It's Not Always Racism | Allan Kehler

A man recently shared a very intriguing story about his first few days as an immigrant in Canada.

Naturally, he was told that he needed to experience Tim Hortons Coffee. (What is more Canadian than that?)

As he stood in line he watched a Caucasian woman behind the counter smile at each customer while they placed their order.

That same smile was present as she handed each customer their coffee.

Finally, it was his turn.

The moment after he expressed his desire for a medium double-double, the woman’s entire expression changed. The smile vanished and her face went cold.

When the Tim Hortons employee handed over his coffee, the smile was still vacant.

The man took his coffee, and noticed that as this woman returned to the counter, the smile returned for the next customer.

His feelings were hurt, and he did not understand her actions.

Naturally, the coffee was so good that he returned the following morning.

Interestingly, it was the same woman behind the counter.

He placed his order, and again her smile disappeared. She remained expressionless as she handed over his coffee.

This woman’s actions really bothered this man.

Was he doing something wrong?

Was it the color of his skin?

This man returned to Tim Hortons the following morning, and sure enough, it was the same woman taking orders. Three other people were lined up in front of him, and he decided to study their exact actions and words to see if they were doing something different.

After each individual placed their order, it became evident that he was doing and saying everything the same, except for one word:


This man approached the counter, ordered his coffee, and this time added this one word.

Sure enough. The woman’s smile remained.

That same smile was there as she handed over his medium double-double.

Sadly, racism does exist and is a reality for many.

In this particular instance, this man’s lesson reminds us that it is important to examine our own actions before looking outwards.


“What’s stronger than a broken man who has the courage to rebuild himself? It’s time to redefine what it means to be strong.”

- Allan Kehler