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South African singer claims he was racially profiled in Napa Valley restaurant

Jonathan Butler, a South African singer whose music has been praised by Nelson Mandela, claims he was racially profiled at a Napa Valley restaurant after the manager questioned whether he had tipped his server.

Following a trip to Napa Valley restaurant Goose and Gander in St Helena, the South African singer took to social media to describe his experience.

Butler was in the Napa Valley area to perform at the jazz club Blue Note.

After eating at the restaurant and paying for his meal, Butler claims he was followed out to his car by the manager, who asked whether he had “taken care of his server”.

“We had a great dinner, and the bill came, and I paid the bill, and we took care of the server,” he said, explaining that “as we were leaving the restaurant, the manager decided to follow me to my car”.

“He showed so much lack of respect to me and all of us that ate at the restaurant. I don’t think he’ll do that to a white person.”

Butler likened the experience to “back in the day in South Africa”, at a time when he experienced racial injustice.

“It’s offensive,” Butler said in his Instagram Live post. “It’s highly disturbing to me that here in Napa Valley of all places, where there’s jazz music and great wines, this guy decides to follow me to my car.”

The South African singer described going back into the restaurant to confront the man, who claimed he did not mean to cause offence.

Following the Instagram post, which has been viewed more than 200,000 times, Goose and Gander’s Yelp page was flooded with negative reviews. Yelp has temporarily disabled the page, according to ABC News where this story was first reported.

In other news, earlier this month outspoken stand-up comedian Dave Chappelle said Napa Valley is not “a place renowned for its diversity,” as he railed about noise curfew at jazz festival. Read more on that here.

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