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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.


Comment on this Story

  • Anonymous

    How do you know she showed poor customer service?? Were you there?? No, I think not. If you read the story (Where you are getting all of your “facts”) you would read that Enterprise has apologized several times and offered this lady a refund on her car rental. The customer was not even in the room while Casey was graciously playing with her children, playing “Monkey in the Middle”. WWAY only knows half of the story. Unfortunately, people do sick things to get money, like this. Casey is an awesome Manager at Enterprise and provided me EXCELLENT customer service every time I have rented a car. Thank you Casey and Enterprise for your superior work.

  • I will call anyone anything at any time of my choosing! You have a chip on your shoulder. You will not tell me how to speak!

  • KnowTheStory

    She was playing Monkey In The Middle with the kids to distract them while her employee was helping the mother. Yep, poor customer service.

  • Guest99

    It always comes out in the wash…Sounds more like the story here.

  • droppy

    …. a supa-bass subwoofer and neon underbody light kit.

  • Abraham Lincoln

    If only these people would put the same hard work and dedication they are using to get this free money towards something that can better our community and society. You all should be ashamed of yourselves. You look like idiots in the news, and you are setting a poor example for your children. Get a grip. I’m sure you are God fearing people, do you think your God would want this young girl fired over something you misunderstood to be racist? Reevaluate yourselves, if that’s even possible for you.

  • SnatchHammer

    Congradulations on being employeed and owning your home, I think that is great! You stated they gave you a dirty car with defective tires and called you names for no reason. Then you end your comment by saying slavery is still happening. First I hope if the woman was truely being mean to you she should loose her job, however I still can’t understand why anyone would purposely make a racial slur knowing they WILL loose thier job. It seems if the woman were going to insult you, knowing she will loose her job, why would she say “monkey”? This doesn’t seems like a term you would use if you intended to hurt someones feelings or insult them. I really hope if the clerk made a mean spirited comment she gets fired, but if this is an attempt to get a free rental, I hope the clerk gets compensated for the slanderous remarks! I’m not sure why you spoke of slavery, it doesn’t seems to have any impact on this story. It seems like if this were a legitimate complaint the companies customer service line would be addressing the issue not the local news website. It still feels like a money grab to me.

  • really

    I guess white youth don’t do any of those things…..please include your kind as well!

  • SurfCityTom

    what about old white former Marines who served in that Southeast Asian adventure. Do we deserve common courtesy? Seems like that was one group you overlooked.

    Enjoy the 4th.

  • Disgusted

    …where exactly do we get a list of the words that black people give white people permission to use? Good grief.

    No one group of people gets to decide what common English language words any other group of people are or are not allowed to use based on some perceived offense that they personally associate with that word. And no person gets to decide what another person’s intent is when they speak any word. Period. America doesn’t work like that.

    If you choose to be offended by the use of a word that is the known, understood and accepted name of an animal…then you have a personal issue that only you can resolve. It’s not up to the rest of America to cater to the chip on your shoulder. We refuse to stop using common words that we have used for generations in their purely innocent form, because a certain group of people have decided to brand those words as “offensive” in any form.

    The world does not revolve around you and your feelings, and the rest of us are not going to tip-toe around when we speak for fear of saying a word that you may or may not find offensive. Every race and ethnicity represented in this nation has a heritage that includes some type of oppression, slavery, mistreatment or discrimination. If we as a society were to be expected to accommodate everyone’s potential for perceived offense based on the past…then we would end up a muted society.

    Instead of feeding that money-grabbing chip on her shoulder, perhaps Ms. Greene ought to save her outrage for the youth of her own culture and community that are brutally beating, robbing and mobbing people of other races on buses, in stores, in malls and on the streets here in America.

  • Disgusted

    As I stated in a prior comment, we have rented from this specific Enterprise office numerous times, whenever we travel to our home state for a visit. Each and every time, the car provided to us was clean, deodorized and spotless and the service was fantastic. The cars are ready for drive away when you get there, so Ms. Greene can’t try to claim that they gave her a dirty car due to racial reasons (just heading that off at the pass because I can see it coming). To the poster that responded as one of the family, your story has enough holes to drive a rental car through. It’s obvious to everyone that you didn’t get the money you wanted, so you decided to go to the media. Bad move. All you have done is damaged your own reputation. Perhaps you’ll learn the lesson that falsely crying racism where there is none, only damages your reputation and credibility, and is an insult to those who have suffered true racism. Especially in a day and time when folks are tired of people such as Ms. Greene trying to play the race card for financial gain.

  • Beth

    Your complaint should be about the manner of service, defective car etc, not turning an innocent comment into a racial incident. I call little children monkeys all the time, regardless of color, as a means of affection. I hope to god this poor woman does not lose her job because of this, it is bad enough out there without the title of “racist” on your shoulders.

  • ape

    YOU ARE A DAMN IDIOT. always looking for a FREE ride!!!

  • Liar

    They had the car for 29 days and got into it because ms Greene was in an accident. She would not tell the rental office she was in Florida when they called o extend the rental. They gave her 6 free days of rental because of the dirty car which they offered to clean. Mrs Greene is a liar! This was not a trip to Florida unplanned. They sat in that office while they called the insurance company to approve for a larger vehicle. Casey was playing with the children! Karma is a sweet friend

  • What

    The point is its offensive regardless of the year, it’s we’re the comment is derived from…… Like we can’t forget that the English language is derived from Latin or Greek terminology….. Even though we are not living in thes days and age. Just a reminder to where the term or comment was originated from….. See how white ppl interpret things from their point of view. Oh remember your scientist said that every race has the black gene scripted in their DNA

  • Beth

    If the comment was said in reference to a group of children, a group most likely running around excited like most children are at the prospect of going on vacation, the comment was most likely affectionate, NOT RACIST. I once said President Obama had ears like a monkey, referring to their size, and was called a racist. I had honestly forgotten that the term monkey had been at one a time derogatory term toward African Americans

    The family and other likes them should consider going back to school because they obviously never leaned the meaning of CONTEXT!!

  • Vog46

    In any car rental company customer service is key to getting repeat customers, and with ILM being a touristy area I would prefer my employees show exemplary customer service skills.
    Casey failed miserably a customer service.
    The customer has now escalated this and is seeking some sort of financial “pay back” along with the firing of the employee involved.
    Like women’s rights – civil rights have made the situation for blacks much better in the good old U.S. of A. Is it perfect? No. And it never will be, but to quote an old advertisement – you’ve come a long way baby. At some point in time those that feel they have been unequally treated get to a point where the “unequalness” can only be eradicated by those who feel that way. The law can only do so much. It’s time to step up to the plate.
    Women who call other women whores or “she’s such a slut” have no reason to feel insulted when a man says that to them. The same goes for blacks that call each other the N-word – if you do it to each other you are now fair game for the rest of us.
    Casey showed poor customer service but her punishment should be determined by her superiors – not by the customers who still feel the scourge of discrimination. Sorry, but you are no longer “exceptional” – Obama broke the glass ceiling for you.
    Now blacks and women should be shown COMMON courtesy – nothing exceptional, just common courtesy, to each other, and those around them. You reap what you sow.
    Enterprise owes these people a gracious apology and a promise to address the situation with the employee, nothing else.




  • Guest564654


  • quanna

    Your right, there is a major part missing from the story… the car was filthy to name
    Few things thats was wrong: hotdogs, buns, pretzels, chips and dog hair, mustard was all in the
    car.. it was given to us like that, the tire was defective we had a blow out in Florida. We have 2 jobs and our children are well behaved, they didn’t walk into the place that i thought was business and let our children jump around…she had a nasty attitude when we first walked in the building but most importantly she called us out our name joking or not, but i seriously doubt she was joking so, to all of you that have something to say we own our own house, built from the ground up.. its not about money, but we need to be heard as people, we are
    not racist and neither should anyone else be,believe it or not slavery is still around now you have a blessedd night

  • really

    unless you were black at some point in your life and have had to endure what black people have had to go through and what they are still going through then shut up because you obviously have no clue. get your heads out of your a$$ and look around and pay attention…oh you dont have to do that you are white. And I have never called my kids monkeys. you all know what that means as far as black people goes and you know its a racial slur no matter how you try to spin it. the enterprise worker was so used to saying it and probably didnt realize she was loud enough for the customer to actually hear her. and she should get fired.

  • Vog46

    I hope you enjoyed your 4th of July, I know I did.
    Yes of course you deserve common courtesy as well, in spite of being a Marine


  • Tanya

    The fact that this story, as shoddy as it was reported, made it on the air disturbs me. I can’t imagine that a company as large as enterprise would employ people who would greet a customer in that manner. While the employee could not say anything on air WWAY had no problem slandering this poor girl without getting or reporting on the other side of the story. How credible is this accusation and the reporting? There is definitely something missing here. If the customer has been apologized to and finance compensated for their rental what more does she want? She has the right as a consumer to make the choice not to spend her money there. That’s where it should end. It seems like it’s another case of someone taking things farther than it needs to go. As a person of color I cannot change the past, but I do have the ability to not let the past dictate my future. I’ve lived in Wilmington for over ten years and found it to be a tolerant city to race, sexual orientation, etc. Shame on you Ms. Greene. Instead of being an educator and taking a negative situation and trying to turn it into a learning experience you just look like another attention and money seeking person that is ruining our society.

  • windy

    Sounds like this woman is just trying to get a free ride to Florida (literally) by playing the race card.

  • QuietOne

    Get over it already. Do you realize that we grew up playing on the “monkey bars” when we were kids? I hear people call kids “little monkeys” all the time when they are climbing all over things. It’s a term of endearment to many people. I hope Enterprise sticks by its employee.

  • Monkey Junction

    I have no idea what happened at the rental office. I do find it interesting how these stories bring out the same old tired statements with just a bit of prejudice behind it. Every story involving any minority always brings out the stuff. It is like the person who starts off saying “I am not racist….” and then launches into a racism diatribe.

  • news to me

    ( ‘Do you know back in slavery time that’s what they used to call colored people?’)
    No I did not, and it is not back in slavery time now so what is your point?

  • guesty

    We have called the customer and apologized, but she has demanded to be financially compensated.

    She just wants a payday. Children of all races have been called monkeys. Get over yourself.

  • post my comment

    Before your broadcast tonight I was a daily viewer of your show. After this broadcast tonight I will never watch your news program again! This story on a so called “racist” comment made by an Enterprise manager is completely false and a strong defamation of character. If your so called “reporter” got her facts straight before she reported this on television this would not be an issue. For your knowledge, this case, although, a complete fabrication by an angry person trying to get over on a corporation, was settled a month ago. So this greedy person was not satisfied by their compensation from this “made up story” so they went to your program. This girl deserves an apology from your entire broadcast and if I was her, I would make this a national case against a television broadcast station falsely accusing a well standing citizen of being a racist. This is absolutely disgusting and a gross negligence on your part that needs to be resolved right away.

  • shooter

    The only racists involved were on the front side of the counter at Enterprise. I can say from personal experience that there is not a racist bone in Casey. I’ve known her for over two years.

  • SnatchHammer

    Not saying that it didn’t happen, however it does seems weird anyone would walk in to any company location and being greeted by the manager with a racist comment. Call me crazy but it seems part of the story may be missing here.

  • wilminton native

    Here we go again. The card is played as always. I’ve called children little monkeys regardless of color. I’m sure they walked in and children being children were in to everything running around acting silly. As children do. I believe its the train of thinking of the mother to believe this was a racist comment some people look for things to bring to publics attention. Get over it I’m sure it was innocent. And the mother is gonna get the attention she wanted. of course. We shouldn’t have to walk on egg shells scared were gonna make a racist comment, people like that are always gonna find something us non African American people say wrong to hurt there feelings.

  • Guest111

    She couldn’t have been toooo offended. She never asked for an apology. . . . it was purely and simply SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!

  • Guest Taxpayer II

    For years when my kids were small, I called them little monkeys.
    To this day I call my young nieces and nephews, “Little Monkeys.”
    This young woman who is probably half my age, was probably brought
    up hearing that from a grandparent or other family member and thought
    of it as a playfull term. Its time this programmed insensitivity
    among a part of our society comes to an end. Every little thing that
    can be brought up as possible racism is pathetic.

  • Guest1851658

    Financial compensation………this is what they always want and will not hesitate to play the race card to try and get it. It’s all about the money. How were they possibly injured in any way to deserve money? These people have more tricks than a magician.

  • Guest123123

    My goodness how would this tranlate into money. Always looking for a payout. Just give them a suv with chrome rims for the holiday weekend and they will go away.

  • ROSEd

    The comment was definitely in bad taste but I don’t at all believe that it was intended to be a racist comment. An apology and a free rental(maybe), but compensation and her losing a job is a bit much for a honest mistake, and this us coming form a woman of color.

  • Disgusted

    We have used the Enterprise on Castle Hayne road several times, and have had nothing but great service. I think it’s obvious that the young lady was making a playful comment about the kids that were with them. Why on God’s green earth would a supervisor make a deliberately racist comment right to their face?

    Ms. Greene needs to get that chip off her shoulder and understand that black people do not have a trademark on the word “monkey”, and do not get to decide what other people’s intent is when they use it. She is a racist for making such an awful accusation when its obvious nothing racial was intended. I’ve heard children – especially excited/active children – called “little monkeys” all my life…no matter their color. How hateful of her to try to use this young ladies cheerful greeting as a basis for such a hateful claim. I’m willing to be she is already lawyered up for her lawsuit and planning on how she will spend her settlement.

  • Guest56789

    It was in bad taste, however I do not believe that she intended it to be a racist comment. An apology, a free rental (MAYBE)but compensation and her losing a job is a bit much for something taking out of context, and this statement is coming from a woman of color.

  • Guest111

    When my grandchildren are running, screaming and playing hard I have been known to call them silly monkeys and they love it. Again we are reading about some sort of play on words. I am so sick of it. And now the woman has ” demanded to be financially compensated.” Does anyone else see the stupidity in this? Am I the only person out of step in my thoughts about this? I am sick of those people yelling about w o r d s. Again, they call each other the N word all the time and refer to each other as nigga as a term of endearment. H***, lets just quit talking to them and point. Maybe that won’t be offensive.

  • taxpayer

    “She says she and her family are hoping for some resolve and for Casey to be fired.”

    All she’s looking for is a check with a few 0’s to the left of the decimal point. I wonder if she’s every used the “W” word?

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