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Students protest race discrimination at Chicago bar during senior class trip

(Photos by Scott Bressler and Lionel Sobehart | Campus in Focus)

Click here for updated information about the Mother’s Men

Washington University seniors on their class trip accused a Chicago nightclub of racial discrimination over the weekend, protesting nearby after the club allegedly denied entry to six black male students because of their race.

“I think it’s because we were a group of predominantly black men and they felt threatened,” said senior Blake Jones, one of the students who was not allowed into the bar.

About 200 Washington University seniors were attending Mother’s Night Club Original bar on Saturday night as part of their class trip to Chicago, sponsored by the Senior Class Council. According to Senior Class President Fernando Cutz, the six black students were told they would not be allowed in because of their failure to comply with the bar’s “baggy jeans” policy. A few white students who had already been admitted then came out to demonstrate that their jeans were more “baggy,” but the black students were still denied admission.

The six students offered to change their clothes, but the bar manager still refused to allow them in. The white students were allowed to return.

The management at Mother’s did not immediately return phone calls from Student Life seeking comment.

Click here to see the flyers used to protest Mother’s Night Club

Two of the students rejected from the club were Iboro Umana and Regis Murayi, the internal vice president and treasurer of Senior Class Council, respectively. Both of these students were heavily involved in the planning of the trip.

protest

Hundreds of Washington University in St. Louis seniors held signs on Sunday morning in protest of the discrimination of six black students who were denied entrance to Mother's Night Club Original bar on Saturday night. (Scott Bressler | Campus in Focus)

Murayi said he felt the manager was unwilling to listen to what he and the other five students denied entry had to say.

“From talking to him, I felt that no matter what I said, he already knew his agenda, he knew his plan. It was hard to get him to budge from that,” Murayi said. “It was not about the baggy clothing. It was strictly about the people I was with.”

Other students who went to the bar said they disapproved of the way Mother’s treated the six students.

“Honestly, if I’d known that [they] weren’t allowed, I wouldn’t have wanted to be there either,” senior Tara Benesch said.

Students protest near bar the next morning

In response to the incident, students staged a 15-minute protest Sunday morning outside the Hotel Indigo, which is near the bar and is where the seniors had been staying for the weekend. The students gathered there because they were unable get the proper permits to protest outside the bar.

The protest occurred at 11 a.m., the original scheduled time for the seniors’ departure to St. Louis.

Students at the protest held signs and flyers with slogans like, “Mothers don’t hate.”

“It was really kind of a unique mix of emotions at the protest,” senior Kim Halom said. “It was definitely a somber, serious time, but even more than that people were trying to process how ludicrous it was that this had happened the night before.”

Senior Kashyap Tadisina was among hundreds of Washington University seniors Sunday protesting the alleged discrimination of six black students at a local Chicago bar the night prior. (Lionel Sobehart | Campus in Focus)

Senior Kashyap Tadisina was among hundreds of Washington University seniors Sunday protesting the alleged discrimination of six black students at a local Chicago bar the night prior. (Lionel Sobhart | Campus in Focus)

Students said the experience shows the reality of life outside Wash. U.

Senior class president Cutz said he has not seen this kind of an incident of discrimination before.

“I thought I was very well informed, I thought I was aware. But I had never been direct eyewitness of a clear-cut event of racism, at least not of such good friends of mine,” Cutz said.

Cutz said the Senior Class Council wants to spread awareness that such acts of discrimination do occur, as well as to discourage future business at Mother’s.

Cutz issued a press release with facts about the event to 26 different news outlets, diversity leaders and senior class presidents at Chicago universities, as well as to the NAACP.

Murayi, for his part, said the incident is nothing new. He said he has experienced similar treatment at other venues prior to the trip.

“I would say that a lot of people underestimate how much this stuff goes on outside of the Wash. U. bubble,” Murayi said. “This happens frequently. Is this an anomaly? No, this happens all the time from a black male’s perspective, and from an outside perspective I feel like a lot of people don’t know.”

With additional reporting from Chicago by Michelle Stein

Click here to see the flyers used to protest Mother’s Night Club

Click here for updated information about the Mother’s Men

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  • Gabby says:

    Mothers has yet to change their perspective on African Americans. We all decided to go out for a friends graduation last nite. We bar hopped and was having a pretty good time until we went to Mothers. There were 3 females and 3 males in which we all are African American. We were all dressed very nice seeing that we had just left a graduation and Ruth’s Chris a couple of hours ago. One of the males with us had on a nice cardigan with a button up and some white linen shorts. Seeing that he is really tall his shorts are long also. Low and behold there were a problem with his shorts never mind the fact that he had on casual shoes and NOT gym shoes! Long story short they did not allow us entry into the club. We watched closely as a white male tried to gain entry with some shorts on that were LONG but seeing that we were still standing there looking and observing they did not let him in neither. I heard and read the story of the protest and the racism but I did not think I was going to experience it on my own. In no way did we look or are we trouble makers. As much as I am downtown I will never step foot in line for MOTHERS!! I did not appreciate how we were treated it was as if they were just trying to find a reason not to let us in the way they were looking at us! I have been to mothers on various occassions before the protest and did not realize how racist they were and YES they are racist!!!!! I believe their whole attitude is to make African Americans feel real uncomfortable downtown and not wanted but we went to another bar and got it in!!! So mothers I hope they close down or burn down for all I care I just hope people stop with the ignorance and grow up. All the people I know I will make sure I let them know not to step a foot into mothers on division!!

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  • Scotty says:

    For the record, I have worked in niteclub business for 15 years. It would not have made a differnece if all six of them went and put on Armani suits. They would have not been let back in due to security issues. Once a patron is turned away, especially in a group, they tend to get aggitated. No bar or club would want an aggitated GROUP of men drinking alcohol in their establishment. On the otherside of the coin, If a group of girls walked into Mothers and the entire bar was filled with men, doesn’t matter black, white, green whatever, theytwould turn around and leave. There has to be a set amount of individuals, most clubs will not allow a large group of men in at one time, also if there is a line, all of the girls will go in before the guys. thats the nature of the business, it has nothing to do with race, baggy pants or any of that. It has to do with sales.

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  • Blah blah blah says:

    this happens at clubs and bars all over chicago. many of them have dress codes, and if you’re not following them, they have the right to deny you entrance because it is private property.

    i went to soundbar with my boyfriend and some friends a few years ago. most of them are white. they have a policy of no gym shoes, sweat pants, ect. allowed. they had on gym shoes so we went back home, changed them, and got in.

    once we were inside, we saw plenty of people with gym shoes and a few with sweat pants. did we feel discrimated against? no. we thought the bouncers were just a**holes.

    such is life. get used to it. people of every color get discriminated every day. people also get judged by gender, weight, religion, ect. no, it’s not right, but it happens. all you can do is get over it and not let it ruin your day.

    if you don’t like the way you’re treated someplace, don’t go back. simple as that.

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  • Drew Nikel says:

    I’m from Houston. If I had a nickel everytime my boys and I went to the club and got turned away… IIts always for some crap too, like having tattoos showing , the wrong clothes, too much jewelry, fake ID (which wasnt fake) etc etc etc… Its Humiliating… but HUMILITY is a PART OF LIFE

    Come on now fellas? is it really that crucial? Just get over it… Out of all the things you could protest, your protesting that you cant get into a bar/club? ITS THEIR CLUB! if they dont want you there, they dont want you there… END OF STORY! GO TO THE NEXT CLUB. I’m Sure there are a Gazillion other clubs in Chi town that would love your business…

    And why would you protest a bar/club during the day time? NOBODY is going to be there to see it! People party at night time! not the morning… DUH!

    I Could understand if they put the Fire hose on them or released some German Sheppards on them…

    If they refused your entry in the first place why would you even want to argue to get inside?

    But hey… like they say.. “YOU GOT TO FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO PARTY!!!” lol

    (I apologize if I broke any policies for posting comments. I love the site, I often read but never post, thanks)

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    • CP says:

      The story is about being denied entrance to a place of entertainment for the sheer fact of race.
      By asking the question “Is it really that crucial?” makes the idea of racism seem a lot less trivial, but further allows people to perpetuate their ideals onto others.
      I’m not one to do clubs myself, but even for the club-goers why support the people who continually operate under the mass assumption that Blacks are of some lower class?
      As far as the night time advertisement… that’s all well and good, but there are numerous people working during the day that will see those protesters that are more than likely bound to head to party later that night or week.

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  • Angie says:

    Rush street has always been notorious for discrimination even when I was clubbing back in the 80′s.

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  • janet sorensen says:

    Congratulations, students, on fighting back. Every time we let these *racist* incidents slide, we prolong our long journey to a world without discrimination.

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  • a truthful person says:

    I forgot to add…. all of this is on video. The students have no case.

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  • a truthful person says:

    According to the people I have talked to who work on the street. There were around 100 students not 200+, The students were denied and started calling the employees racist, then one of the 6 students who were rejected threw his shoulder into the manager of the bar (battery charges could still be filed) , then a white student asked the manager if they could change clothes and come in, which after the students harassing the staff would never happen. So a white person who was already in the bar changed pants, and walked in the bar that he had already been admitted to. These students are trying to sue the bar and make money off a situation where the staff was just enforcing their dress code that these students blew way out of proportion.

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  • Princeton Hynes says:

    I don’t really see there being a debate here. We can sit around in our comfortable, warm mindsets and pretend that this wasn’t discrimination, but the fact remains that it was. Facts are facts. I am both delighted and disgusted by the comments I’m viewing right now. Delighted, of course, from the overflow of positivity, but disgusted by the ignorance that has chosen the most inopportune time to rear its head. “Gangstarr,” really? Just to address that ridiculous comment (whose anonymous coward of an author made his or her way onto page 7 of the October 26 StudLife), I would like to know exactly what that kind of attire looks like. Then, I’d like to know how that pertains to the Mother’s incident. If they had been dressed “gangster”–which they weren’t–how does that explain the clothes-switch incongruity? How does it explain that a dress code protects patrons of the bar when the only patrons of the bar (rented out that night) were Wash U students? People who bring up irrelevancies show what little grasp they have of the whole issue, which is one that is too large to be undermined by idiocy. In reality, we have a fight ahead. WE CAN NOT LET THIS GO. I don’t want to be the one that lets the anger reach a fever pitch because we didn’t do something when we had no reason not to. I don’t want to let something go, knowing that if I do, somewhere someone will think that he or she doesn’t have to fight for a belief. I refuse to live in a state of complacency. I support the decisions of my six strong peers, and hope that nobody will be able to convince them that theirs is a fight unimportant.

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  • Didn’t you know Chicago,Cleveland,Cincinnata has always been that way,they try to kept it hid, However, certain parts of Ohio is wrost then chicago.it is kkk ,skin head, and everyhing else cults…yes little Cleveland, aka Best location in the nation. I am so sorry for that. we all have to live together and love one another,my white brothers and sisters. it is not about mixing races it about loving one another as GOD loves us. I cry just as hard when I hear that a White solders has been kill. peace2usa

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  • Still Anonomyous says:

    You are wrong if you think your beliefs make me uncomfortable. I just really do believe that we are jumping to some serious conclusions without all of the facts. Racism is a pretty serious charge, and I hesitate to draw conclusions before I have all the facts. Call me crazy, but that’s the way I like to conduct business.

    I do agree with Voice of Reason, I don’t think anything new is being said here. As I have voiced before, leaps and bounds have been made in our country, and to suggest for a moment that we are still as we were before the Civil Rights Movement discredits everything the likes of Martin Luther King, Jr. worked for.

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  • Kayla Brinkley says:

    VOICE OF REASON and STILL ANON:

    This is the point: This is not a dead horse. There is still much to be done in our country as far as equality and it is IMPERATIVE that we continue having dialogue over issues such as racism. Issues such as these will never be resolved isfwe “Drop it” as you suggest.

    I will continue to this dialogue, because I believe that we must not simply shrug our shoulders and walk away from issues such as racism and discrimination, but rather confont them head on. You have your beliefs and I have mine, I will not compromise my beliefs just because they make some people uncomfortable.

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  • Voice of Reason says:

    Does anyone else feel like this is beating a dead horse, so to speak?

    I think it’s ridiculous how much press this is all getting, between StudLife reporting and the recent postings on sites like the Drudge Report.

    An investigation is being conducted. The manager of the nightclub has released a statement. As more information is coming to light, the more the six student’s story just isn’t holding up.

    So let’s move on. This isn’t even a story anymore. Everyone in these forums has repeated everything a hundred times over, and nobody is saying anything new.

    Obviously, those of you who want to believe that an instance of racial discrimination took place will not see the other side and will not bother to look at the facts and evidence that are being released. You are convinced in your beliefs. That’s fine. Drop it, accept that there is no lawsuit which can possibly hold up in a court of law, and move on.

    For those of you who have been arguing that there is another side of the story, thank you. I couldn’t agree more. And I do believe that we have influenced those who have chosen to remain silent on the issue, who were maybe conflicted whether racism occurred on that night and who are now questioning whether it did at all. Just know that it hasn’t gone ignored. People are out there who are being influenced by your thoughts.

    For everyone here, I think it’s time to let this go. Nothing is being accomplished by everyone bickering back and forth, and like I said, no new points have been brought up.

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  • Anon. says:

    @StillAnonymous

    Why are we “trying to prove it is racism”? Because it seems to be racism.. I’m all for fair trial, due process, etc. No really, I’m not just saying that at face value. But it does seem there is enough evidence to at least suggest racism.
    Lets recap
    1. The issue isnt baggy jeans- the same pair of jeans, different persons, one denied entry, the other allowed. That’s pretty damming evidence (lawyers who have been consulted on the matter agree)
    2. The issue isn’t “threatening” black men- the police DID NOT intervene, so the idea of the manager “almost letting them in” but “feeling threatened” doesn’t make sense. The police WOULD have intervened if this was the case. This really only helps the cause.
    3. The issue isn’t “gang violence”- The managers KNEW they were washu students. And unless your going to somehow say that “just because theyre washu students doesn’t mean theyre not in a gang”- a comment articulated in another online forum- then this should said a lot about the situation.
    Corollary- Increased police presence in the area = increases in gang violence. I don’t see how this is relevant. How does that relate to the matter at hand? Unless (following logic) increased gang violence can justify the thought process that black males=gang members, I believe that’s called racial profiling. Individuals can do that (freedom of opinion, we’ll judge you for it, but you can have your own beliefs). However, establishments cannot.

    There are times when racism is cried out incorrectly- when it really is something else. And there are times when the title of racism is justly and correctly applied to a situation. This may be one of them. I understand what your trying to say. Now consider the other side for a second. I already have- and it STILL smells like racism. Or racial discrimination. Or racial profiling. 3 heads of the same beast.

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  • TMarshall says:

    One large issue I see here is that the credibility of the protesting Washington University student is severely strained by having done nothing on the night of the incident that they now protest. If the incident is so bad now, wasn’t it also bad then when they enjoyed their evening out at this “bad” establishment? When these students enter “the real world” will they also not be bothered as long as their lives are unaffected.

    In the protesting students’ defense, it’s always better late than never…to do the right thing.

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  • Miska Shaw says:

    The terrible happenings that night are now being reported by cnn.com. I hope this legitimizes the students’ version of events for some people who were/ are doubtful.

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/10/25/illinois.bar.racism.allegations/index.html

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  • Still Anonomyous says:

    No one said “Benson” is the “end all be all of what happened.” All that has been said is that there was probably another side to the story, and this is the other side. The club representatives aren’t the only people who “claim” to have seen the police that night, there are quite a few students who have mentioned the heavy presence and one of the Wash U alums has even cited this as proof of the area’s safety. I find it interesting how when it is our side of the case we take everything at face value but when it is the other side they are just “claims.” It is a simple way to reduce the opponent’s thinking but it doesn’t make ours any less logical.

    Why are all of you trying so hard to prove it is racism? Many students have openly admitted here they “just heard about it that morning” and then promptly rushed to grab the protest signs. Pied Piper? How about a rush to judgment? Shouldn’t we at least listen to the evidence first? Shouldn’t we consider all possibilities before we make such serious charges against the people we disagree with? Apparently not. We said we can’t summarily hang African Americans in trees, we can’t punish people without due process, and all of this was reform, all of this was good. If we are going to lynch Mothers the morning after, don’t they at least deserve a fair trial first? I ask again, why are all of you trying so hard to prove this IS racism? Why is it you see race first? Just because it is the most obvious answer doesn’t mean it is the only possible one in this instance, I would think as critical thinkers and objective questioners we would turn to the obvious conclusions only after all other reasonable possibilities had been discounted first, but apparently not.

    No one denies racism exists and if you carefully read the comments above no one is denying that race may have been a factor last Saturday either. What everyone seems to be denying is that there are many other explanations for what could have happened the other night, that the great baggy pants switch wasn’t as smart and scientific as it sounds, that crime is a regular occurrence around Mothers and the police are there for a reason, that the bars may have reasons for posting and enforcing the rules they do, that when it comes to night clubs Chicago is no different than any other city in America and that finally some people really don’t care what color you are, you could be the sweetest, nicest dressed blue person in the world but if you behave in a rude and aggressive manner you will not get your way no matter how many friends, character witnesses or bandwagon supporters you can muster after the fact.

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  • Wash U Student says:

    The bar manager is getting defensive. you are acting like this “Benson” is the end all be all of what happened. They claimed there was a police man near the scene. If the boys were truly getting “aggressive” wouldn’t the police man have intervened? The manager could not have felt that threatened if a policeman did not even walk over there when he could see everything. Why are all of you trying to prove this wasnt racism?

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  • Still Anonomyous says:

    News travels fast. In this day and age of cell phones where everyone is texting constantly, I find it hard to believe that nobody knew what was going on. Besides, there were people that knew, and if I know Wash U students, people were talking about it.

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  • Pride Goeth says:

    “It’s been said several times here already that most of the students were unaware of the situation going on outside. You are speaking as if you were there and know the details of the night. If we had known what was happening at the door, we would have been mad at the time, but many of us didn’t even find out it happened until the next morning.”

    Clearly SOME of the students knew what was going on inside the bar and it would appear as though they are now the ones making the most hay off of this…

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  • WashU Senior says:

    @ I’m in college. I love to protest things. Unless they get in the way of my getting hammered and having a fun time.

    Quote: You left your fellow classmates to stand outside, but said “Hey, we can protest tomorrow, on Sunday morning, 15 blocks away, because that is more convenient for me. Hell, I came here to get drunk tonight.”

    It’s been said several times here already that most of the students were unaware of the situation going on outside. You are speaking as if you were there and know the details of the night. If we had known what was happening at the door, we would have been mad at the time, but many of us didn’t even find out it happened until the next morning.

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  • Still Anonomyous says:

    http://www.myfoxchicago.com/dpp/news/metro/well-known_chicago_bar_mothers_accused_of_racism

    Looks like the Wash U senior class is getting some publicity; unfortunately, I don’t think it’s going to pan out the way the senior class wants it to.

    By the way i love stud life reporting, thank you for posting that news link!!

    To Justice Stamps:
    The truth in this case is that the young men became visibly angry and became aggressive toward the manager. If you follow the link that i love stud life reporting posted, you will read that the entire thing is captured on security videos.

    The link that Pride Goeth provided very clearly shows that District 18, the district the bar is in, is not a crime-free area. Just because you don’t always SEE the violence doesn’t mean it isn’t there. There is tight police security in that area for a reason.

    The other fact is that there were other African Americans in the bar. The statistics that aren’t being cited here are that there were probably at least six white kids that were denied entrance into the bar as well. But we don’t care about the numerous white kids that were barred from entering the bar, just the black kids.

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  • Justice Stamps says:

    I live down the street from Mothers in Chicago. I work with many of the teens in the area and some are gang affiliated. I can tell you now that there has been NO gang activity near Mothers or any bar on Rush street in many, many years and definitely not recently. I will testify to that in any court if the students need be. There has been tight polic e coverage of that area since the late 90′s. Most teens don’t even walk that way. I have had friends denied access to Mothers in the early 90s. It is a KNOWN fact that Mothers prefers not to cater to African Americans. I had to cuss a Mothers employee because at 8:00 p.m. one night as my children and I were walking down the street, a Mother’s bouncer offered my son a drink. He is only 7 years old. I wish I had not let my family talk me into to letting it go and not pursuing it further. They would have been exposed then.

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  • Pride Goeth says:

    Wash U Alum:

    Ten minutes on Google turned this interactive gem up. Represented are the comprehensive crime statistics for Chicago’s 18th Police District, (Mother’s territory) from the dates of October 4-17.

    I trust you will find the source credible. Play with it for a little while, learn something about the city- only 100 events can be displayed at any one time but as you will see the total population is well over 100.

    It would appear as though all of the cops down there aren’t just for show…

    http://gis.chicagopolice.org/website/ClearMap/viewer.htm?POLICEDIST=018

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  • Still Anonomyous says:

    “Benson said the manager nearly let the black students in until they crowded him, shouting, and the situation went downhill.”

    And that, as Paul Harvey would say, is the rest of the story.

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  • i love studlife reporting says:

    maybe you should look to a real news source like the tribune for a full report on both sides of the incident. http://www.news-leader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091023/BREAKING01/91023050&s=d&page=2#pluckcomments

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  • Still Anonomyous says:

    Wash U Alum:

    The photos taken and shown above were taken the following day. They weren’t wearing the same clothes the night they were denied entrance into the bar.

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  • Wash U Alum says:

    Wow, this group of 6 African-American guys really looks threatening in their preppy The North Face fleece and jeans. Of course the manager and bouncers would have concerns about them being affiliated with a gang.

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  • Tyrell says:

    BTW, you only had 6 black people out of 200? There were seriously ONLY 6 out of 200? Stop wasting or time and figure out why their raising tuition. wtf.

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  • Tyrell says:

    Yeah its called a dress code. you dont like chicago’s? dont ever go to Vegas, L.A., New York.

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  • I'm in college. I love to protest things. Unless they get in the way of my getting hammered and having a fun time. says:

    The thing that concerns me most as a WashU student is not the fact that an act of discrimination or racism occurred. I have grown up on the South Side of Chicago and lived there my whole life, I have seen both sides of the discrimination topic. Racism remains a harsh fact of life in certain places. Sorry not all of us spend our summers in the Hamptons, sipping on chardonnay on our oversized yacht where black people not named Obama are not allowed. Chicago is a very segregated city and the people organizing this trip should realize that the East Coast Jewish culture is a hell of a lot different than city life in Chicago. That being said, the thing that most disturbs me is the fact that the other white students at the bar, who, due to their protest the next day, believed an act of discrimination to have occurred, did not leave. Saying that the reason is because they wouldn’t hurt the bar financially is complete bullshit. You left your fellow classmates to stand outside, but said “Hey, we can protest tomorrow, on Sunday morning, 15 blocks away, because that is more convenient for me. Hell, I came here to get drunk tonight.” Don’t lie and make up financial excuses about it, your fellow students weren’t allowed in, you should have left too if you wanted to make a statement. But to get hammered all night long and then protest at a time that was better for you is absolutely ignorant and an even worse act than the bouncers who did not allow the 6 black students into the bar. Your protest was an absolute joke and an embarrassment to WashU. Although maybe not, WashU isn’t a big fan of low income students anyway.

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  • PatricIa Watson says:

    The local press; newspapers, television, and radio has picked up this incident. Stay on this case and we in Chicago will too.

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  • Dima says:

    Concerning the presence of other African-Americans in the bar that night, I think I remember (without complete certainty) that I saw an African-American female inside, but it was dark and smoky, there were many people inside, and I was focusing on the conversation with my friends, not on collecting racial statistics of the bar patrons, so as I said, I am not completely certain.

    As to the students’ continued patronage of the bar even after the incident in question, there were stairs that led from the entrance a full flight down into the actual bar area. So, it is completely possible–and factual–that no one in the bar knew what happened outside. I wish someone had come in and told me about the incident so that I could have shown my disapproval by leaving, but that did not happen. (Besides, I think I left before the guys were denied entrance.) So please, stop lambasting Wash U’s seniors for staying in the bar when they had no idea what had happened outside.

    Finally, I am glad that the comments posted have allowed a more complete view of the incident than was provided in the article. However, keeping in mind all concerns about safety, I can’t imagine that the guys were dressed in a way that suggested violent gang membership. For the bar management and the bouncers, the best you could say–I think–is that they made a bad judgment call. Whether outright racism occurred, will be determined, I hope, by the proper authorities of Cook County’s and Chicago’s Human Rights Commissions.

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  • Michelle Brown says:

    Please look at the press release that they’re sending to local news media. I’m not sure if there’s a link to it on the internet but it was one of the attachements in the email sent by Morgan DeBaun, VP of Public Relations with the subject line “An update from Senior Class Council in response to this past weekend’s events”. The press release includes some information about what occured that night that wasn’t included in this article and I feel provides more evidence that this was indeed a racist incident

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  • anonymous says:

    @Jen:

    You’re absolutely right that there is rampant discrimination at WU, but I’d like to point out that the Senior Class Council is full of people who have been spending their entire college careers working against discrimination, trying to promote diversity on campus, and trying to change the atmosphere you describe. Since they’re spearheading the activism and responses to this discrimination, it’s not so much funny as a refreshing and encouraging change.

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  • Adam Abadir says:

    To all those who have been making comments:

    First of all, thank you for your interest in this issue- whether believing or disbelieving an act of racism occurred at Mother’s Bar, this event has ignited discussion and intense debate, and is indeed the “teachable moment” that Obama was speaking of earlier this year

    The fact of the matter is- Racism does still exist in this country. That is undisputable. Whether this particular event was an incident of racism- I think that there is room for discussion about this matter. While personally I am inclined to think that this is an example of “implicit racism”, I can see some of the dissenting viewpoints as well. To that end, we must refrain from insults- what one may view as ignorant, another may believe as the gospel truth. We all come from different backgrounds, and indeed have different experiences to reference. Some comments have been more incendiary than others, but we must try to be civil, or the actual points of the Mother’s Bar incident become lost in the crossfire, so to speak.

    To chime in quickly- there are ways to be racist and show racially tinged motives, while still allowing certain black people into the bar (or venue, or whatever). Racism is NOT all-or-nothing, however, this is something that I cannot expect everyone (specifically non black people who may not have to deal with and live in such dynamics) to understand. A quick example: my classification as a “lighter-skinned” Black man has allowed me entrance to places that my “darker-skinned” friends have been banned, historically we as “light-skinned” blacks are considered “less-threatening”. To that end…

    I am asking that we take this conversation off of the internet and into a real forum. As ABS Political Affairs Chair, I extend an invitation to everyone reading this to come to our Forum about this incident on Monday, October 26th @ 8pm in LabSci 300. I encourage EVERYONE, regardless of opinion, to speak their mind about this issue.

    @Still Anonymous and those who share her views- Dialogue is extremely important, which is why I hope that you will come, and indeed speak, at the event. A significant portion of the event will be open forum, inviting students and faculty to speak their mind about the incident. And as an aside- I am sorry to hear that someone told you that you could not join Black organizations on campus. That was a blatant lie, and as a member of a Black organization I can definitively say that we encourage members of all races to join our communities. That being said, I will be moderating the event and I can assure you that your opinion will be protected and you will not be “ganged up on” by other students, to use the colloquial term (fitting in this discussion I believe).

    The point of the event is channeling our energy productively. We can have our disagreements, but at the end of the day, all attending will have the opportunity to express their opinion, and furthermore learn something about what Racism means in this day and age, what Black (men and women respectively) sometimes have to deal with, and what students at Washington University in St. Louis can actually do when roused.

    I hope to see you all there.

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  • Jen says:

    I’m not saying racism doesn’t exist or this isn’t a case of the prevalence said discrimination has in society, I just wanted to comment how funny it is that a school known for being a white rich kid haven with very low minority student enrollment is taking umbrage at basically what their own institution does. Commence to hating on me, but as someone who has attended the school it’s true.

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  • @ imitated,1st of all just cuase ur tired of hearing black people speak the truth about racism,does’nt make it not right!2nd,i knoe full well that racism still exist,and that in general more than a minority of whites hate on black people cause of their skin color what planet do u live on!?stop trying to speak like it’s a conspiracy against whites,like ur race is getting a bad rap on racism!no not all whites feel this way,or act this way,but it’s more whites that does!ur not black so u would’nt have a clue to the racism,or the different hues of racism that exist!before u say something sounds ignorant,u should understand what racism really is!u could’nt walk a mile in my shoes!there’s no assumption to racism when there’s proof of the action!u need to proof read what u write before u publish it!cause what u sound like,since i sound ignorant,is a GRANDWIZARD!

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  • Still Anonomyous says:

    Is there really a need for name calling, or can’t we discuss this like mature adults? I understand that you do not agree with my point of view, but like I said, name calling is certainly not necessary.

    As for determining that because I hold the opinion that I do because I am, as you put it, “suffering from a deep sense of white privilege denial,” you don’t know me and you know nothing about me, which further goes to your decisions to jump to conclusions regardless of the facts.

    I understand why the black counterparts of the groups were formed. However, I am telling you that when I asked if I could join, I was told by an African American student that I could not, and that I could join the other group. That is a fact. I understand that other people are represented in these groups now, but it was my own experience that I was told I could not join this group.

    I also recognize that my experience cannot possibly measure up to the experiences of Rosa Parks, for example. I was throwing it out there to show that there is, in fact, another side of racism that we don’t always see or address.

    As I said before, you cannot attest to any of my experiences growing up. I have been a minority my entire life in one way or another. Please do not try to fill in the blanks with information that you cannot possibly know. That is exactly what you don’t want someone to do to you because you are black, and it seems somewhat hypocritical that you would jump to conclusions about me when you don’t know me.

    I have no doubt in my mind that every single one of those young men will be successful on whatever paths they choose to pursue. They are all intelligent, or they would not be at this school, and everyone here has extremely high expectations for his or her future.

    And to address WashU Senior’s comment, being male also puts you ahead in most situations. It is no secret that females are openly discriminated against in the workplace, especially in certain professions.

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  • '06 alum says:

    Kayla Joyce Brinkley- THANKS for your comments and for having the courage to speak out with the truth.

    Still Anonymous- YOU are an idiot! Your comments furher prove that you are suffering from a deep sense of white privilege denial. Get it together. As a former wash u student leader, and minority, I know that you do not have to be black to join such groups. And just a little history lesson— groups like these were founded because (some) white Americans would not let African American into these groups. Please enlighten me on the real racism you have had to suffer as a white female. You wouldn’t get far making that list, would you? And before you go on about how you are (maybe) a poor white female who had to work during high school just to go to college, white privilege does not mean you are rich.

    The most important point of this entire article is that one of the students let a shorter– so the jeans would be baggier- student wear his jeans and he was let into the bar. The bottom line is that all of these young men will be successful, and will go on to live lives that are defined by achievement. But in the back of their mind, they still have to wonder if they are being followed in a store because they are black, if they got pulled over by the police because they are black, or if they were denied a promotion because they are black. No matter what ANYONE wants to say, racism still exists…sometimes concealed, sometimes not.

    America has to do better.

    AND the WU students that stayed behind SUCK. And for any of the senior class leadership to try and justify staying and drinking as damaging to the bar shows a real lack of maturity and compassion. Do better!

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  • WashU Senior says:

    @Still anonymous:

    Do you have any idea to what degree African Americans have been prejudiced in this country? Are you really going to try to pretend you have some idea of what that would be like?

    As a white male, I would never even begin to think I could imagine that situation. The unfortunate truth about this country is that being white still puts you ahead in many situations. It’s a sad truth that I wish more people would work against.

    The most alarming part of your post is that you don’t even base your argument on facts. The Black Pre-Medical society and other Black societies are open to members of all races, ethnicities, etc. If you bothered to check into this you would find there is no discrimination there. Get over yourself, and quit looking for ways to consider yourself a victim. You’re not a victim, you are the majority. Instead help fight the discrimination that ACTUALLY IS HAPPENING.

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  • Michael McDonald says:

    To all the people who are raging that students didn’t leave the bar immediately because we wanted to “continue getting drunk”

    We didn’t know that this was going out outside the bar. Had we been informed I’m sure several people would have left in protest and found a bar that wasn’t blatantly racist.

    To all the people saying of course you won’t get into a club dressing like a gangster:

    They weren’t dressed like gangsters! Pay attention to the article! The students were wearing casual clothing similar to any of the other students. This bar was not a nice establishment by any means. They were not upholding some policy requiring people to dress nice, as plenty of people went in with a t-shirt and jeans. The 6 black students were even told they could not get in even if they went and changed. That’s called racism.

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  • Alexandra Sims says:

    All I can say is duh…
    Racism exists…
    I am a student at Northwestern University in Chicago and we see this very frequently at Chicago clubs. For those of you who believe it was the dress code: What more would the bouncer have had to do to prove that it was racism? racism today is implicit… not explicit.
    Wash U students! Thanks for doing something! Thanks for the Protest!
    The word is being spread around Northwestern student leaders and we will do all we can to make sure that NU students protest the bar.

    WAKE – UP People!
    Racial Profiling happens everyday!!!
    Its not a myth. Ask any black male…

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  • anonymous says:

    One of the pictures provided by the students shows a black person seated at the bar at Mother’s. Be careful what you put out there as evidence of discrimination!

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  • anonymous says:

    The protest people are saying that 200 white students were allowed into the club. Does that mean that over 190 white students went on this trip and only 6 blacks?

    This story is very very very fishy!

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  • Anonymous says:

    There are repercussions to the way one chooses to dress. If wear a sweat suit to a professional interview, you won’t get the job. If you dress like a gangster, you won’t get admitted to a club.

    This is a good lesson for the kids to learn.

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  • Intrigued says:

    I really can’t agree with all of the statements made in regards to this post but I’m glad that people are willing to express their views on this situation.

    We are NOT a post-racial country. The 6 students who endured this terrible event are privileged in that they are able to share their experience. That doesn’t mean that the way they felt about that experience was any less real than what anyone else feels when they’ve been denied and belittled.There are many people who can be classed in any number of groups that have faced discrimination based on their natural attributes. Since they these students were capable of sharing their experience in a way that can help us as a community find ways to chip at the institution that is racism, we should take note.

    Also, if this was not an issue of racism, why didn’t the owners of the bar release a statement to that effect? All they had to do was clearly read off their list of rules and regulations and clearly indicate that the 6 black students had violated a rule.

    And if there is a quota system in place… shouldn’t attempts be made to eliminate them?

    As a current WashU student I can say that I’m proud of my class for taking a stand. They did what they could with the little information they had and presented a united front.

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  • ridiculous says:

    I am tired of these comments on these articles saying the bar has a right to enforce its dress code. OF COURSE IT DOES. If restaurants have a jacket and tie policy, they can enforce it. BUT ESTABLISHMENTS CANNOT ENFORCE DRESS CODE IN A DISCRIMINATORY MATTER. Enforce it for everyone, or do not enforce it at all. I am also confident that these boys were not even violating dress code to being with. Stop saying we cannot attribute this to racism because they were protecting the bar. No. They were using a dress code policy in a racist matter by only “enforcing” it for these six boys. The other black people in the bar at the time (very few) came in with large groups of white students. These six came in together.

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  • Irritated says:

    we don’t hate on you cause youre black you just think we hate on you cause youre black. you all wanna see racism in everything and yah there are racists out there, but for the most part, were beyond that. it pisses me off that you all automatticaly assume that we hate you cause youre black when we dont. im sick of hearing it. white people dont all hate black people. you sound really ignorant and stupid when you say that we all hate on you cause youre black.

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  • First of all,Chicago has always,and will always b a racist city!Im from Detroit,and lived in Chicago for 5 yrs,and i’ve had my share of racism,in both cities!Even though the students jeans may have been baggy,what’s the threat!?Don’t the bouncers pat down everyone?,and even if the students had on skinny jeans,who’s to say that a fight would’nt have broken out!U can’t judge a person by the way they’re dressed!Are people less inclined not to fight dressed in proper attire!?I think not!Actually the racism is getting worst in America!Of course some whites,and people of color trying to assimulate to “WHITE AMERICA”,would disagree.Black men have always been subjected to racism,and will continue to be,whether we’re in baggy jeans,or a Brooks Bros. suit!Yes night clubs such as Mother’s,and others have the right to enforce the dress codes,but it also lets them discriminate,and hide behind their”DRESS CODE RULE”!Again i go back to Chicago’s history of racism,and segregation,all the way back to the days of Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. when he marched through Chicago,and mind you this is in the “NORTH”!Black people can always just go to black clubs,but it’s 2009,should’nt we all be able to party together!Im not the angry black man who’s yelling,the white man is holding me down!Im just the black man who’s yelling,STOP HATING ON ME CAUSE IM BLACK!

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  • Grrr. says:

    Just so we’re clear: not voting for Obama does not a racist make.

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  • Hannah Sandt says:

    Yikes, the signal-to-noise ratio out here is getting dangerously low out here. A lot of the posts here are irrelevant to the issue at hand.

    Feeling discriminated against as a white person: irrelevant. Whether this specific club was worried about security: irrelevant. Whether clubs in GENERAL should be able to (and whether they do) turn away patrons for their dress, conduct, or appearance: irrelevant. Whether this particular bouncer/manager is a racist*: irrelevant. What’s relevant is whether this SPECIFIC club in this SPECIFIC situation engaged in racial discrimination. Six well-dressed, well-behaved Wash U students were barred from entering a club for no apparent reason; given that they happened to be black, racial discrimination is not merely a possibility, but a probability–and, given the evidence so far, a high probability.

    Unfortunately, racism is not the last possible explanation, a la Sherlock Holmes’s maxim: “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” Racial discrimination is still a reality in this country. Do some people sometimes read racism into innocent actions? Sure. (Though, given this country’s historical legacy, I can’t blame them.) But that’s irrelevant. This blatant case is precisely the sort of case that accusations of racial discrimination should be saved for!

    *For anyone who’s interested, a really good book on the subject of racism without racists is The Race Card, by Richard Thompson Ford. Maybe the bouncer at Mother’s (along with the manager) is an absolutely not racist guy. Maybe he voted for Barack Obama. Maybe some of his best friends are black. But yet again, this is irrelevant: one can engage in racial discrimination without personally being a capital-R Racist. I’m disappointed that it happened, but proud of my classmates for fighting back.

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  • Voice of Reason says:

    This entire thread has deteriorated drastically from actual issue. We are all sitting here comparing stories about whether or not we have been discriminated against. It has turned into an atmosphere where we are calling one another whiney and ignorant. It is no wonder people want to remain anonymous! All of this banter back and forth- has it accomplished anything, other than getting people irritated and hurt?

    I think another reason people are remaining anonymous or using pseudonyms to state their point is because it seems to be that there is a “right” and a “wrong” side to be on here… of course, the “right” being that the students were discriminated against and the “wrong” saying they aren’t so sure. In a debate this heated, with this much lashing out and this much obvious anger, it is no doubt intimidating for people to be putting their names on differing opinions.

    After reading all of these posts again and again, I come back to the fact that there were other African Americans in the bar that night. How can we definitively say that the entire establishment is racist when there were black individuals having a good time in the bar? I also venture to wonder whether Mothers has any African Americans on staff at the bar.

    I don’t believe anyone is trying to imply that racism does not exist in this country. And we do need to recognize that we have taken great strides since the time of slavery in America. This past year the nation elected our first black president. We should be recognizing our nation’s accomplishments, not focusing on negativity.

    I also don’t think anyone has been trying to downplay in any way the implications of racism by sharing their experiences. Rather, I think we should see these stories as more proof that discrimination does take place and that these students are possibly empathizing with minority groups who have been discriminated against in the past.

    The cold, hard truth is that discrimination takes place. Be it against Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Blacks, Whites, Asians, Indians, Hispanics, women, you name it. We should all be aware of it when we see it, and we should all stop and think about times when we ourselves might have said something that could be taken as… maybe a little bit questionable.

    However, that said, I think we also need to realize that there are two sides to every story, and we have not heard Mothers’ side yet. We are a democratic nation with a judicial system that supports the philosophy of “innocent until proven guilty.”

    Emotionally, yes, many of us are invested in this incident. These guys are our classmates and our friends, and we want to support them. But objectively, there are still many things which are unclear, many questions yet to be answered, a side yet to be heard, and details that need to come to light.

    I am not saying that we should not be discussing this issue; I am simply asking that before any one of us condemns another, specifically someone we know absolutely nothing about, that we take time to consider ALL relevant facts and ALL sides of the story.

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  • Thanks, Kayla. That needed to be said.

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  • Amy Gill says:

    I have read most of the comments and I will say this. As Regis Murayi’s Landlord– and a white female– I have had the chance to see him both in “day” and “evening” wear with his friends. He has always looked nice, been friendly, and very respectful. So if they refused him entrance to the bar there was only one reason- and the group of you who want to say racism does not exist are not mature enough to stay in college. I am proud of the students who protested for standing up for their friends. I hope my children will grow up to be as nice as Regis and as faithful as his friends.

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  • Patricia Watson says:

    One more:

    Illinois Department of Human Rights
    http://www.state.il.us/dhr/DHR

    Chicago Office

    100 W. Randolph Street
    10th Floor
    Intake Unit
    Chicago, IL 60601
    (312) 814-6200
    (217) 785-5125 (TTY)

    Springfield Office

    222 South College
    Room 101-A
    Intake Unit
    Springfield, IL 62704
    (217) 785-5100
    (217) 785-5125 (TTY)

    Marion Office

    2309 West Main Street
    Suite 112
    Intake Unit
    Marion, IL 62959
    (618) 993-7463
    (217) 785-5125 (TTY)

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  • Patricia Watson says:

    FYI: Many clubs and bars in Chicago( and I would guess even in STL) have an unwritten rule that they will not admit “too many” people of color(black/Latino/Middle Eastern/Indian/Pakistani/etc) into their venues. It does not matter how the ‘offending colored” people are dressed or conduct themselves; point is that these types of establishments do not want to “scare away” their could be prejudice “white” patrons.

    I have a twenty-six year old who frequents the clubs in Chicago and he is part of a very diverse group of friends and there have been times where they have tried to enter a few of the bars/clubs and they have discovered that “IF” a particular establishment has reached what is their “colored folk” tipping point they might not gain admittance based on some flimsy reasoning such as the one given to your school-mates.

    Wash U. family, please try to understand that what happened to your students is not rare and the reason why this time the practice was discovered is due to the fact that these particular young men were part of a larger group of students whom, except for the color of their skin, were similarly dressed. This was not just about baggy jeans folks. Speak out, speak up, and follow through. Please make use of some of the human rights/civil rights protection organizations. I have also sent this article to every news room and news paper in the Chicago area.

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  • Patricia Watson says:

    Also Cook County as a separate Commission on Human Rights that will investigate. There is a form on their web site. I have taken the liberty to forward a copy of this newspaper article.

    Please contact them at:

    email: [email protected]
    Human Rights, Commission On

    Bureau Name:
    Office Of The President

    Main Office Address:
    69 W. Washington Suite 3040
    Chicago, IL 60602

    Telephone: (312) 603-1100
    Fax: (312) 603-9988
    TDD: (312) 603-1101

    Director:
    MaryNic Foster, Executive Director

    Hours: M-F: 8.30AM-5PM; Sat-Sun: Closed.

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  • Patricia Watson says:

    Please, Please, Please file a complaint with the City of Chicago Human Rights Commission !!

    http://egov.cityofchicago.org
    Commission on Human Relations:
    Address: 740 North Sedgwick Avenue
    3rd Floor
    Chicago, IL 60610
    Telephone: (312) 744-4111
    Facsimile: (312) 744-1081
    TTY: (312) 744-1088

    We just do not tolerate this type of blatant discrimination in our city. I am originally from St. Louis and have lived in Chicago for many years, when I read what happened to some of your students I became furious.I will be sending a copy of this article to every human rights, civil rights, local leadership,. church groups and organizations I can find. While you all cannot return to Chicago for the protest we here will pick this up along with you.

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  • William says:

    Please don’t say “I would expect this in the deep South.” It is unacceptable anywhere, and overlooks the reality that Chicago is far more segregated than most Southern cities. I’m a Northerner who has lived in the South during graduate school (Nashville) in the 80′s, and for the last 10 years in Richmond. The prejudice I observed in the rural Ohio when I was young was far more overt than anything I have ever seen in the South.

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  • Kayla Joyce Brinkley says:

    Still Anon: You have stated some of the most ignorant things I have ever heard in my life. Period. Perhaps I should give you an award for that.

    Firstly, you CAN join black pre-med and/or Black Pre Law or NSBE or ABS (I know the president, she’s pretty amazing and she’d love to have you join.) or any other group on campus. Have you EVEN tried to join these groups? Who told you couldnt join because you were white? Did you just decide that for yourself? And really, you know why these groups exist. If you don’t, please review the history of this country.

    Please dont respond to me with the excuse that you dont feel comfortable joining. Why dont you feel comfortable? Perhaps you need to ask yourself that. Feeling uncomfortable in a new environment is a really poor excuse. AND it would be the same situation as joining a group in which you knew no one, regardless of your race or the race of the members of the group, people arent going to run up to you and hug you and you guys arent going to skip around and hold hands like best friends the very first time you join ANY group. So lets please be real.

    And how do I know you can join these groups? Because I am white and I’m a member of a few of these groups or have been to meetings for most of them. So, if you dont want to join these groups, thats cool and PERFECTLY fine, but please dont say you CANT join these groups, because you CAN. Promise. If you dont believe me, email any of the student groups you wish to join.

    Also, I want to address this statement: “Of course it isn’t discrimination when you’re talking about not letting a white person into a black group. No, when it’s that, it’s Affirmative Action.” This is SO incredibly offensive and ignorant. Affirmative Action does not exclude people based on their race or gender. (Btw, as a female you also qualify for Affirmative Action) Affirmative action is supposed to promote equal opportunity. I really hate how people throw Affirmative Action around and not actually know what it really means.

    But, this article is not about Affirmative Action and this is niether the time nor place for this discussion and takes away from the matter at hand.

    Still Anon, I would love to continue discussing these issues with you because we clearly have a difference of opinion, but I am not one to have a war of words with an anonymous poster on a StudLife article. If you want to continue to discussing this, please send me an email and we can meet somewhere and discuss it.

    Finally, for someone with such strong opinions, why dont you put your name on them?

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  • Latasha Kinnard says:

    I would hope that Black students on campus would not support racism or discrimination of any kind toward any type of person. However, to prove that black people discriminate as well does not excuse the matter. As the old cliche goes, 2 wrongs do not make a right, so it is pointless to give examples demonstrating that white people have been discriminated against as well. While it is unfortunate that some white people have had a taste of the discrimination that black people know as common, it still does not compare to the institutional racism and deep rooted stereotypes that negatively impacts minority access to success.

    I think that it is perfectly fine, acceptable, and even responsible for students to question the details. However, I am cynical about the underlying sentiment that it represents. This leads me to believe that the general student body is not as “friendly” toward minorities or minority issues as it may appear to be. Or does it even appear to be?

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  • Pride Still Goeth, Confused Alum Falls Harder says:

    to Alum in Chicago:
    How cute! You have only compounded your error and further showed how very little you grasp security situations. You did so with such vim and vigor too! I commend you for your snark, it conformed well with the tone you took in your first post however, it did little to strengthen the flaccidity (I have been waiting all month to use that one too, thank you Alum!) of what you must soon realize is a fundamentally flawed and logically compromised position.

    Allow me to elaborate, it will be mostly monosyllabic: More police presence = greater threat. I don’t need to prove my ChiTown street creds, you have the situation well in hand and out of your own mouth you are confounded. The heavy presence I see at State/Div (and I have lived in the city too, but aren’t you sweet?) or on the Loop is a direct response to the threats law enforcement perceives. In fact, in this instance police presence is directly proportional to the level of criminal behavior the CPD expects to have to counter. It is basic asset and resource management. Respectfully get a clue, the area around Mother’s is patrolled the way it is for a reason.

    In addition, and not trying to add insult to injury, I went back and reread the post in question and have another issue I would like to tease out of your squishy logic process.

    Again: “It’s a hole in the basement crap bar in an area of town that is so far from “gangbangers” it might as well be in a different city.”

    Never mind the gangbangers part. One is compelled to imagine the hypothetical crap bar social hierarchy you must have in your head. One dominated I assume by the “rooftop crap bars” of the world (a la Eclipse/Moonrise here in StL?), followed by penthouse crap bars, mid-level, street-level and finally ending with what must your mental concept of Mother’s must be. What exactly were you trying to communicate here and why oh why are you so desperately trying to package the inanity of the quote above in condescending language?

    Alum, you keep using that word “intuitive…”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2y8Sx4B2Sk

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  • Whitney Wade says:

    The person that commented about Mother’s not being in a high crime area is absolutely right! Clearly, very few people that have commented are from the CITY of Chicago: there is a lot more to Chicago than just Downtown. The Loop, “West Loop”, and North Side are affluent areas where very few businesses have to worry about violence in their establishments, especially in comparison to the rest of the city. So, being denied entrance into a club in one of these areas because of fear of violence is highly unlikely. Being denied becasue you’re Black and white Chicagoans believe whole heartedly you are a thug is very likely.

    As a Chicago native (and recent WU grad) I recognize that many places do have strict dress codes, and you will get turned away with baggy jeans even at predominantly BLACK clubs. However, as has been stated, their jeans were probably hardly baggy, especially since no one really wears BAGGY jeans anymore.

    The point then is obvious: these young men, each of whom I know personally, were discriminated against because they are Black and for NO other reason.

    Now, for these non-Black people that continue to try to highlight discrimination that they have faced (in order to downplay what these yound men have endured), please stop it with the crying and the drama. You have an entire university dedicated to your academic success and enjoyment, therefore, the very miniscule examples you can give where you may have felt offended on campus are laughable at best. Please stop trying to compare your being turned away and not given everything you want immediately to the struggles and institutional racism and discrimination that Black people face daily, on and off campus.

    -Whitney Wade, Class of 09

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  • Oliver says:

    Once i ‘flew’ my car off the road. It was raining, and although my car was pretty trashed up, I was OK.

    It was in an empty port/warehouse kind of area, so I hoofed it up the road and found a bar. When i entered, all eyes were on me. I was the only white person.. everyone stopped doing what they were doing when i walked in. Like I had done something taboo.

    They wouldn’t let me use the phone, nor stay inside out of the rain “this is a private establishment and you need to leave”

    so i stood outside in the rain. I found a payphone and called my ins. company who sent a tow-truck.

    My point being, where is my 15 minutes of fame!? They clearly had motives based upon the color of my skin, and worse than these guys, I was in actual danger! It was a really bad part of town, I later learned from my tow-truck driver. “surprised you weren’t jumped”

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  • Joe says:

    Don’t protest the bar during the daytime, just get a group to go in at night, fill the bar to capacity and don’t buy anything. Just go sit, take up space and don’t buy anything. If you can completely pack the bar, it would send a good message.
    If you do this, be sure to bring lots of journalists.

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  • still anonymous you are an idiot says:

    FOR THE LAST TIME THEIR CLOTHES WERE NOT IN VIOLATION OF THE DRESS CODE AND THEY WERE STILL NOT LET IN AFTER OFFERING TO CHANGE. WHITE KIDS IN VIOLATION OF THE DRESS CODE WERE LET IN.

    IT IS FINE FOR THE BAR TO HAVE RULES, NOT FINE FOR BARS TO ENFORCE THESE RULES WHEN THEY WANT, IN A RACIST MATTER

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  • Still Anonymous says:

    Bran:

    Of course it isn’t discrimination when you’re talking about not letting a white person into a black group. No, when it’s that, it’s Affirmative Action.

    Can you say that with a straight face? Really? Face it, we don’t live in 1960′s segregated Mississippi. If it isn’t discrimination, what is it? What is the euphemism you would like to assign to the fact that I can’t join the black Pre Med society? Especially because I was given no reason, no hint of covering up the fact that it was because I was white. Blatant racial discrimination.

    Just know that you sound ridiculous in saying that being denied entrance into a bar because of what you are wearing is racist, while not being allowed into a club based solely on my skin color, is clearly me being dramatic.

    Furthermore, the counterpart of the black Pre Med Society isn’t the “white” Pre Med Society, and there are Asians, Indians, Caucasians, and yes, African American students who are a part of this organization. The “other” Pre Med Society is not reserved for just white people, but apparently, for anyone who is not black. I understand that there has been a history of segregation and racism in this country, and I would never move to take anything away from that sore past. I agree wholeheartedly that segregation is ridiculous, which is why I don’t understand why many African Americans, my example included, CHOOSE to segregate themselves from whites, Asians, Indians, etc., after fighting for so long to prevent it.

    But that is not the issue, that is just a side note, and can be dropped because frankly, it isn’t relevant to the actual issue, which is what happened at Mothers in Chicago on Saturday night.

    As for your first comment, I would tend to agree with you that people do hold beliefs about certain groups based on what they wear, the culture they perpetuate, etc. We see a lot of that in the radical culture we believe Islam perpetuates. But did it ever occur to you that people, white people, are turned away from bars ALL THE TIME because of what they are wearing? My white brother included, has been turned away countless times from clubs because his pants were too baggy, etc. Plus, the entire point is NOT that every single black man wearing baggy jeans is going to shoot up a bar. If that is all you have been getting out of these comments, you have been sorely misguided.

    What the main point of every single one of these comments has been is that there are extenuating circumstances we don’t know anything about because there were no Wash U witnesses to confirm or deny every single detail in the young men’s story… and the bar HAS to err on the side of caution, NOT because the young men were “brown” as you put it, but because their clothing violated dress code. Rules, however much we hate them or think they are unfair or in some cases, stupid, exist for a reason, and I think that it’s time that we all grow up and learn that we can’t always have our way without jumping to conclusions and making the issue a bigger deal than it actually was or by ignoring the facts.

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  • jacob says:

    washu kids get politically active when someone prevents them from partying saturday night.

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  • Bran~ says:

    to ‘still anonymous’

    just to jump in: not interesting at all. the reason for these ‘black’ groups is in reaction to the discrimination that was once imposed via the ‘other’ groups, which usually consisted primarily, if not exclusively, of white members. so to not be allowed into the ‘black group’ is common sense, not discrimination. it’s like you not being allowed into the ‘men’s locker room’ because you’re a woman… come on.

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  • Bran~ says:

    white people, for the most part, aren’t racist against ‘brown people’, they’re racist against ‘gangster’ and ‘ghetto’ and the like..and anything remotely associated with the idea. as should everyone be..but brown people accept ghetto, for the most part, just like white people accept trailer trash, for the most part. don’t you people watch t.v.? the brown gangster is associated with violence, as it rightfully should be. throw in a little ‘brainwashing’ and this scares the lights out of people (and by people, I mean me) to the point that ‘black man, baggy jeans’ means someone’s getting shot tonight…or at least beat up.. nobody wants that. the difference though: ‘white man, baggy jeans’…somebody’s frontin’, and we all know it.. that doesn’t scare anyone… but a black man, you just never know. he could be the real-deal.

    all that is to say.. i work near there and walk directly past it 4-5 nights a week and often on my way home, see one or two black men angrily stomping the corner because mothers didn’t let him in due to ‘dress code’. i’ve seen this a time or two at other bars as well. never EVER a white guy. given: white men dress differently when going to bars with other white people: jeans or pants, button-up, simple, even suburban, some would say.. baggy jeans? like i said, frontin, and nobody cares. usually not a lot of ‘gangster-tease’ lacing the outfit.. back to my point; i’ve gone to mothers and gotten in with no problem..given, my style of dress is always..suburban. my jeans fit, my shirt is tucked in, my shoes are clean..oh, and i’m a brown male. see? and there’re always a few of us in there.

    (and by BROWN people, i mean african-americans…we’re different; not ‘black’, and with no connection to Africa at this point…brown, just like you’re white, bronze, olive, or any of the few other colors that make up the races of the world)

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  • Ray says:

    Most of the kids in those pictures look like little more than entitled assholes that care more about holding a witty sign than the actual cause itself.

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  • Still Anonymous says:

    To Alum in Chicago:

    Interesting that you point out that you are not a black male and cannot possibly understand what it feels like to be discriminated against.

    I am a white female, and have been discriminated against ON THIS CAMPUS because I am white. There are many student organizations on campus, many of which are “the black Pre Med Society” or the “black Pre Law Society.” At the activities fair when I first came to school here, I was told that I could not join one of those societies because I was white.

    That, my friend, is discrimination. I was not allowed to join a group on the sole basis of my skin color. I was told to join the “other” society. And the interesting thing is, people would never look at that situation and say “that white girl was discriminated against” because I am white.

    Interesting tidbit, don’t you think?

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  • Alum in Chicago says:

    To Pride Goeth:

    I LIVE IN CHICAGO! I LIVE IN THE AREA WHERE MOTHER’S IS LOCATED! I know exactly where it is…do you?

    Criminal activity actually IS geographically separated in Chicago. Sure, crime does happen anywhere, but if YOU lived here (I don’t think you do) you would know that the overwhelming majority of violent crime takes place only in very specific areas. The Gold Coast neighborhood is not one of those areas, and it is patrolled extremely heavily.

    And, further, I know you were really eager to use the word counterintuitive, but try to understand what I was saying first. I was pointing out that Mother’s is a crap bar (it’s own statement), not that the crappiness of the bar reduces the chance for crime in the establishment. What DOES reduce the chance of crime is the location of the bar and how many police just sit in the area on a given night. That, my misguided friend, is intuitive.

    To Ryan Day:

    I am not a black man, so I can never possibly understand what it means to be discriminated against, nor could I attempt to imagine how I would like those around me to act if they knew it was happening. Perhaps I would have felt better about everyone leaving, and perhaps not.

    My intent was not to justify impassivity, but rather to point out that I want the business to pay (literally and figuratively) for their racist actions. A business itself cannot feel shame, and I highly doubt the bouncer in question or even the bar owner would feel shamed by the students leaving. On that specific night, I don’t know what more could have been done (legally) to make this bar suffer the consequences of excluding those six men. My only thought would be…don’t help them. Don’t make it easier for them.

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  • Still Anonymous says:

    Dear Steve,

    Can we really and truly say that not admitting someone into a bar is morally wrong? Especially when we don’t know exact circumstances of what took place that night?

    The students who were denied admittance to the club were not with the rest of the group. Allegedly, these guys came by themselves, were reprimanded for their attire, and were turned away, which the bar has the legal right to do. Now, this is where the story gets a little fuzzy and this is where people are saying we’re not getting the whole story.

    According to the students, the bouncers didn’t say anything, they just radioed their manager asking him to come down. Odd, isn’t it, that a club’s bouncer would take the time to bother the manager of a busy club on a Saturday night when there were well over 200 people in the club? Unless, of course, there was a problem.

    Now, many of you would go on to say that yes, there was a problem, and the problem was the ethnicity of the young men. However, when you stop to think about it, it sounds absurd. Of course we can conjecture that this was discrimination and the bouncer felt threatened by six African American young men, but the truth is that this bouncer is probably not a small guy, has an entire club of people five feet away from him, and more on the street surrounding him. The bouncer felt threatened?

    Furthermore, your case for racism is indeed helped by the fact that no other Wash U students were around to confirm this story. Am I suggesting that the students are flat out lying? Of course not. That would be ridiculous, because clearly they were not allowed into the bar. Otherwise, there would be no story.

    But is this, as Paul Harvey would say, the rest of the story? Is there more that we are missing? Perhaps, and just consider this for a moment if you will, that the bouncer told one or two of the guys that their pants were too baggy for the club’s dress code. We are college students, and we don’t always deal with things, especially being told “no”, in the most mature manner, and I include myself in this category. Wouldn’t the reason the manager was called down be more likely to be that one or two of the students became angry and maybe started giving the bouncer a hard time? Not necessarily being rude or profane, but was visibly irritated?

    My cousin is a bouncer in a bar in downtown Columbus, Ohio. He has denied admittance to certain individuals for several reasons, including the way the individuals were dressed, whether they were already intoxicated with alcohol or something else, if they were rowdy or causing a scene. He has been called every manner of insult, from racist and biggot to a Neo-Nazi Skinhead. But it is his job to make sure that the people he lets in to the club he works for will not cause a scene or that the people inside the club won’t be in danger.

    Am I suggesting that any one of these Washington University seniors would have gotten mad enough to hurt anyone? No. We know these students, we are friends with them, we go to parties with them, we see them every day and we are in class with them. The bouncers and the managers are not. They don’t know the students personally, and they are responsible for the safety of the 200 + people that they have let into their club to have a good time. If that means turning away people because one or more of them seemed extremely upset or angry, so be it.

    To address the second part of your comment, Mr. Howerton, I would like to say that there is a policy in place, and I have experienced myself as well as heard those in the club/bar industry say, that once a person is denied admittance into a bar, it is POLICY that those people will not be admitted into the establishment, which is why Senior Jordan Roberts was allowed into the bar and the gentleman’s pants he was wearing was not. It is my understanding that Mr. Roberts had already gone in to the bar. It’s entirely possible at that point that the bouncers were so distracted by the issue unfolding that he didn’t even notice that the young man was wearing different pants. How many men out there do you actually know would stare at a man’s pants long enough to determine whether he was wearing the same clothes when he walked out as when he walked back in? The truth is, not many.

    I have also recently found out that yes, in fact, there were other African Americans in the bar. Therefore, we cannot immediately cry racism. Presumably, if an individual (let’s say, the manager or the bouncer) was a racist and didn’t, for whatever reason, like African Americans, wouldn’t it also follow that he would deny service to other black individuals as well? People aren’t selectively racist, and by that, I mean they look at one black man and say, “he looks okay, I’ll let him in” and then look at another black man and say, “he’s black, I don’t like blacks, I’ll deny him service.”

    No, someone who is truly racist groups all people of a certain ethnicity, social standing, religion, culture, or sexual orientation together and says, “I hate ALL black people” or “I hate ALL the gay people.” People don’t pick and choose which individuals of a group they are prejudice against they are going to suddenly be okay with. It just doesn’t happen that way.

    The fact that there were other African American individuals in the bar is a good indication that this was not, in fact, racial discrimination that the Wash U students were experiencing, rather, it was an experience involving more than just their skin color. It was an experience in which we need ALL of the facts, from ALL sides of the story, not just the side of the Student Council and the young men’s story.

    I understand that the bar has denied comment on the issue, and that this could be seen as “damning” evidence that they were caught “red-handed” in the act of racial discrimination. But let’s take a step back. The collective student body of Washington University (including StudLife newspaper and the student council) are openly attacking the establishment and calling it racist. Of course, many people would say “well if it wasn’t, why don’t they just say so?”

    Because we have our minds made up already. Because through all of these postings, through the article and the photographs along with it, we don’t WANT to believe that it could have been anything BUT racism. We are so tied down to this belief and we want to make an example out of this establishment SO BADLY, that we are unwilling to see the other side of the story, and the establishment probably knows this. I have to commend the bar on NOT answering to all the phone calls I know they have probably been getting from students.

    We are walking a dangerous line. Calling someone racist in this day and age carries a lot of implications and a lot of hatred. It forever stigmatizes whomever is considered a “racist.” By not responding, the bar is not hiding behind its closed doors and hoping the whole thing will go away, it is ignoring the accusations as ridiculous. In getting tied up and commenting, the managers of the establishment know that their words can be twisted, taken out of context. No, the establishment is doing the right thing for their business, employees, and customers by staying silent. People don’t want to get wrapped up in unnecessary controversy, and this controversy is indeed unnecessary.

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  • Joel Wood says:

    Most bars and clubs have a policy that states if you are turned away at the door for any reason, you will continue to be turned away for the rest of the evening no matter how many times you try or how many times the circumstances change. Changing clothes is not an uncommon tactic and if a bouncer recognizes someone they have already refused trying to reenter their establishment they will not only refuse them again but anyone else that tries to argue their case. If it seems arbitrary and unfair that is because it is. Bouncers are on a power trip because that is precisely what they are paid (sometimes very well) to do. It is easy to dismiss the threats they (admittedly willingly) face in the course of their job but so *we* are clear they include: being surrounded and outnumbered by a mass of loud, profane, potentially drunk, tripping, stoned, coked-up adults who may or may not be armed with knives, needles, razors or guns.

    The real question I have about Saturday night is why the bouncer radioed his manager in the first place? What exchange occurred between our students and the one bouncer at the door that prompted him to call his manager? I have personally worked as the door guy, the floor guy, the barback and bartender in more than one bar/club and can say for certainty that no one calls the manager unless there is a problem. On the flip side, the manager has a club to run and does not want to be called to the line unless they absolutely have to. I would not speculate as to what that problem might have been last Saturday and am inclined to listen to what the students say but I think having the other side of the story would add some context to the story. One thing is certain, even though the manager was called and it was made clear that they were in fact students and therefore entitled to the same benefits as everyone else, they were still denied entry. The problem is, as I understand it, no one can get a response from the manager or the owner now. Under the circumstances (justifiable or not) I can understand, why after being called a racist, someone might not want to engage in civilized discussion. I still think we should at least try to discern exactly what was said between the students and the bouncer BEFORE anyone else got involved, if for no other reason than to corroborate and contextualize what has already been said. I would certainly make every effort to fill in those gaps before I called the NAACP, as some have said they are doing, but that is just me.

    I would like to add that in addition to having worked the house side of the line, I have been turned away on the street side as well. It is a humiliating experience, one that is always contested but not once have I ever seen from either side of line, the “process” fought and won by guys (not true with the ladies, they wield a particular power and… I digress). If on Saturday one person was turned away and they later tried to reenter, their cause was probably doomed for reasons stated above. If any other person over the course of the time it took to change clothes, come back and all that entailed, reacted, used profanity or “caught an attitude” with the bouncer it is highly likely said bouncer would roger the whole party. Fair? No. Racist? Also no. Fact. There were other black males at Mother’s that night. Fact II. The students approached the bouncer as a group and were apparently, over time, refused entry as a group. We do not know what the entire exchange was at the door, but from my experience with matters like these those few minutes, those brief exchanges are the crux of the issue and all that really matters.

    Nothing excuses the fact that students who then chose to take advantage of an open bar are now crying the loudest about what may, or very well may not, have been an incident of racial injustice. The logic that by staying in the bar and drinking all of their booze you were somehow going to impact their bottom line is ludicrous. Politely, I don’t think very many people understand how bars and clubs make their money, but sparing a mini lecture comparing cover charges and drink costs at the bar to liquor costs at wholesale, let’s just say at the $25 a head you all paid them, Mother’s MORE than got theirs. At best, by staying you made the place look fuller, encouraged other patrons to stay and perhaps gave them *less* profit than they would have had. That’s it. If you really wanted to make a Civil Rights statement it would have been far more powerful to make a true sacrifice and forgo the drunken bender.

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  • S. Baum says:

    Until the six gentlemen in question actually went back to the hotel, changed their pants to un-baggy ones (did they have a pair?), returned to the bar looking “Ivy League” (are Wash U students even capable of that?), and were AGAIN denied entry, all of this racial discrimination postulation is conjecture and consequently, claptrap.

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  • Steve Howerton says:

    to Still Anonymous:

    Even if “the bar IS a private establishment and reserves the right to deny service” and its actions fell in line with the law doesn’t mean what it did was morally defensible and unworthy of being protested.

    Also, you seem to entirely discount that a shorter white student, Jordan Roberts, went into the bar wearing one of the black student’s jeans with no problem.

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  • Still Anonomyous says:

    Couple more things I would like to point out.

    1) Your photos that you have attached to your article are extremely misleading. For one thing, in your protest photos, the signs say “Mothers 200 White students admitted 6 Black students denied.” The caption beneath the photo identifies this young man as Kashyap Tadisina, a senior who went on the trip. He is clearly not white. Was he one of the “white” students admitted into Mothers? Are we now lumping together anyone who isn’t African American “white”? Also, the caption says one of “hundred” students who went to Mothers and were protesting the events of the evening. Two hundred, while an impressive number, according to your fact checking, is an exaggeration of the facts. Furthermore, I have a very difficult time believing that these six black males were the ONLY people of color, (even if we are going so far as to say that those of Latino, Asian, or Indian descent are “white”) to go on the senior class trip and go to the bar. If they were, in fact, the only African American students to go on the trip, what does that say about Washington University?

    Another photo I have taken issue with is the depiction of the young men the following morning. Those photos, however artful, are not relevant. The issue at hand was how they were dressed on Saturday night when they were denied admittance to the bar. Photos from the following morning simply have no bearing on the issue.

    2) Discrimination of any kind requires intent. Nobody has been able to deny the fact that there were other African Americans in the bar. Nobody has been able to cite any kind of racial slur or commentary on the part of the bouncers or of anyone within the establishment, for that matter. The bar IS a private establishment and reserves the right to deny service. If the bouncers decided that these young men were violating dress code policy, they have the right to deny admittance to those young men, as well as to people they deem inebriated, violent, etc. While I am not implying by any means that the young men were any of the latter two, they were, according to the bouncers, inappropriately dressed, and without any citation of verbal or nonverbal cues as to the intent of the bouncers, we cannot claim that the bouncers are racist, or that these young men were being discriminated against on the SOLE basis of their skin color.

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  • Vince Calhoun says:

    Something about this reporting is very fishy. .. seems like smear job, or the complete truth is not being told for agenda reasons.
    In the final analysis, if the reporting is factual, the bar should be able to refuse service to anyone, regardless of color or any other orientation…
    Either the owner has the right to control it’s patrons, or the State has seized control of a private business establishment and freedom is dead!

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  • Still Anonomyous says:

    First question, which has not yet been addressed and which is crucial to the argument of whether this was motivated by race or not is: Were there other African Americans in that bar?

    It’s amazing, given the weight of evidence coming from the city, to include comments posted here from Chicago residents and Wash U alumni who now live and work in Chicago, that evidence supporting issues of violence and public safety are so blatantly ignored by Wash U students.

    It’s amazing how the interpretation of this situation is not necessarily the sum of its parts. Is it possible that there was another reason, one not pertaining to the race of the students for these “brave men” being denied? Is it possible that the reason was, in fact, that the way the students were dressed actually violated the dress code of the bar?

    It is amazing that something as common, as racially and socially neutral as being denied entry into a bar for improper dress is confused with the “pure principles” of the Civil Rights Movement.

    It’s amazing that Wash U students who supposedly were so outraged at this “act of racial discrimination” did not walk out of the bar, regardless of any financial arrangement or free drinks? It’s amazing that given such witnessed and professed injustice, such gross discrimination that any of you chose to stay and drink? Actions and words, ladies and gentlemen, actions then, words NOW. Got it, its’ amazing. I think a lot of us would have been more impressed if you had done more about it then, if you felt this strongly about it, than cry about it now. It loses something in the delivery that most of you chose to stay and drink.

    It’s amazing that you choose to justify your inactions by making up some excuse about the prearranged pecuniary arrangement (yes we know all about it) you had with the bar, as though your staying and drinking MORE was going to make any point other than you got what you all really came for. That’s the truth. You didn’t leave because you had free drinks and now because it is all over the front page everyone is jumping on the bandwagon crying racist. It’s amazing, where was the outcry that night?

    It’s amazing that only “strong, educated black men” are commended for “strength, courage and wisdom” in the face of “adversity” when so many men and women of different backgrounds, face far worse than being turned away from a nightclub in Chicago.

    It’s amazing that during these times of random acts of violence and terrorism that public safety is so readily questioned and so easily dismissed in the face of yet another racial teachable moment. How many white patrons were turned away that night? Does it even matter? And again, how many black people were in the bar? DO WE NEED A BEER SUMMIT WITH MOTHERS?

    It’s amazing that nobody has addressed whether Latinos, Asians, Muslims, or any other minority group were represented or discriminated against in that bar. How shallow is it that this is a “black and white” issue? If you saw such rampant racism on one level, shouldn’t you also expect it to be seen across the board? Where are the advocates and the outrage for the hundreds of Mexicans who are openly mocked on our own campus, every week? Don’t act like you don’t know what I am talking about. I have seen it and so have you.

    If you want to know why people are posting anonymously, it is because this situation has become so hypocritical, so charged, and so convoluted, that the only “proper” course of action is through, as you call it “the cloak of invisibility” given to us by anonymity.

    It’s amazing that only “strong, educated black men” are commended for “strength, courage and wisdom” in the face of “adversity” when so many men and women of different backgrounds, face far worse than being turned away from a nightclub in Chicago.

    It’s amazing that during these times of random acts of violence and terrorism that public safety is so readily questioned and so easily dismissed in the face of yet another racial teachable moment. How many white patrons were turned away that night? Does it even matter? And again, how many black people were in the bar? Do we need a beer summit with Mothers?

    It’s amazing that nobody has addressed whether Latinos, Asians, Muslims, or any other minority group were represented or discriminated against in that bar? How shallow is it that this is a “black and white” issue? If you saw such rampant racism on one level, shouldn’t you also expect it to be seen across the board? Where are the advocates and the outrage for the hundreds of Mexicans who are openly mocked on our own campus, every week? Don’t act like you don’t know what I am talking about. I have seen it and so have you.

    It’s amazing that Ryan Day can predict the future and the rebuttals that will follow his comment. Perhaps he can also (attempt) to wax eloquent on the exact sequence of thinking the bouncers undertook the Night of Outrage.

    If you want to know why people are posting anonymously, it is because this situation has become so hypocritical, so charged, and so convoluted, that the only “proper” course of action is through, as you call it “the cloak of invisibility” given to us by anonymity. OR, it is because everyone posts anonymously on here on any given subject at any given time and you reading scary intentions into the mind of the posters here is not much more logical than putting your own rationalizations onto a group of people who could have behaved far more belligerently with you than they did. Why don’t you just come out and say it, “If you don’t agree with me you are a racist.” It is the exact same logic process.

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  • Dan says:

    I’m glad WashU students found a way to protest that allowed them to still get wasted in the bar.

    “whatever, I’ll protest tomorrow, right now I should punish the bar by getting drunk while my classmates are not allowed entry.”

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  • Ryan Day says:

    It’s amazing what people will write under this “Anonymous” cloak of invisibility….

    It’s amazing that people still want proof of what these Washington University students were wearing the night of this abomination, when the pictures above show them in peacoats and North Face jackets. As if they magically transform into “Super-Negroes” at night, adorned in gold chains & teeth, long white tees, questionable hoodies, and baggy pants that show too much boxer and hold mysterious weapons of mass destruction.

    It’s amazing when people believe that sunk costs should dictate their future actions, and try to justify impassivity with revenue restriction.

    It’s amazing that people accept discriminatory rules with the purpose of profiling against specific races as an adequate means to help them “feel” safe.

    It’s amazing how people still unconsiously equate the blackness of night and skin with crime and danger.

    It’s amazing that pure principles don’t guide people in the pursuit of justice anymore. The fact that there is probably more than enough evidence to satisfy the burden of proof is unfathomable for those who refuse to accept responsibility, or reality.

    It’s amazing how some people call the men lucky to have gotten away unscathed and to have such positive role models around to calm them. Our strong, educated black men do not need pity; they are the epitome of strength, courage and wisdom. Persistence does not require luck, but faith.

    It’s amazing that this is considered apalling to some, and a day in the life to others. The expectation bar was tripped over by these young men, when it should have been so high that everyone around was dumbfounded as to how this could happen. I wonder when we can set our bar high enough to actually feel disappointed or surprised to receive sub-par treatment based on race in public places…

    It’s truly amazing that I can predict the comments that will follow, and with every person my words touch, 10 more rebuttals we’ll have to swallow.

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  • Pride Goeth says:

    Re: “It’s a hole in the basement crap bar in an area of town that is so far from “gangbangers” it might as well be in a different city. And judging by the trashiness of many of the people there, there is no real dress code.”

    Wow. I don’t think you have any idea how narrow you sound here. You clearly have no idea where you were or how serious (read: LETHAL) Chicago can actually be on any given weekend. People who aren’t from the city like to focus on the South Side (kind of like crime only happens in East St. Louis right? WRONG.) but the city’s problems are not geographic and you are beyond naieve to suggest that this club, because it was a “crap bar” was any safer than any others or less conducive to criminal patronage… Beyond being counterintuitive, the logic is stunning. I think you are all very lucky the situation did not escalate that night and would caution anyone to consider the bigger picture before repeating said behavior. This time it was just your pride, next time it may be your person.

    In my opinion, this has nothing to do with race, it is a public safety concern. I don’t mean to sound rude but frankly you all make us all sound like a bunch of naieve, spoiled brats who just found out their qualitative life experiences have not prepared them for the real world and are now bitterly complaining because someone told us “NO.” Why didn’t someone at that door realize who we WERE?? Don’t they know how sophisticated, how educated and how sensitive we all are?? Give me a break. This has happened to all of us at one time or another and it is always embarrassing. Get over it, it’s not race, it’s YOU.

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  • ChiResident says:

    This sucks for the kids that were denied entry. I can’t state that enough. The boys that were denied entry are lucky to be surrounded by young, motivated youths that can mobilize their opinions with actions. They should focus those actions on local issues in St. Louis. I’m sure their community would appreciate it. As I understand it, a private establishment such as a bar, has the right to deny a person entry into their property for any reason except the protected discrimination clauses. It seems like it is going to be difficult to prove that this was race. Just because a change of clothes was put on, doesn’t mean attitudes didn’t become heated. I wasn’t there so I don’t know.

    As someone who frequently attends the establishments along State/Division, I am saddened that this happened to these kids but I’m happy that there are rules and regulations to dress code that are maleable such that owners/bouncers can select who enters their establishment. I don’t anticipate being in danger when I am out in Chicago and I am comfortable with profiling in order to protect my safety and the interests of the bar. It should also be taken into consideration that Chicago’s northside neighborhoods, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, and Old Town have recently seen an increase in crime.

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  • Alum in Chicago says:

    Ryan – while I commend the sentiment behind a walkout, I actually think that not walking out and trying to hurt the bar in its pocketbook, if only a little bit, was the right move. What good would have come of everyone storming out of the bar that night? They would not have been allowed to protest outside (as was detailed in the article) so it’s not like they could have hurt the company’s profitability by discouraging others from coming in.

    Further, it would have likely INCREASED how much money the bar made that night, either through increased capacity for patrons or, effectively, getting to sell booze twice. And I’m guessing the racist bouncers wouldn’t have felt personally hurt by all the out-of-town kids leaving.

    I’m not saying solidarity is bad, I’m just saying you should try to punish/hurt this business in the strongest way possible. Nothing can make up for the indignity those students had to face as a result of the bouncer’s (maybe the bar’s) blatantly racist actions, so I would at least hope they get back at the bar in the best way possible – hurting profitability that night and in the future.

    Also – to the idiot saying all the stuff about nightclubs and gangs…clearly you have no idea what Mother’s is like. It’s a hole in the basement crap bar in an area of town that is so far from “gangbangers” it might as well be in a different city. And judging by the trashiness of many of the people there, there is no real dress code.

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  • Anonymous II says:

    I am more disturbed by those of us who reflexively see race in every perceived injustice and feel it says more about the people crying racism than those they cry against. Is there any, ANY other possible alternative to the race narrative that will explain the other night? Any extenuating circumstances or contextual evidence we could cite to explain HOW and WHY? Of course there is. Many have been highlighted succinctly here. Those of us who want to see racism is this incident, whether it is justified or not, will find the evidence we want but that does not mean it is credible or we should be listened to.

    Racism is a serious charge, one which we seem to be flippantly tossing around these days. My fear is that by playing the card so often we will diminish the true value real racial warnings will have. Chicken Little this thing to death, call everyone a racist for every little thing and soon, no one will listen and no one will care. Besides, equating what happened this weekend to racism in the South is laying the indignant, self-righteous routine on a little thick don’t we think?

    No one who has spent any time in clubs, (most of you are newly 21) in Chicago (most of you are not from the Midwest) or have any experience with clubs IN Chicago is surprised by any of this. This happens every night in America and very little, if any of it, has a thing to do with race. Welcome to the “Real World Wash U: Chicago 2009.” I too hope this has been a teachable moment.

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  • Anonymous says:

    1) I think it is very interesting upon reviewing these comments and the article itself that nobody has commented on whether there were any other black people in the bar itself. What I am wondering is whether these six students were among many other black individuals denied admittance into the bar, or whether once one walked through the door there were other African Americans present?
    2) I also wonder HOW the students were dressed. I know about the baggy pants, that has been made clear. But how were the pants being worn? Sagging all the way down so you could see a significant amount of boxer shorts underneath? What clothing was paired with the jeans in question? Were the white students who claimed to be wearing the same pants wearing a belt with them, or were they sagging? To go off of what Anon says, would like to see actual photographs from the evening the situation happened.
    3) Mr. Cutz, you say that you did not stage a walk-out after the incident took place for the reason that a pre-arranged all-you-can-drink night had been agreed upon between the student council and the bar, and that walking out would have helped rather than hurt the establishment. Shame on you for making such a rationalization. Presumably, the bar already had its money, and what does a bar care if they already are paid for drinks whether a client actually consumes its booze? It does not matter one way or another to a bar if people order drinks and do not consume them. They have already been paid for their services. No, what I think is that if the senior class truly believed this was an instance of discrimination against black students, they would have walked out in indignant protest instead of staying and drinking the night away with all of their friends. The bar would not have been hurt and would certainly not been helped by your staying.

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  • Anonnn says:

    The rest of the class may have enjoyed themselves after the fact but it’s because no one informed us about what happened. Also to the other anon the so black kids were not dressed “gangstarr” at all ask anyone chuka is argubly one of the best dressed at wash u

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  • Dan says:

    Dear anonymous
    you clearly did not readthe article. They offered to change and were stilll denied so dress code is clearl not the issue at hand. Furthermore as a local Chicagoan I will tell you that mothers is not an establishment that truly enforces a dresscode and you would know that when you walked in.

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  • Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, racism does exist: It’s still present in most of the country. In some places, it is blatant; in others it is so subtle that some would miss it. But those who continue to experience it, feel the pain and humiliation of being discriminated against.
    We, as a country, need to continuously keep moving towards a way of life where incidents like these do not happen, and if they do, then they are not tolerated.

    I remain eternally optimistic that the country will make progress on racism because: For every racist person in the country, there are so many who are NOT racist. We have our first African American President in office. We have students like the ones in WUSTL taking positive action to correct this wrong, and others like them across University and school campuses. The youth of today has a much lower tolerance for racism. We are moving in the right direciton.

    Take a stand. Make your voice heard. Do so peacefully, after deliberate consideration and debate. . If unsure, give the other party the benefit of doubt. Some who are struggling with the issue, need information and debate, not attacks. Let’s help them along with education.

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  • Ryan Day says:

    I am an alumna, and as I have already posted on my fb page, I felt that I should also submit a comment here. First, I commend those who were there protesting. I am proud of the way the men handled the situation, as it is CLEAR discrimination and nothing else. Anyone who questions the intent of the bouncers/Mother’s bar is in denial of the racism that black people, especially, face daily.

    But one thing that did strike another nerve was the fact that the rest of the class stayed to enjoy themselves at this establishment during and after the incident. I don’t care if an all-you-can-drink deal was made beforehand or not, if your fellow students (several of whom helped plan the trip in the beginning) are not allowed in, you should take offense as well and not show passive acceptance with your ongoing presence. I would find it hard to believe that not one person inside knew what was taking place outside. Action could’ve been taken at the moment of injury, and I’m sure the 6 men who had to experience this would have greatly appreciated the immediate support.

    It is great to see the coalition that evolved afterwards, but it is apparent that we still have a ways to go to be truly unified.

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  • Anon says:

    You silly inexperienced club-goers. This happens EVERYWHERE. But why, you may ask? It’s to stop the thugs from getting into the club. Most rich white kids won’t understand how clubs are really like in the city. Trust me, you would NOT want to go to one of those clubs. This is how the club owners protect their business. If any white kid came and dressed like a gangster they would be banned too. I’m pretty sure the if the black kids dressed nicely instead of “gangstarr” they would have been let in. Until someone posts pictures of them not dressed like they were from the hood, that’s what I, and everyone else, should assume. Sorry, but that’s reality. Let the naive rich white kid hate commence.

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  • Anonymous says:

    I will first and foremost admit that I was not on the senior class trip and therefore did not witness these events firsthand. On that note, I would like to say that nightclubs and bars in big cities such as Chicago have strict dress code policies. These policies are instated for the safety of the people who go to the establishment. In this day and age of terrorism and violence on the streets (I’m sure many of you have watched the news clip video of the student of a Chicago high school being killed by a board in an after-school street gang fight), we have to be extra cautious. The last thing anyone wants is for an innocent person to get hurt because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. That said, my brother is a 23 year old white male who attends clubs and bars on a regular basis with his friends. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard him talk about times when he was simply not admitted into the bar because what he was wearing violated the dress code policy of the bar he wanted to get into.
    I cannot speak to the exact events of what happened this past weekend in Chicago, because like I said, I was not there. However, before everyone immediately jumps to the conclusion that the entire bar, its managers, owners, bouncers, bartenders, and servers are racists, I think that we should just remember that rules exist for a reason.
    I am deeply sorry for those six men who were not admitted into the bar that night and that the reason appeared to be because they were black. I think that racism be it against blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Arabs, whites, or anyone of any different religious or ethic background, is a terrible reality that we face in the world.
    My comment here is not meant to condone any kind of racism or discrimination on any level or to step on anyone’s toes, but to enlighten those reading this that things we perceive as racism might not necessarily be so. I cannot make guarantees that someone like my brother could have dressed the same and been denied admittance, but I know that it has happened in the past, and will happen again in the future.

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  • Eliz says:

    Art,
    you were not there and although it is easy for you to doubt some of the validity of this I will tell you that this was not a matter of dress code. He clothes they were wearing were not baggy and his was not a matter of enforcement of the dress code policy. When the same jeans were put on a white kid who was considerably smaller he got right into the bar even after chatting with the bouncers. It is fine for bars to have a dress code policy but not at all fine for them to enforce it inappropriately…this is unacceptable and something needs to be done.

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  • Raquel Torres says:

    Get the word out. Post to your Facebook page and ask your friends to boycott this place. We all have friends in Chicago. Sorry this happened to you guys. It is ridiculous such ignorance still exists anywhere in this country. The difference today is that we can immediately respond with all the social media that exists. I will be posting to my FB page today.

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  • Art Vandelay says:

    While I was not at Mother’s to witness the men being denied entrance, I do know that the bars on Division Street have strict dress codes.

    I am a WashU alum who currently lives in Chicago and last March when some WashU alum were visiting we tried to go to another bar but were denied entrance because we were wearing hoodies. The racial make-up of our group: 3 white guys, one indian guy. Racist? I don’t think so. We even offered to remove our hoodies, but the bouncer would have none of it.

    Chicago has a really bad gang problem, and for that reason a lot of clubs have strict dress codes. While I am not excusing the actions of Mothers, it is possible that they were not discriminating because of race, but were simply following the rules management put into place (no baggy clothes, no hoodies).

    I know the article mentions white kids with baggier pants being let in, but it got the name of the bar wrong, it’s not “Mother’s Nightclub Original Bar,” so I am a little leery of believing it verbatim.

    Bottom line is this: most bouncers are on a power trip. Were these bouncer’s racist? Possibly. Citing a citysearch review of 3 people saying “this bar is racist” does not prove it. Nor does one isolated incident. It is unfortunate what happened. I have seen many people of color at Mother’s at the handful of times I’ve been there. I’m sorry for what happened to the seniors, I’m sure it ruined their trip, but it is a little extreme to equate one isolated incident to the South.

    I’m proud of the WashU students for sticking up for their peers, it is that kind of example that gives me hope for our country.

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  • WashU Man says:

    Just some added info for this story:

    One of the kids who got rejected for having “too-baggy” pants handed over that same pair of pants to another senior, Jordan Roberts. Jordan is not the biggest guy, and moreover, he’s white. Jordan then waltzed into the same bar the black students had been rejected from–using the same pair of pants that they were rejected for wearing. He even chatted with the bouncer on the way in. We took a picture of this to prove it. Ridiculous.

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  • BonJovi says:

    If you outlaw the baggy pance, only outlaws will have baggy pance.

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  • Karin says:

    I may be wrong, but I think providing “all you can drink” drink specials is illegal (someone mentioned it in a previous comment) . Perhaps that could get their liquor license revoked?

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  • Gayle says:

    Baggy jeans can be really sexy! Why the hate!

    Could the discrimination against that kind of attire be linked to its connotations of hiphop/”black” culture?

    shame shame Mother’s.

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  • I’m pretty sure Matthew is just being sarcastic, haha. :P

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  • anonymous says:

    elitt, it’s nobody’s civic responsibility to enforce a dress code against baggy pants. socks with sandals, maybe, but even that’s pushing it.

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  • Anonymous says:

    Matthew, you are clearly missing the point. It would have been one thing if the students were the only ones wearing baggy jeans. But as the article mentions, there were other students who jeans were a lot more baggy who were allowed in. Soooooooooo….what’s your point? Other than being silly.

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  • Matthew Elitt says:

    Its great to finally see a bar taking its civic responsibility seriously. Honestly who actually thinks that its acceptable to wear baggy jeans in public? The bar has every right to determine the dress code.

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  • Nikki says:

    I am very proud of the seniors for protesting and appalled by the extremely racist policies of the bar.
    I think it’s important to remember, though, that these same things occur in St. Louis, and certainly not just to college students. The protest shouldn’t stay in Chicago and shouldn’t end with Fall break. We should be willing to protest discrimination against our peers and neighbors here as well.

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  • Adam Abadir says:

    This doesn’t surprise me in the least, most African American men i know have been barred from one type of venue or another at least once solely because of the color of their skin and the images/stereotypes associated with it. We are “terrifying”, our baggy jeans concealing guns and knives, forever interested in destroying property, shooting indiscriminately. Most people associate the Deep South as being the only place racism still exists, but this practice is COMMON in large cities in the North and indeed across the United States. I do hope that events like this change the mindset of people who believe that we are in a “post-racial” society. This is the kind of “teachable moment” Obama was talking about, and we as WashU students need to capitalize on it.

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  • eliz says:

    They tried to protest in front of the bar but could not get a permit in time, and without a proper permit there was the potential to be sued by the bar for future revenue loss. Also, one of the boys not allowed in gave his same pants to a smaller white boy who was allowed in the bar without any questions asked despite the fact that hte pants were significantly “baggy” on him. No one should get away with this…keep spreading the word!

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  • Participant says:

    @wu: Chicago law requires a permit for protesting with more than a few people. And being Sunday, I can imagine it would be nearly impossible to obtain.
    @Alyssa: Nobody was informed of this until the next morning. Had they been informed, there may have been more action.

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  • Fernando Cutz says:

    Alyssa, Unfortunately, the deal we reached with the bar was an all-you-can drink special. Therefore, we decided that a walk-out would only benefit the bar. That’s why we held our protest the next morning.
    wu08, The police threatened to arrest us if we protested in front of the bar as we did not have a permit. So we held our protest a block away.
    Please spread this around Chicago. We can’t afford to sit by and do nothing when things like these happen!

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  • wu 08 says:

    I love the protest, but why not protest in front of the actual location in question?

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  • Editor says:

    the l-r should be Nick, Franklyn, Regis, Chuka, Blake by the way

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  • Alyssa says:

    Why were people still inside if this was happening? Wouldn’t a walk out have been more effective than a 15min protest in the morning?

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  • renee saunders says:

    This is SAD- I would expect this in the deep south- if at all.At a time when we have a BLACK PRESIDENT in the white house we are still dealing with this issue.If these young men had hoodies and guns sticking out of their pants that would be one thing- but be careful they may be your President in the making.I’m proud of the protest!!!!!!!

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  • This is absolutely ridiculous. I searched for more information about the bar online, and it seems like this isn’t even an isolated racism case.

    http://chicago.citysearch.com/profile/11342767/chicago_il/mother_s_night_club_original.html

    It really makes me happy to see that the Senior class took an active role in protesting this kind intolerant behavior.

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