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Symptoms that a Crisis was Imminent

Several symptoms were present that made it evident that a crisis was imminent. The fact several African-Americans across the United States were coming forward with complaints was the most obvious symptom. When Denny’s initially denied the accusations, it only added fuel to the fire. As we learned in class, “Sometimes a group has to be convinced that a crisis exists before they will take action.”

There are several times Denny’s denied their accusations. At one point, a consent decree with the U.S. Justice Department was signed by Denny’s saying there was a pattern of discrimination that could be proved. Denny’s denied these claims saying the since signing the consent decree, Denny’s “has served 70 million meals and received 17 allegations of discrimination” (Greiff 1993). Flagstar CEO Jerry Richardson thought very little wrong had been done. He was quoted saying, “If our African-American guests were mistreated, was it because of racism? I can’t tell you. It’s impossible to know what’s in a person’s heart” (Kohn 1994). His explanation for settling also seemed artificial. He said that the decision to settle was based on numbers and that he, “had to consider the cost of the litigation, which would have been astronomical even if we’d won every trial. Plus, litigating was going to take years, and you can’t go for years being at war with a percentage of your customers. I had to consider the financial good of the company” (Kohn 1994).