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A restaurant proprietor has come to the defence of one of his waiters after some clientele stated they did not want to be attended by him as he was autistic. Mike Jennings, who works Grenache in Walkden, Manchester, took to Facebook after being appalled at the way a table of patrons criticised his crew member.

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They requested not to be served by an autistic crew member and asked Mr Jennings, why he would hire him in such an establishment. The waiter, Andy, 45, who has autism, joined the establishment three weeks ago. He shuffles his career with his position as a designated carer for his mum, who suffers from Alzheimer’s.

They used the day restoring the confidence of one of their team, after being disrespected and socially victimised by a table that was dining with them. Mike Jennings describes his recruiting, and that they hire workers based on their skill, experience and enthusiasm for the work. Not the tone of their skin, or the way they look, how many tattoos they have, their dress size, religious views or disabilities. They do not segregate.

Ultimately, he conveys a distinct message: “If you DO [discriminate]… Then please do not book a table at Grenache. You do not deserve our time, effort or RESPECT!”

This should be a prompt reminder that people with disabilities are no different from everyone else, and they should be treated with the reverence that they deserve. They are not a victim that people appear to believe they can ridicule, and just because a person has a disability does not mean that they have no social manners.

It does not indicate that they are illiterate, in fact, most people with disabilities are quite smart. However, other people cringe at the unknown and need to be extra grown-up about people with disabilities, and I am certain they would think differently if it was their child that had a disability and went to work and got mocked.

These people that ridicule the afflicted are bullies, and I find this all very distasteful, and I wince at the thought that somebody could make this person feel victimised because he is Autistic. My own son is Autistic, and he has been browbeaten by people all his life, and it makes me sad that this sort of thing still goes on, even in today’s society when prejudice is supposed to be against the law.

There should be much more stringent regulations opposing prejudice, particularly where a person has a disability through no wrongdoing of their own. After all, they don’t ask to be born this way, but that is life, and that is the way life goes, but that does not imply they should be victimised for it.

To abuse another person for being different from somebody else is completely shameful, that people think they can band together to obtain brownie points, and when these people do these terrible things, they must understand that it completely annihilates the spirit of the person they are doing it too, particularly if they have a disability.

They have plenty to deal with on an everyday basis, net alone having to put up with ignorant people assuming it’s entertaining when they do this and behave in this way towards another human being. These people are just rude and uncouth, and their conduct is far from reproach.

If they think the disabled people are imperfect, then they should take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror from time to time. At least disabled people have the capacity to overlook and the courage to disregard the cowardice that some people have in them. These are brilliant people, they are not oddballs of the community, and they can be victorious and challenge anything that is facing them.

If people have a distaste for disabled people, then clearly don’t visit the restaurant that they work in or any workplace they work in, it’s as plain as that. Prejudice is a disturbing thing, and should be abolished altogether, no ifs or buts, and it should be sanctioned by a law, not just for some, but for everybody.

We should be able to feel comfortable in our society, and not have to be cautious of what we say or do, how we look, how we dress, what colour hair we have, how many tattoos we have, whether we are disabled, a different tone of skin, it should not matter because beneath our skin we are still all the same.

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