Dealership apologizes for derogatory term for Black customer

LUMBERTON, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina car dealership has apologized for a derogatory term posted to its social media to identify a Black woman who bought a car from the business.

Lumberton Honda posted a picture Thursday on its Facebook page of Trinity Bethune standing in front of a car outside of the dealership and a comment congratulating her on buying her first car, news outlets reported. But instead of using her real name, they called her “Bon Quisha.” While the dealership has not explained the mistake, it appeared to play on stereotypes of Black names.

“It’s something people use toward Black people as a racial slur and an offensive term,” Bethune told WTVD. “If I’m addressed, I should be addressed as Trinity Bethune.”

Tyrone Jacob, who identified himself as Bethune’s brother, posted a screen grab of the dealership’s post and called it “intentional, disgusting, unfair.”

“The independently-owned dealer posted the comment in question,” Marcus Frommer, spokesman for Honda North America, said in an email. “Honda strongly condemns the use of discriminatory remarks and we expect our dealers to uphold our principles. We are investigating.”

The post was removed from the page, and the dealership offered the apology Friday, expressing regret for “the recent inappropriate post towards one of our valued customers.” The post suggested that an employee made the original comment and no longer works there.

“The action of this former employee does not represent the views or culture of our company,” the statement said. “Lumberton Honda has been a part of the community for over 18 years, serving thousands of customers of all ethnicities. This incident reminds us that there is always room for improvement.”

Subsequent comments posted by people on the dealership’s Facebook page urged those who bought cars there to take them back.

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