VIDEO: Mothers News Conference

Senior Class President Fernando Cutz announced at a press conference Wednesday that the six black students who allege they were discriminated against by the Original Mothers bar in Chicago have reached an agreement with the bar. The bar will issue a public apology, give its managers anti-discrimination training, hold four fundraisers for a charity of the students’ choice and participate in a student-led rally in November.

  • Eileen L. Bell (Class of 1980)

    You handled the situation beautifully and made me proud to have graduated from Wash U.

  • kipp

    I’ve been boycotting, not just Mother’s, but the entire area for this exact same thing, for the past few years.

    It’s a lively strip. Most bars have no cover; reasonably priced beer; scores of women; bustling crowds until 5am; and are within a few steps of the greasiest, nastiest, most delicious after a long night of drinking pizza in Chicago. It can be a really good time…or, for black guys, me specifically, it can be the most disappointing and humiliating of times.

    After years of research, I can say with great confidence, that this “rule” started at Shenanigan’s, a bar a few doors down from Mother’s. I say this because when Shenanigan’s started enforcing the “No Negroes” loophole…I mean, no baggy pants rule, I could go to Mother’s and other bars with no problem. Then, over time, the places that didn’t have a problem with the skin…I’m mean, clothes…I was wearing became fewer and fewer. There are still a couple bars in the area that I never had a problem with…one as long as I had two forms of I.D.

    Every pair of jeans in my wardrobe turned out to be too baggy. Then, I tried a pair of expensive, deep-blue, perfectly fitted (slightly too tight for my comfort) jeans I received as gift. And, they worked. The next weekend, those jeans produced the same result. So, I dubbed them my “Shenanigan pants.” Time after time, these jeans worked; and every time I deviated I was denied.

    I’ve been at the door of this bar, being told that my pants were too baggy while white guys walk out the same door wearing cargos and flip-flops. It happened again with jogging suits…almost on cue. I was denied entry wearing khakis and a Bill Cosby sweater. Granted, though, the khakis were baggy, and I knew before hand that my “Shenanigan pants” would’ve done the trick. That said, this outfit would’ve gotten me into a black club with a dress code and a $20 cover…

    But, my boycott started in earnest on my birthday. I was with a fairly large group of siblings, cousins, and childhood friends–mostly, women–all looking to have a good time celebrating my birthday. I was looking forward to a great night, and to ensure that everything flowed smoothly, I wore my “Shenanigan pants,” a button up under a peacoat, and some nice casual shoes. When we got to the door, the bouncer informed me that my pants were too baggy. I was stunned. I turned to my best friend in disbelief, and asked him to tell the bouncer what I called those jeans, and he replied without a second thought, “the shenanigan pants.” THE SHENANIGAN PANTS!

    It wasn’t enough, though. When I mentioned to the bouncer that I had once been turned away in khakis, he replied that he would’ve NEVER turned anyone away in khakis. Needless to say, I was upset…slightly indignant…utterly embarassed…deeply disappointed…nearly as powerless as I’ve ever felt.

    The only other situations that compare have involved cops…but, not in this particular area. Really cool cops on that strip. I’ve only been pulled out of the bar while dancing, and patted down on the sidewalk once. I guess it helps, though…imagine if they’d arrested all the fall down drunk, unruly, bar brawl starting, general public menacing characters they encountered on a nightly basis. Why…our jails would be flooded with white people…

  • Michelle Brown

    excellent job guys, so proud to be a wash u student right now :)