Students reach agreement with Original Mothers bar

Bar will issue an apology, give workers diversity training

| Staff Reporter
Senior Class Treasurer Regis Murayi speaks at a news conference Wednesday held in the DUC. Murayi, along with Senior Class President Fernando Cutz and the five other students alleging racial descrimation, announced an agreement with the Original Mothers bar. (Matt Mitgang | Student Life)

Senior Class Treasurer Regis Murayi speaks at a news conference Wednesday held in the DUC. Murayi, along with Senior Class President Fernando Cutz and the five other students alleging racial descrimation, announced an agreement with the Original Mothers bar. (Matt Mitgang | Student Life)

Senior Class President Fernando Cutz, along with the six black students who allege they were racially discriminated against by the Original Mothers bar in Chicago, said on Wednesday that they will not be pressing charges against Mothers, as part of a legal agreement between the two sides.

Cutz announced that Mothers will issue a public apology to the students, and managers at the bar will undergo diversity sensitivity and awareness training led by members of the Anti-Defamation League.

The students’ comments came in a news conference Wednesday afternoon in the Danforth University Center.

Mothers will also hold four charity fundraisers, three at the bar in Chicago and one in St. Louis. The students will determine what charity will receive funds from these events. Senior Class Treasurer Regis Murayi, one of the six students rejected from the bar, said the money will likely go toward a charity that works to promote awareness of race-related issues.

Cutz also announced at the conference that the Senior Class Council will be leading a “massive demonstration” against racial discrimination. The demonstration will occur in Chicago in late November and will include both University students and representatives from Mothers. Mothers managers will speak at the event.

Cutz told Student Life that he has met with representatives from Student Union about funding transportation for the event and that SU has agreed to pay for buses for all students interested in attending.

The students at the conference stressed that they are not seeking financial compensation from the bar.

“Nothing in the plans had anything to do with us getting financial compensation,” said senior Chuka Chike-Obi, one of the six black students.

Murayi emphasized that the students’ primary goal in the agreement was to raise awareness about race-related issues.

“This isn’t about power, this isn’t about leverage, this isn’t about fighting, kicking and screaming,” Murayi said. “This is about really raising the issue about racial discrimination in America and really opening this issue moving forward.”

The students also announced at the conference that they are receiving free legal counsel from Covington and Burling LLP in their negotiations with Mothers.

According to Seth Tucker, the students’ attorney, the students and Mothers reached a settlement quickly. Negotiations lasted under 24 hours.

“I think it is a great result for both sides,” Tucker said. “It was a creative resolution. They have created a win-win settlement.”

If Mothers does not comply with the agreement, the students could still press charges. According to Tucker, this is an unlikely situation.

“I don’t expect them to break the agreement,” Tucker said. “They seem genuine and sincere.”
Mothers’ attorney, Brad Grayson of Strauss & Malk LLP said the bar is devoted to the agreement.

“My clients are very committed to going forward with the things we agreed upon with the students,” Grayson said.
Representatives from Mothers said in a statement that they are pleased with the agreement.

“We’re happy that it appears we have resolved differences with the students amicably and in a manner that promotes unity rather than division,” the statement said.

Cutz also said he is pleased with the agreement.

“Personally I’m satisfied with the way that things turned out,” Cutz said.

Although the six students are no longer pursuing litigation, city, state and federal investigations into the incident are still underway. According to Cutz, the agreement reached between the students and Mothers stipulated that the investigations would continue.

On Wednesday morning, U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay Jr., D-St. Louis, sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and to the Washington office and Chicago field office of the FBI requesting further investigation into the incident.

With additional reporting by Dan Woznica

  • Drew Nikel

    Are you comparing Rosa Parks to these Gentlemen? This is a completely different context. Rosa Parks wasnt trying to get her Drink on, her Flirt On, Her Party On etc. All you can Drink specials? LOL

    In my opinion discrimination towards entry into a bar or club is a superficial issue. Why would you even want a right passage to establishments that discriminate against the way you look?

    Its like complaining that you cant get in the VIP section of Sodom and Gomorrah.

    Its like Malcolm X getting mad that he cant get in the Klu Klux Klan because he’s black.

    A while ago I heard of a story where Mark Cuban was not allowed entry into a night club/lounge in NY. AND HE’S A BILLIONAIRE and I believe he even tried to tip the bouncers and managers a few grand just to get in. Who knows why they did not want him there.

    Basicly, here is the point I am trying to make. I’m sure that these 6 brothers are oustanding citizens. They go to school, they work hard, they are inteligent. They are born leaders. This issue of discrimination into a bar/club is BENEATH THEM. I’m sure they could of been doing something much more productive with their time. Aren’t there far more important issues to take a stand against?

  • Cedric

    Good comments Drew, but I guess my question is (and purely rhetorical so no response necessary) when does one take a stand? I mean is taking a stand just reserved for housing, jobs, lending, or schooling. Should Rosa Parks have just gotten on another bus? Should the Greensboro 4 have just gone to another restaurant? And I can go down the list of many whose discriminating event may have been trivial to you or me, but to them it was the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back”.

    Some of your other questions about the course of events can be answered if you read the articles more carefully.

    Lastly you didn’t get in for tattoos, but if you looked inside and saw others inside gettin’ their party and drink on, with more tats than you, or on your way out the door you saw Mike Tyson get in with his eye tattoo….com’on. The way you write, I know you would at least tell all your friends in Houston trying to hurt the bar’s business…pa-leeze.

    Oh yeah, my last last. People often talk of humility, when they are not the one being humiliated. To me humility is not getting caught up in the media hype; or not wasting time going for lawyer incited monetary gain; or saying what you have to say and moving on. Humility is these young men (who obviously if WASHU students have a good future ahead) putting their private lives on the world stage knowing that many will try to ridicule them, yet going forth anyway because they said it is not always about me. Humility is saying I am my brother’s keeper.

    RIGHT TO PARTY OR RIGHT OF PASSAGE? It all depends on your point of perspective.

  • Drew Nikel

    Wow… I didnt think these students would take it this far… Its good that they are taking a stand… but they could of been putting all this effort into a much more important issue…

    I understand where they are coming from, but to me it sounds like they are just preserving their self dignity by trying get one up on the club owners.

    I’m just now hearing about this incident…. I made a comment just now on the original article so I’m going to copy and paste my last comment:

    I’m from Houston. If I had a nickel everytime my boys and I went to the club and got turned away… Its 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)