Chicago zoo employee fired for complaining of serving ‘rude ass white people’ says she regrets comments but backlash is unfair BY Joel Landau NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Published: Wednesday, June 10, 2015, 10:56 AM Updated: Wednesday, June 10, 2015, 3:39 PM An employee at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo received scorn online for posting she was ‘serving these rude ass white people.” A 22-year-old black woman who was fired from her job at a Chicago zoo after she complained on Facebook of serving "rude ass white people" told the Daily News she regrets her comments and said it during a moment of frustration. But Rochelle Robinson also said the amount of backlash she received was unfair and quit her job because she was afraid of retaliation. “I absolutely didn’t want to offend anyone with what I said,” she said. “I would tell people not to post their problems on Facebook. A lot was made out of nothing.” Robinson who sold items from a concessions stand said the majority of her customers are white and she said she often felt disrespected. Oftentimes people would also call her names, throw items at her and steal food from her cart, she said. The Chicago resident, who was working at the zoo for her second summer, had a momentary moment of anger Monday as customers refused to acknowledge her when she tried to talk to them. I just got fed up. I felt like $8.55 (an hour) was not enough to be treated like that. “I just got fed up,” she said. “I felt like $8.55 (an hour) was not enough to be treated like that.” So on a Facebook account with the name Shana "Poohpooh" Latrice, Robinson posted a picture of herself in her uniform with the caption “Wassup y'all? At work serving these rude ass white people." But unfortunately for the frustrated employee the post was quickly shared multiple times on social media and is making the rounds across the Internet. She later changed the name of her page so people couldn’t see her. Robinson said she was up until 4 a.m. Tuesday morning reading all of the negative things people were saying to her. Many of them were far more racist and insulting than what she had written, she said. She also said she is not a racist and went to schools that had a majority white student body in the north side section of the city. Her grandmother is also part-white, she said. “I’m not racist against my grandmother,” she said. “In fact, I have some white blood in me.” The extent of the criticism was unfair, Robinson said, noting a lot of people say much worse things on the Internet. They also made many assumptions about her or focused on negative parts of her Facebook page. They did not look at good things she had done and posted on social media, she said. The Brookfield Zoo said the comment was ‘unacceptable’ and terminated the employee the next day. But her employer began getting an onslaught of complaints beginning Monday from angry customers, some of whom threatened not to come back. It prompted the animal facility to respond and they decided to fire her, a zoo spokesman told The News. Robinson said she didn’t discuss the situation with the administration but decided to quit Tuesday morning because she was afraid she would be targeted by customers if she continued to work there. The Brookfield Zooreleased a statement on its Facebook pagecalling her action's unacceptable. We have zero tolerance for these kinds of divisive behaviors. "This employee's statements in social media are in violation of our policies and do not reflect our institution's values,"the statement read."We have zero tolerance for these kinds of divisive behaviors." The organization added they took "prompt action to remedy the situation" Tuesday. "We hope you continue to hold Brookfield Zoo in high regard and not let the actions of one individual overshadow the longstanding good work of the Chicago Zoological Society,"the zoo stated.