How many truly racist instances are going to go ignored due to people like Ms. Greene crying wolf?!

Civil rights leaders of the past are rolling over in their graves.

Shame on WWAY for publishing such irresponsible journalism and shame on Ms. Greene for demeaning the entire Civil Rights movement.

Barrel of Monkeys, Monkey See/Monkey Do

Unlike You, I am a proud RIGHT-Leaning Christian Conservative Constitutionalist Republican.

For some STUPID REASON, I also majored in Sociology where I concentrated my studies in the area of Social Disenfranchisement.

After my unprecedented research was completed, no one believed how much WHITE AMERICA has been DISCRIMINATED against by being called names, being the BRUNT of disgusting, derogatory, repulsive and sic Jokes on BLACK Entertainment Television. Yes! Discriminated against... for not being chosen for jobs which White women were clearly more qualified for (due to that little 'thang' called Affirmative Action baby), and for being turned down for loans for housing. They were never even GIVEN free phones or ANYTHING!!!

I ALSO am outraged that Ms. Greene is crying false racism. Uh-HUH!! I agree that Crying false racism is just as bad as an actual racist act, JUST LIKE YOU!!!. How many RIDICULOUS FALSE racist instances are going to go ignored due to people like Ms. Greene crying wolf?!

While I agree that Civil rights leaders of the past are rolling over in their graves, Jackson & Sharpton will be on Greene's doorstep to KEEP their names in lights and to continue the oppression march AGAINST the entire White Race.

GOOD JOB, WWAY for publishing such factual, albeit hard-to-stomach journalism and shame on Greene for demeaning the entire Civil Rights movement.

However, Beyoncé, re-wording your diatribe was more fun than a Barrel of Monkeys!

On-going, old days Class and Race warfare is such a low-functioning persons game. I don't hate Rich people or poor people, Black people or White people. I can't say the same for the left-wing loony-bin, radicalized, victimized, Sociology professors from the University...except Adams, a cool conservative.