Students Say Chicago Nightclub Refused To Admit Black People

Six black college students on a senior trip to Chicago say they were refused entry into Chicago’s Original Mother’s bar while 200 of their white classmates got in without a problem, CNN reports.

Club management told the students they were just enforcing a dress code, not allowing those with baggy jeans to enter, but a white and black student switched clothes and the black student still couldn’t get in.

The CNN story says:

Washington University Chancellor Mark Wrighton sent a letter to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley to express his “most intense disappointment” about the incident. In the letter — a copy of which was provided to CNN by Cutz — Wrighton told the mayor that he “can only imagine the humiliation and discouragement these six young students felt … when they were turned away from this establishment because of their race.”

Students also contacted the Anti-Defamation League and the Chicago Urban League. The two organizations jointly sent a letter to the bar, writing that they “strongly suggest that Mother’s re-examine its dress code, conduct immediate retraining of all employees to avoid any future racial discrimination or appearance thereof, and issue a formal letter of apology to the six students who were denied entry.”

If you’ve got any racist bouncer/bar owner tales, please share.

Students: Chicago nightclub barred blacks [CNN]
(Photo: CNN)
(Thanks, Joe!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Tito151 says:

    There is a bar in Bloomington, IN that ridiculous profiles blacks at the bar (may just be certain bouncers). I’ve heard a few stories… one which a friend getting denied for ‘too baggy of pants’ while wearing his nice church clothes. It really shocks me that this kind of thing would happen in Bloomington, a supposed haven of open-minded, free thinking people.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:


      …sorry, but I’ve been to Bloomington, IN, and surrounding areas…a “haven of open-minded, free thinking people” it is not. It’s closer to Deliverance than Enlightenment.

      • ryan_h says:


        hahahaha A+

      • samagonistes says:

        @YouDidWhatNow?: As a former student of IU who was a part of the racial minority there, I couldn’t agree more. The bouncers at Crazy Horse and Kilroy’s were notorious for coming up with excuses on the fly on why my friends and I couldn’t enter: dress code, too full, too many guys in our party, etc. As for Bloomington being a haven, consider this: in 1991, a Caucasian female told local police that she was attacked by an Asian male at an apartment complex. At 3:30 am, the police (with the aid of the complex manager) pulled out all the Asian sounding residents of the complex and did a lineup on the street so that she could identify the offender. Isolated this incident would seem to be the misguided attempts at justice by a few cops, but throughout my short stay in Bloomington, I can say that this happened all to regularly.

    • Burning pakalolo not even noticing the weather says:

      @Tito151: just because they are church clothes doesn’t mean they fit properly. I have seen some people go to work with pants hanging off their ass and they are stepping into an office building. Pull you pants up and wear clothes that fit.

      • Trai_Dep says:

        @Burning pakalolo not even noticing the weather: Yay, a Churchgoer-hating troll. THAT’S an unexpected combo!

        • Burning pakalolo not even noticing the weather says:

          @Trai_Dep: i have been posting here for a while and now all of a sudden I am a troll because I said something that makes sense? Wow, you are lame.

          • thezone says:

            @Burning pakalolo not even noticing the weather: I think Trai_Dep thinks you’re a troll because you didn’t fully read the article. It clearly states in the article that one of the students, after being denied, switched clothes with a white student who then got in. If the bar enforced their dress code for everyone this wouldn’t be a story.

            • CheritaChen says:

              @thezone: I think Trai_Dep was being characteristically flippant and you didn’t read the comment from Tito151 which Burning was actually replying about. He mentioned another (read: not the one from the OP) bar in another state that gave the excuse of baggy pants for denying entry to a young man wearing his “nice church clothes.” Her comment was that not everyone defines “nice church clothes” with the same standard and men who wear their pants around their asses are being idiots. She did not indicate race, and she did not make any reference to the obvious racial motivation behind the Chicago story in the FA.

              Yes, it always helps to read the article. But it’s also nice to read the comments carefully before criticizing others for not having done so.

      • sinfuly Delicious says:

        @Burning pakalolo not even noticing the weather: And when you get done with that will yah GET OFF MY LAWN YA DAMN HIPPIES!

    • RandomHookup says:

      @Tito151: From my experience in Bloomington, it seems the rules are a little different if you play basketball.

    • colorisnteverything says:


      UH…. as a student I can tell you that the “student” bars don’t care. Nick’s, which is both a favorite of those of us who are of age and the alumni also could care less what race you are.

      Townies, however, are not so liberal-minded many times and their dive bars may not welcome a rainbow of colors. This is deplorable, but probably why this is happening.

    • Nidoking says:

      @Tito151: From my experience, Bloomington IS rather a haven compared to the rest of Indiana. I’ve always believed it’s due to the high population of college students. However, as I don’t frequent the bar scene, I can’t confirm or deny any general trends therein.

      • colorisnteverything says:


        We students are GENERALLY quite liberal – far more so than Purdue students, for example (in general, I know there are liberals everywhere), but the townies are NOT. Some are very quite backward and some are just conservative because they dislike our professors’ views and our views.

        • 32ndnote says:


          I definitely don’t think that’s a fair generalization, it’s just that most racial diversity here is of Asian descent. The students are reasonably liberal. Once again, the surrounding area isn’t necessarily of the same mindset…

        • zlionsfan says:

          @Nidoking: @colorisnteverything: I think it may be helpful to remember that a) Indiana has about half the non-white population that the US has as a whole (by percentage), and b) Bloomington is actually a small Indiana town that surrounds a liberal campus. The experience of an IU student who lives on or near campus will likely be considerably different than the experience of a Bloomington resident who lives away from campus, and even more so than the experience of someone who lives outside Bloomington. (I say that as someone who lived and worked in various parts of town for about 13 years.)

          It’s disappointing but not at all surprising to me that a bar in Bloomington would profile people at the door by race. I’m sure Purdue-area bars do the same thing. (Tippecanoe County, surprisingly, has a slightly higher percentage of non-white residents. I would guess it would be from having a slightly greater number of students as a whole. It sure didn’t seem like it would be from townies.)

  2. Saboth says:

    Not racist…but a local long time college burger joint/bar has a strict dress code for …men. No hats, no short shorts, no muscle shirts, etc. However, women can come in with the shortest skirt and spaghetti straps and no issues at all. I think the local paper ran a story on it.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:


      …while I must resist the temptation to ask whether or not you really want to see men in the bar with mini skirts and speghetti straps, I think the point is probably twofold…

      1. Society has determined that men and women have different expectations for their appearance going out on the town…also, men have a relatively tightly-defined “acceptable dress code” whereas women really don’t…so long as no naughty bits are showing and the clothing is clean, it’s probably good to go.

      2. It’s a bar. The bar wants hot women to be present, which means they’re all about miniskirts and spaghetti straps. That attracts more men into the place, which ultimately means more business.


      • AlphaLackey says:

        @YouDidWhatNow?: The issue is that the double standards that these black students faced are no worse than the double standards men of all races have been facing at bars for years. They may even have similar logic for wanting to discriminate against blacks as you detail in point 2. Doesn’t mean they’re allowed to do it.

        Only difference is, society still thinks it’s acceptable to discriminate on the grounds of being male.

        • pop top says:

          @AlphaLackey: “Only difference is, society still thinks it’s acceptable to discriminate on the grounds of being male.”

          Hahahahaha. Call me when there’s equal pay for equal work.

          • AlphaLackey says:

            @squinko: Call me when there’s equal work.

            • pop top says:

              @AlphaLackey: I see. You’re one of those guys who’s really a misogynist but pretends that he’s just for “men’s rights”. Go get a job at Hooter’s.

              • AlphaLackey says:

                @squinko: So let me see if I understand this conversation:

                * I claim it is socially acceptable to discriminate against men on the grounds of gender.

                * You claim it should be okay to discriminate against men, because of the gender wage gap.

                * I remind you that the gender wage gap does not compare “equal work”, and that the same studies that show the median woman earns less in the workplace also show that the median man has more experience and works longer hours.

                * You conclude I am a misogynist because I don’t like politically-motivated bad science.

                • Raanne says:

                  @AlphaLackey: Actual studies show that same work = different pay though. True comparing “median woman / median man” isn’t good science, but you can compare actual jobs and actual experience, and the wage gap still exists.

                • Smashville says:

                  @AlphaLackey: Last I checked, she made none of those claims.

                  • AlphaLackey says:

                    @Smashville_now with Monster Energy: How else would you explain the non-sequitur reply “Call me when there’s equal pay for equal work.”? It does not deal with discrimination against men, but it does imply discrimination in favor of men, and the glib tone of dismissal is pretty clearly claiming that my point is moot because of her point.

                    And last time I checked, I never claimed to be a misogynist merely pretending to be interested in “Men’s rights”.

              • henrygates says:

                @squinko: Actually there are many professions out there where women make more than men, and when factoring in experience and hours, the wage gap disappears. Women who are childless (ie, don’t take time off for babies, or working fewer hours around Jr’s schedule) make just as much money as men. The wage gap is self-perpetuated by personal choices.

              • Mythandros says:

                @squinko: “I see. You’re one of those guys who’s really a misogynist but pretends that he’s just for “men’s rights”. Go get a job at Hooter’s.

                So.. you have a problem with men having rights? Prejudiced much? Not only are you a hypocrite, but a pretty sad human being to boot.

                Congratulations, you suck!

          • ExtraCelestial says:

            @squinko: Glad to see that I wasn’t the only one dumbfounded at AlphaLackey’s insistence in equating racism and sexism with the “plight” of the white male.

            I mean, really?

            …no, really?

            • AlphaLackey says:

              @Raanne: .. and you factor in the value of non-wage job benefits (which actual studies show women value higher than men), and where does the gender gap go? And you factor in men and women pay the same amount into workplace and social programs, yet women get more out of them due to a longer life span, and where does the gender gap go?

              And on one side of the scale, you can put the whole amount of money of the actual gender gap, and on the other side, you can put the billions of dollars extra that female athletes are able to earn that they could not earn if that field was a gender-blind meritocracy, and I think I can conclude women are coming out okay in the workplace.


              From a recent (January 2009) report commissioned by the US Department of Labor:

              Although additional research in this area is clearly needed, this study leads to the unambiguous conclusion that the differences in the compensation of men and women are the result of a multitude of factors and that the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action. Indeed, there may be nothing to correct. The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers.


              Nowhere did I say the white male was in any sort of “plight”. I made two points:

              * It is still socially acceptable to discriminate against men based on the grounds of gender.

              * Men have been facing this particular double standard at bars for years. If it’s no big deal when men face it on the grounds of their gender, and it IS a big deal when blacks face it on the grounds of their race, that is just proof of point #1.

              • ExtraCelestial says:

                @AlphaLackey: You did actually when you compared being male to being black. Honestly, if you think that being denied entry due to the holes in your jeans is the same as being denied due to the color of your skin there is nothing more for me to say to you. I just hope that reincarnation is real and that in your next life you are able to have experiences that would enable a far wider, more accurate viewpoint.

                @henrygates: There is a difference between the literal definition of racism which is simply prejudice due to race, and the historical definition of racism that involves oppression which can only be perpetuated by those of the power-holding majority. As far as the rest of your rant I haven’t a clue what you’re talking about, but it sounds like you need a hug.

                Guys can’t wear hats, but girls can wear spaghetti straps? It’s apples and oranges.

              • HannerHearse says:

                @AlphaLackey: and as was pointed out by Reanne, women have been facing this double-standard at bars for years as well. no skimpy clothes = no entry. obese people also have a hard time getting in to clubs and bars – particularly obese women. and of course this article is about college students who couldn’t get in to a bar because of the color of their skin.

                the double-standard in clothing coverage isn’t discrimination against men. it’s discrimination against women too. and women have the worse of it for having to present themselves as sex objects if they want to get in. some of us would rather be in a decent work short and pants.

                • Kryndar says:

                  @HannerHearse: I personally dislike all dress codes that are not applied equally to everyone. I.E. a women should be allowed to wear what is acceptable for men and men should be able to do the same with that is acceptable for women. Frankly for clubs/bars I have not seen such descrimination. Any time I have had to wait in line for a bar/club it has always, as far as I could tell, been first come first in. I have only seen people turned away if they were drunk. This could be partially due to location, I honestly don’t know. I live in Ottawa where, to reference a point made by someone else, it is legal, unless I am mistaken, for women to be topless.

                  As a general comment for the thread, I am a white heterosexual male and I do not know if I have been descriminated against for being one. The only two things I can particularly think of off hand are both connected to being male rather than white. The first being the assumption that I am sexest because I am male, which has happened. The second is pure speculation and only somewhat related. I think that part of the reason I may have had such a hard time finding a job recently was because I was a large man, yes in the gut I am also built large in general. Most of the jobs I was applying to were face to face customer service jobs and despite the fact I am also told by my bosses I do a great customer service job and I think that I may have been passed over largely because I don’t look that part, I.E. vaugely threatening, that is until you talk to me ;p.

                • AlphaLackey says:

                  @HannerHearse: It isn’t a double standard in clothing, it’s a double standard in “who do we want in our bar?”

                  I’m sorry, but we’ll have to agree to disagree about the clothing issue, especially as bars have a track record of explicit discrimination designed to increase the number of female customers. Rest assured, some of us would rather pay the same price as a woman to get in, and the same price for a drink as a woman once we do get in.

              • thesadtomato says:

                @AlphaLackey: “Additional research in this area is clearly needed.”

                Yeah. That’s why when hiring for my job my boss was told by her boss “good luck trying to hire a man; you’ll never hire a man for that salary.” Also why most men in my job earn $10,000 more than women in my job. Now what were those non-wage job benefits you were talking about?

                • AlphaLackey says:

                  @thesadtomato: As opposed to “good luck trying to hire a man, you aren’t allowed to because we already have too many”.

                  • thesadtomato says:

                    @AlphaLackey: Mmm, yeah, most non-profit organizations (like public schools, libraries, museums, social service agencies) don’t have too many men working there.

                    Nope, all the men are either the director or make more money in some other sector of the economy. If there are too many men in an organization, wouldn’t it give you pause? I mean, women make up 51% of the population, so . . .

              • Paladin_11 says:

                @AlphaLackey: One of these things is not like the other… one of these things just doesn’t belong…

            • henrygates says:

              @ExtraCelestial: Yes, it is possible to be racist and sexist against white males. I’m not wealthy, powerful, or have harmed any racial or gender group, so WTF should I be punished for it?

      • LMacConn says:

        @YouDidWhatNow?: I may not want to see men in the bar with mini skirts and spaghetti straps, but if a guy showed up to the bar dressed like that I sure as hell wouldn’t want him prevented from coming in the door.

        If you can’t see the difference between what you wouldn’t like and what shouldn’t be permitted, then you may want to reconsider your view on bouncers who don’t want black people in their clubs. Or gays. Or transvestites…

        • YouDidWhatNow? says:


          Slow down there, cowboy…I in no way implied that I agreed with the policy. I was just trying to give an explanation of why a bar might have a different dress code for women than men.

          As far as I’m concerned, if a guy wants to wear a miniskirt to a bar…knock yourself out. If it bothers me, I can go to another bar.

    • Megalomania says:

      @Saboth: No different from not requiring ladies to pay a cover fee. It’s one of those things where if you want to think of it in one way it will seem wrong.

    • Raanne says:

      @Saboth: But can women come in with jeans and a long sleeve button down shirt on though? Usually not. There is a dress code for women too at most clubs…

    • HannerHearse says:

      re: “has a strict dress code for …men. No hats, no short shorts, no muscle shirts, etc. However, women can come in with the shortest skirt and spaghetti straps and no issues at all.”

      It is illegal in most states for women to be topless in public, whereas men enjoy that freedom. Even the right to breastfeed in public has had to be won through the courts. As another commenter mentioned, women in pants and long-sleeved shirts can’t get into bars with the skimpy dress-code you are offended by.

      This isn’t a simple story of reverse discrimination against men, it’s discrimination against everyone who doesn’t fit their code. And it is in no way comparable to the experience of these college students being refused entry no matter what they were wearing.

  3. biggytek says:

    1. Any private establishment has the right to refuse anyone for any reason, racist or not.

    2. After being denied entry, the black students and the white students switched clothes (to prove a point maybe?) and were still denied entry (blaming it on race). Do they really think club bouncers are that stupid? If you’re denied once for any reason, you’re going to be remembered. Trying over and over again is going to ensure you never get into the club.

    3. Why the outrage? Contacting the mayor? Really? Get over it. Life isn’t fair.

    4. If 200 black students were let in, and six white students were kept out, this wouldn’t be a story.

    • Esquire99 says:

      1. This club isn’t a private establishment, it’s a privately-owned public accommodation. It’s open to the general public, thus it can’t discriminate based on race (Civil Rights Act of 1964) and can’t discriminate on various other grounds (Chicago Human Relations Ordinance)

    • deniseb says:

      @biggytek: So what if they knew he changed his clothes? – if it really were about the clothes.

    • boxjockey68 says:

      @biggytek: I agree, just another story about how bad whitey is…

  4. katstermonster says:

    Kudos for the students for switching clothes to try to trick the nightclub. Very clever.

    • pop top says:

      @katstermonster: I thought that was a good idea too. I can definitely understand wanting your patrons to adhere to a certain dress code (places wouldn’t have dress codes if they didn’t work), but this just proves that this club uses the guise of a dress code to keep minorities out.

      Not saying that this is right but, if this is a private club, can’t they keep out anyone they don’t want for any reason?

      • FatLynn says:

        @squinko: No. They are a “public house” and subject to non-discrimination laws as such.

        • pop top says:

          @FatLynn: Ah, thanks for clarifying that. I see someone asked the same question further down and someone else explained the difference between these clubs and what a private club really is.

    • vladthepaler says:


      Agreed. I bought the “dress code” line until I read they switched clothes. Sad to say this sounds like the racism it’s being painted as.

  5. bornonbord says:

    Have you ever been to Mothers? You need at least three popped collars to get in – something very few [strikethrough]douchebags[/strikethrough] people have.

    And… I would never want to swap clothes in order to wear that many popped collars just to pay $9 for a bud light in a can, and to shout at my friends about the skanks pounding jager bombs.

    Having said that, racism sucks.

  6. Working for the man, he pays well. says:

    According to the link, it was “security concerns” not racism… And they are “taking the issue very seriously.” So I am sure it will work out in the end…

    From CNN:
    But a representative of the bar told the Chicago Tribune on Thursday that security concerns, not racism, guided the decision. One day later, a bar representative told the paper the club was taking the issue “very seriously,” conducting an internal investigation and that disciplinary action would be taken if necessary.

  7. Esquire99 says:

    While I think the actions of the club owners are reprehensible, once they were denied entry for clearly race-based reasons why would they still want to enter and not only give the club their money but essentially legitimize their behavior? On top of that, where were their classmates during this? They should have been leaving the club like there was a fire inside. I can’t even imagine continuing to patronize an establishment that won’t let in my friends/classmates because of their race.

    • rocketbear79 says:

      @Esquire99: Agreed. I’m sure if 194 people were about to up and leave, policy (unspoken or not) would get changed real quick, even at a bar that is used to being crowded or having quick patron turnover.

    • katstermonster says:

      @Esquire99: I don’t think they continued to try to get back in because they really wanted to go to the club, I think the clothes-switching was just a test to see if they were truly being discriminated against.

      • Esquire99 says:

        I was referring more to the part where it was suggested that they go back to the hotel and change, but the manager insisted they still wouldn’t get in. Why even bother going to change when it’s clear the initial denial was race-based?

        • mythago says:

          @Esquire99: Probably because a couple hundred of their friends were inside. Have you ever tried to get a handful of your friends to pick a restaurant? Or move from venue A to venue B? With that many kids it’d be like herding an acre of cats.

          They probably also didn’t want to make a federal case out of it and ruin everyone’s evening. When you have to deal with this kind of crap all your life you learn to pick your battles.

          • Esquire99 says:

            I suppose that makes sense. I guess I just have a hard time with the idea of still wanting to patronize such a business, but I think you’re right re: the perspective issue. I imagine when you’ve had to deal with discrimination for so long it modifies how you see things. Pretty sad, really.

            I really am bothered by the fact that, as it appears, none of their colleagues chose to stand up for them and walk out of the club.

            • luchita says:

              @Esquire99: @Esquire99: They had paid for an all you can drink special, so if their classmates who were already inside got up and left, the bar would keep their money anyways. They explained it in another article that I read.

              • Esquire99 says:

                That makes more sense, but it’s still disappointing that the classmates wouldn’t give up a little $$ to stand up for their classmates’ civil rights.

                • GrandizerGo says:

                  @Esquire99: Students…
                  NOT much money! :)
                  When you are a student, you get a second sense about deals like this.
                  All you can eat places for a fixed price don’t last long in areas full of colleges.

  8. Ronin-Democrat says:

    Remember Denny’s?

    The likelihood is that is was a single bouncer or the security manager’s idea.

    I am surprised it wasn’t caught on camera once the students decided to see what happens when they switch clothes.

  9. Ouze says:

    I’m not at all defending this, but as a private club, are they not allowed to discriminate if they were so inclined?

    • RandomHookup says:

      @Ouze: Where are you seeing that it’s a private club?

    • Falcon5768 says:

      @Ouze: nope, if its open to the public they cant discriminate.

      When you talk about a private club, you are talking about a club like the Freemasons, or the Moose lodge. Clubs that allow the public to enter freely like your local dance club or bar have to adhere to federal discrimination laws meaning they can kick you out for not adhering to a dress code or are unruly, but they cant just ban blacks or gays or Irish or what have you.

    • Esquire99 says:

      Chicago has a fairly strong anti-discrimination law. The relevant part…


      • Esquire99 says:

        Link broken, try this.


        No person that owns, leases, rents, operates, manages or in any manner controls a public accommodation shall withhold, deny, curtail, limit or discriminate concerning the full use of such public accommodation by any individual because of the individual’s race, color, sex, gender identity, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, military discharge status, or source of income. The prohibition contained in this section shall not apply to the following:

        A private club or other establishment not in fact open to the public, except to the extent that the products, facilities or services thereof are made available to the general public or to the customers or patrons of another establishment that is a public accommodation;
        Any facility, as to discrimination based on sex, which is distinctly private in nature, such as restrooms, shower rooms, bathhouses, dressing rooms, health clubs;
        Any facility, as to discrimination based on sex, which restricts rental of residential or sleeping rooms to individuals of one sex;
        Any educational institution, as to discrimination based on sex, which restricts enrollment of students to individuals of one sex.
        Notwithstanding subsections (a) through (d) above, any person may use a public accommodation or any of its products, facilities or services that are open to persons of the sex or gender reflected on any government issued identification of that individual including a driver’s license, a state identification card or passp

    • The Marionette says:

      @Ouze: Private club or not, they can’t discriminate because of race. Even if it was for a dresscode (which is completely understandable), the students even switched clothes and were STILL denied. I understand you’re not defending it, but what they’re doing wouldn’t be good.

      • Esquire99 says:

        @The Marionette:
        Actually, private (as in members only) clubs are generally allowed to discriminate. The laws usually only apply to places of public accommodation. Both the Chicago law and the Civil Rights Act of ’64 expressly exclude private accommodations that are not open to the general public.

      • RandomHookup says:

        @The Marionette: Truly private clubs can discriminate (like, say, a country club). A private business which operates for the general public is not a “private club”.

    • El Alarmist says:

      How? It’s not like it’s by invitation only.

  10. GyroMight says:

    That’s crazy, they are probably only allowed to let in five percent black people. That means if there’s 25 people here I get to let in one and a quarter black people. So they gotta hope there’s a black midget in the crowd.

  11. FatLynn says:

    I have definitely been there in the company of black coworkers, though only in business attire.

    Even if it were a dress code issue, what business is stupid enough to turn away a group of 200 people?

    • JPropaganda says:

      @FatLynn: They kept 194 of them…

      • FatLynn says:

        @JPropaganda: Then those 194 are idiots.

        • dragonfire81 says:

          @FatLynn: Even if the got in before the blacks were turned away and had no idea what was going on outside?

          • floraposte says:

            @dragonfire81: I thought of that, but I thought it was pretty unlikely that the black students were the last six (save the white students for the clothes swap) and that none of the students inside or outside had cell phones.

            • drizzt380 says:

              I think you are giving too much credit to the average student who is wanting to get into a nightclub.

              Actually paying attention more than 3 or 4 people in front of you to see the black guy get turned away even though he is in dress code? Probably not even possible and probably not happening either way.

              Chances of the 3 or 4 people who notice each act of racism knowing the phone numbers of enough people to cause some sort of chain reaction evacuation of the club? Also unlikely.

              College student believing the text message and not just thinking its a prank from a friend to get him to wait in line again? Not happening.

  12. angryneo says:


  13. royuncg says:

    Just proves that we as a country still have a long way to go…

    • Mozoltov, motherfucker says:



    • drizzt380 says:

      The actions of the few shouldn’t be enough to judge the morals of hundreds of millions?

      Racism will never be entirely eliminated and those few are probably going to be the loudest about showing their racism.

  14. adbak says:

    My sister attended a wedding of an interracial couple and after the wedding they went to Nicky Blaine’s Cocktail Lounge ([] warning: video autoplays). By the time they got there they were still in their tuxedo and wedding dress. They were denied entry and they feel that it was because the groom is black. It was never explicitly stated, but that is their strong belief.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @adbak: But what about other guests? Certainly they had guests of all races, were some of them denied entrance?

      I haven’t yet encountered racism for interracial couples, but it seems to be less controversial for my “pairing” than it is for black and white couples.

      • floraposte says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: I think it’s also regional. There’s a lot more anti-East-Asian prejudice on the West Coast than in the Midwest, for instance.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @floraposte: If that’s true (and I’m not saying it isn’t), that’s really bizarre because the most concentrated areas of Asian people are on the coasts. I mean, the biggest Chinatowns are in San Francisco, New York, and DC. You would think that people would be used to that kind of diversity.

          I think sometimes people also mistake “unfamiliarity” with “prejudice” (not saying you are). Sometimes people who haven’t had much interaction with people who aren’t of the same race or ethnicity wonder whether X people live the same way, or eat the same way, and they ask questions – it comes off as racist, but it’s actually because an ethnicity was previously an unknown quantity to a lot of people.

          • Beef Supreme says:

            @pecan 3.14159265:

            Yes and no. Being married to an Asian and being a round eye myself, I definitely can attract some sideways glances at family events and the same with her. Definitely not as much potential for racism as the white/black pairing, I agree, but sometimes, I think they are watching me…

          • floraposte says:

            @pecan 3.14159265: I think that’s why–one is an attractive novelty, 3 million is an economic and cultural power.

        • lannister80 says:

          @floraposte: Probably because there a lot more Asians on the West coast…

          • floraposte says:

            @lannister80: Exactly. People don’t really feel threatened by a handful of difference, but when there’s enough to get street signs amended and use their money to change things? That’s another matter.

      • pop top says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: You’re Asian right? I think it’s pretty acceptable in society for men of all races to be in relationships with Asian women because of that whole exotic/submissive Asian female fetish that’s popular in the West.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @squinko: That’s weird. I think there are more problems within the Asian people when it comes to marrying outside of the ethnicity than there are for non-Asian races. For the most part, black people and white people don’t have a bone to pick with Asian people…but a lot of the older generation of Asian people are still having trouble accepting that their grandkids not only do not have Asian names to go along with their English ones, they’re marrying non-Asian people. I’ve personally never had real problems with my ethnicity. I’ve had some stupid people make comments, but I quashed that really quickly.

        • Chumas says:

          @squinko: Fetish schmetish. Anyone who has asian female relatives know they are NOT submissive. Those evil bitches will kill you, eat your heart, and then bitch you got blood on their Prada shoes!

      • adbak says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: I should have been more specific; only the bride and groom went to Nicky Blaine’s.

    • colorisnteverything says:


      You would think people would be over this, but they aren’t. My BF is Iranian. I am your typical German-bred American. We get a lot of stares in public. We were living outside of London and would take the train and tube around just about every weekend. It would lead to very many awkward stares from people – and this was ENGLAND. I can’t imagine what people would say in my hometown, which is very anti-Middle Eastern, anti-Hispanic, and anti-black.

      It’s a shame that people find it THEIR personal business to tell me who I can/can’t be with. I get away with it on his side of the board because I am “exotic”. They love blondes with blue eyes and his parents like me. But I have relatives that have been pretty resistant and friends that think it is a fetish of sorts that I am dating him. Oye.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @colorisnteverything: I don’t think England is nearly as advanced as they proclaim themselves to be. American really is the ethnic mixing bowl, while England seems to be a little farther behind in having ethnic minorities integrate into society. The British National Party is extremely anti-immigration, and as such, is fairly hostile to those who are of other ethnicities since it’s readily apparent someone along the line was an immigrant, even if the person they see may be a citizen.

        Even if some Americans are completely against immigration, they don’t necessarily feel hostile toward those who are already here legally and have been here for decades. The BNP seems to actively dislike immigrants, even if they have become citizens.

        • colorisnteverything says:

          @pecan 3.14159265:

          Yeah, but those people are in the minority. Still, after living there for a year, we didn’t get dislike because of the “Muslim effect”, but the color effect I think. I think maybe Brits are just against spinning the colour wheel if I may say it? They are far more accepting of Islam then they are of color.

          Here, it is the opposite. The minute you look like a “damn muslim” you are in trouble, which is why you see tons of buhrka women at Victoria Station, but not so much at Millenium Station in Chicago. And it is much better there, understandably than in my small surburban white town.

          But yeah, they are not the melting pot we are. They claim to be, but people there who are minorities will still say they are Indian or Nigerian, despite that they have a UK passport. It’s very weird to me.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            @colorisnteverything: I think it has to do with (at least partially) the branding of America as the place of new dreams and hopes. My grandparents immigrated here with the sense that there must be more opportunity for them in a new country, something better than what they were facing, and more freedom. England didn’t seem to be on their radar because America was such a beacon of hope for them.

            There are a lot of English parents making their kids change schools because they felt a population in which the students were majority non-white was detrimental to their children…they felt that it would be difficult to be in the minority compared to Middle Eastern children. It’s a shame, really, because I developed a sense of respect for everyone as equals because I went to school with different ethnicities. I never felt as if I were any different because there were so many ethnicities. I went to school with Middle Eastern children, white children, black children, some from Africa and some Hispanic children as well. No one ever thought that being around other cultures was a bad idea.

            • colorisnteverything says:

              @pecan 3.14159265:

              I felt like this, too. And yes, my school was mostly white, but it is was still FAR more diverse than the other elementaries in our town. I liked the University of Kent, though, in England for its diversity. People were very open and most of us were international students. If I had a choice between an all white institution and a school that catered to billingualism or diversity, I would certainly pick the latter for a kid.

  15. Trai_Dep says:

    I recall the last Club Dress Code on Consumerist where I was hoping that it was the promoters being tired of the Hip-Hop look rather than racism.
    It’s sorta depressing that they were right and I was wrong.
    …Jeezus. What a way to open a morning.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @Trai_Dep: Although I LOVE that classmates switched clothing on the spot to prove Jim Crow wrong. So maybe there’s hope.

    • wvFrugan says:

      I’ll second that emotion. I was starting to be productive and get some stuff done this afternoon. Now I’m just bummed and thinking of the black foster kids I’ve had: the deck really is stacked against them, and I refuse to ack like like it’s not. They always seem impressed that one of this old white man’s boyfriends (now a friend) is black. How sad that it’s a big deal. I do believe though that in general the younger generation has it going on with regard to race and sexual orientation.

      • Gospel X says:

        @wvFrugan: The younger generation is in a great place in regard to knowing that they have a voice when it comes to racial issues, but there are still explicit and implicit lessons about race and orientation that they undoubtedly pick up from the older generations in their families. My generation is not quite the youngest out there, but we have a ways to go before I can say we have it going on.

  16. Chongo says:

    I hated that place (its in the “Viagra Triangle” – a place where older men go to hook up with younger women). However in its defense, MOST of the door men and bouncers are African American so I have a feeling it had something to do with attitude or perhaps they were doing the whole “you, you, you, not you, you, you” kinda pick and choose thing with the line?

  17. bohemian says:

    The clothes swap was a great idea and proved that this was a racism issue not attire. The white student that got back in wearing the other guy’s pants should have informed everyone else inside what just transpired. If they were told they were supporting an establishment with blatantly racist policies and refused entry to fellow students I think all or most would have left.

    • ARP says:

      @bohemian: You don’t know Mother’s very well. I’d imagine they’d get more people coming if people heard that the bars keeps out black people. Mother’s is the land of conservative ex-frat boys of all ages.

      Depsite our reputation as a liberal city, Chicago has a long way to go on race issues.

    • jenjen says:

      @bohemian: maybe the black guy was skinnier than the white guy so the white guy’s pants were baggy on him. My pants would be baggy on most of my friends.

  18. vastrightwing says:

    Perhaps OBAMA can have a beer with the bar owner and straighten out the issue.

  19. Traveshamockery says:

    200 whites get in, 6 blacks are refused. What are the chances! Definitely a coincidence.

    /apparently the bar owner acted stupidly.
    //time for a teachable moment
    ///maybe an Obama/Biden Beer Summit at the bar

  20. drdom says:

    Just out of curiousity, the club owners, they do realize it’s 2009, don’t they?

    I agree with some of the other comments though. Any club who wouldn’t admit them AFTER they complied with the dress code policy needs to be educated. But why would you want to give these people your money anyway? And why would their classmates not stand by them?

    It seems like perhaps a few details might be missing from the story. Otherwise, somebody’s going to have issues when their liquor license comes up for renewal. Remember, this is CHICAGO.

    • Esquire99 says:

      They won’t have any problems renewing the liquor license as long as the proper campaign donations are made to their alderman and so long as said alderman never gets a bill when he patronizes the bar. This is CHICAGO, as long as the wheels are properly greased, they continue to turn just fine.

      • thezone says:

        @Esquire99: That’s true up to a point. The one thing alderman hate is publicity. My friend owns a popular bar and I can tell you for a fact none of the bar owners want to get in the cross hairs of the aldermen. The aldermen love to take on a story that makes it to the news and make “examples” of establishments to give the appearance of caring.

        • ARP says:

          @thezone: That’s pretty much the case. The problem is that racism in Chicago isn’t suprising enough for anyone to do anything about it. In fact, it’s probably implicitly supported by the Alderman to keep out the “bad elements.” And supporting the students could even work against them in some neighborhoods (like the Viagra Triangle).

  21. brbubba says:

    This happens more than you think. Most dress codes are just in place for the management to “selectively” enforce it.

  22. korybing says:

    About five years my friends and I took two of our black friends to our favorite bar for their 21st birthdays (the friends were twin sisters). Neither of them drove at that time, and one had a non-driver’s license and the other had a learner’s permit. The bartender claimed that the IDs were obviously fake (despite one of the twins expressing her in-depth knowledge of Photo IDs due to her working at a bank) and refused to serve alcohol to them. When we all put up a stink about it he refused to serve alcohol to any of us, claiming all our IDs were fake. We had been to this bar many times before and the bartender knew us. The only difference was this time we had black friends with us.

    I live in a part of Ozarks where most non-whites were run out of town during the early half of the 1900s, and while I knew the racism was here I had never personally experienced it before. It was an embarrassing and humiliating experience.

    • Esquire99 says:

      This actually seems much more legitimate than the OP’s story. Bars have a lot at stake if they let someone underage drink, and if there is any question about the ID, it’s in the bar’s best interest to just refuse service. Still having a learners permit at 21 is odd, and State IDs (non-driver) are a huge source of Fakes.

      • thezone says:

        @Esquire99: Having learners permits or State ID’s is not uncommon in cities with good public transportation systems. I would have suggested the people call the non-emergency police line. I had a friend in college who constantly was told her ID was fake because she was small and young looking. She would call the cops and have them verify the id.

        • Esquire99 says:

          I suppose my comment was specifically in this context. The Ozarks is not a public-transit area, even in the loosest terms. In that area, it’s uncommon.

          • korybing says:

            @Esquire99: But to suddenly declare that all of our IDs were fake after we tried to protest that our friend’s IDs were legitimate? We’ve been in that bar many times and the bartender knew our faces. To say that our friends had fake IDs, and then declare that we all had fake IDs and had to leave seemed extremely fishy to us.

            It doesn’t matter much anymore, though, since that particular bar is closed now.

      • mythago says:

        @Esquire99: State-issued driver’s licenses are perfectly OK, but state-issued ID that is exactly the same is not OK? I am missing something here.

        • Esquire99 says:

          It’s been my experience in areas where driving is basically required that state IDs are frequently used for fakes. Can’t really say why, but I know on my college campus (in the midwest), many of the fakes that were being created were of state IDs rather than DLs. It may have been something unique to the way that state made IDs. The bars were always much more suspicious of an ID rather than a DL, though.

          • mythago says:

            @Esquire99: I imagine that state IDs don’t have the problem of having UNDER 21 printed on them. That aside, if it’s a government-issued official ID, it shouldn’t matter if it also has the free bonus power of allowing you to operate a motor vehicle. Scrutinizing the ID is way different than “sorry, these are obvious fakes”.

            • Esquire99 says:

              Agreed, but that’s not how it usually goes down (unfortunately). I know that in the Ft. Worth-area, there are a handful of bars and liquor establishments that don’t take out of state ids. My sister went to school down there and couldn’t buy booze at certain places (even though she was over 21).

            • oneandone says:

              @mythago: Maybe it’s because a lot of state IDs are slightly different & thus unfamiliar to the bouncer/bartender? Just guessing. I didn’t get a DL until I was 28, so I used state IDs. They usually look the same except for the color (in PA they were yellow instead of blue). Definitely got a lot of double-takes. I’ve also never met anyone else who had one.

  23. remington870_20ga says:

    It wasnt race based I promise you that. Every club I have seen doesnt allow baggy pants, wife beater, white tshirts, or gang related/colored t shirts. Another thing is steel towed boots. Its not a racist thing but black people commonly wear steel toed boots.

    The reason why they enforece these rules are for safety and clubs tend to be magnets for the scum of society wether youre white, black, hispanic, etc. Once a brawl goes down or the like, the city will shut the establishment.

    • ElizabethD says:


      Did you not read the part where the black students and their white friends SWITCHED CLOTHES and returned to the bar — and the blacks were still denied entrance even though they weren’t wearing the “offending” clothes? And the whites wearing the forbidden clothes were admitted?

      How does that translate to your observation, “It wasn’t race based I promise you that.” ???

    • thezone says:

      @remington870_20ga: Did you read the article? Like Elizabeth said, they switched clothes. Also, whenever someone says “It’s not a racist thing” you are about to say something you shouldn’t say. It is asinine to say black people commonly wear steel toed boots. There are plenty of people of all colors and in all types of scenes that wear steel toes. I’ve been in many Industrial/Metal bars where Docs were the preferred choice of the patrons. So please please please let us know how two people who were wearing the exact same clothes within minutes of each other could illicit different outcomes for getting into a bar?

    • Anathema777 says:

      @remington870_20ga: You can see a picture here: [] of what one of the black students was wearing. He wasn’t wearing anything even remotely “gang-like” and it’s hard to argue that they kicked him out for his baggy pants when the white student pictured next to him was let in — while wearing the same pants.

    • mythago says:

      @remington870_20ga: Is your connection to /b/ down or what?

  24. remington870_20ga says:

    Besides, we’re talking about CHICAGO here, not Meridian Mississippi.

  25. BabyFirefly says:

    There’s a bar near my uni that’s so homophobic you are not allowed to have any sort of physical contact (even a kiss hello) with people of the same sex.

  26. trujunglist says:

    I used to live right down the street from Mother’s. That place is a skeezy dump anyway. it’s not even a club. it’s a shitty bar. Just walk 5 steps and you’ll be at another place that is basically the exact same thing. all the bars down there are equally shitty, so there’s your equality I guess. but five faces is awesome!

  27. StanTheManDean says:

    You don’t want “THEM” then you don’t want “ME”.

    200 Friends walking out is much more effective than any internet rantings.

  28. Zeke_D says:

    No black/white racism, but I do have a brown/white racism story:

    First I am a white dude of italian/German heritage. I used to love a Mexican fast food resurant in my area, staffed by people of hispanic/mexican heretage. I went in one day, placed my order, and paid for my order. About 3 minutes later, a person of Mexican heritage comes in and orderes the exact same thing. Three minutes later, my order was given to the dude that came in after me. I recieved my his order about 3 minutes later. This incident is of course why i say I “used to love” that resurant.

    • MisterE says:


      Impossible! Everyone knows that in America, only whites are racist.

      • thezone says:

        @MisterE: Ugh, I’m really tired of hearing people talk about reverse racism. I’m sorry but the amount of bigotry a white person receives in the US is minuscule to the amount of bigotry people of color face. I call out all people when they say things that are bigoted. Because of that I have been called an Uncle Tom on numerous occasions. That being said I remind my white friends that most of them haven’t been pulled over for being a person of color. They haven’t been followed around a store by a less than stealthy security guard. They haven’t seen the look of amazement when a person interviewing them says how articulate they are. They also are never told they don’t sound a certain color.

        So, people of color can be bigots. However, in this society, those people have relatively less power and therefore cannot and do not have the ability to affect others.

    • mythago says:

      @Zeke_D: That is so totally relevant to the original article. Clearly, the most pertinent comments are those where white people rush in with their anecdotal evidence of how some non-white person once was rude to them and that was RACISM TOO!

      I’m sure it didn’t occur to you that the guy who came in might have been a friend of the cook or the waitstaff and gotten preferential treatment on that basis? Because that just never happens.

  29. Forest-Whitakers-lazy-eye says:

    Firstly, its highly doubtful that all 200 students went to the same bar – Capacity issues anyone? unless they had made “reservations”, which is highly unlikely. I would imagine that the students did a staggered entrance at the different bars along the corridor, so there *may* have been a group of approx. 10 or so trying to enter Mothers at the same time.

    secondly, as bad as this sounds, where i live in Canada – in a predominantly white white collar city, we colored folks know that its a general rule when entering clubs together to split up our groups in the line up so there are some white people in between us all – so it doesnt look like we are together.

    Its sad that there is the need to resort to that but…

  30. ScarletBegonias says:

    The president that was there even said to the black kids to just go back to the hotel and change and the owner said he still wouldn’t let them in.

  31. tn_avenger says:

    Not a bar story. But there is/was a burrito resturant in Memphis, where the owner put a flyer saying You could get a discount, if you bring a church bulletin. Well, I brought a bulletin from a local Hindu temple to see if they would give the same discount. Guess what, they did’nt give it to me. Wish, I had a video cam on me then.

  32. Avrus says:


    Bars created dress codes so they could refuse anyone they wanted entry.

  33. MarleneMops says:

    Has nobody noticed that in the CNN story there is an African-American girl in the club sitting at the bar looking at the camera? She is in the photo with the white guy. They obviously let some African-Americans in.

    • mythago says:

      @MarleneMops: Apparently they let African-American females in with a white escort?

    • thezone says:

      @MarleneMops: I know they let African Americans in because I have been in that bar a multitude of times when I was younger. However, I was almost always the only minority coming in at the time and I was always dressed in a conservative manner. The problem is when a bouncer sees a group of minorities they will give them extra scrutiny and start applying false dress codes. Also, women are rarely turned away from a bar. More woman usually equals more men wanting to get in.

      • trujunglist says:


        Given the location, a group of black people will have problems in that area will suffer from the indignity of people assuming they are up to no good whether they’re up to no good or not. It’s not a good area to be black but a very good area if you’re white. What I mean is, if you live around there and walk around and are black, people think you’re ghetto homeless due to Cabrini Green, and if you’re white, people think you’re super fabulous rich due to the Gold Coast.

  34. shack13 says:

    Thank you for posting this. People not of color are reluctant to believe that things like this still happen and few own the fact that dress codes are an in-plain-sight, socially acceptable type of racism.

    • trujunglist says:


      I wouldn’t say reluctant to believe it, but ignorant of the circumstances. Mother’s is a shitty bar in an area that is not black friendly (you could say this about most of Chicago, but that area especially is a bad place to be black). If they knew exactly where Mother’s is in relation to other significant famous Chicago landmarks, they would probably understand. Having lived in the area for years, I understand the racial dynamic there better than most.

  35. eelmonger says:

    I may be mistaken, but the girl behind the white guy in the picture in the article looks black to me.

  36. econobiker says:

    Problem is that some clothing choices or logos or coloring are subtle gang signals…