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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Johnathan Wall vs Raleigh, NC Bar Discrimination: 21st Century Racism in NC Is Nothing New!

On June 16, a BLACK, Harvard-bound College Student named Johnathan Wall and several of his friends tried to enter a prestigious PUBLIC Raleigh, North Carolina Sports Bar.

Instead of being allowed access they were told they HAD to be Members in order to gain entry.

This occurred as Johnathan and his friends watched WHITE Patrons allowed Entry with NO Membership Cards, etc.,

Johnathan and his friends were ONLY allowed Access AFTER the Bar's Bouncer noticed a Police Officer standing nearby.

After entering the Bar, Johnathan and his friends were immediately approached by another Bouncer and several Hostile Bar Employees who made it clear, that BLACKS were NOT welcome at that establishment.

To make a long story short, Johnathan & his friends were eventually Physically Forced out of the Bar.

How Sad.

I am so happy to live in the 21st Century where this type of stuff NO longer occurs right?

Wait a Minute!

When this did incident take place?

June 16, 2012 in Raleigh, North Carolina!

That's right!

In the 21st Century!

Just another day in Extremely Racist North Carolina with a Democrat, Klan-loving Governor.

And Yes since Gov. Bev Perdue's Election back in 2008 Mistreatment of BLACKS in North Carolina has increasingly grown WORSE.

Bev Perdue tricked North Carolina's BLACK Voters into supporting her, than after her Election she put her foot on Our Necks.

It looks as if We Have NOT overcome YET!

At least NOT in the State of North Carolina.

So Yes Its True!

That in the 21st Century many BLACK Customers are still NOT welcome at many North Carolina Bars, Clubs & Restaurants.

Patrons allege discrimination at North Carolina sports bar

A sports bar in Raleigh, North Carolina has sparked outrage for repeatedly denying entry to black customers, with no apparent consequence from local law enforcement.

The most recent instance occurred June 16th when Jonathan Wall, a 21-year-old Harvard-bound college student from Raleigh, North Carolina,
arrived at Downtown Sports Bar and Grill.

Wall and his two friends were first hassled when the bouncer told the group they needed a membership to enter the bar.

The bar is known to be a causal sports bar so the assertion that it was members-only club was the first indication that there might be a problem. According to Wall, when the bouncer noticed a police officer outside the bar, he allowed Wall and his friends to enter the bar.

Once inside the bar Wall was confronted by a hostile employee, who he later learned was the bar’s manager, and was identified as Todd Chriscoe. As Wall tells the story, Chriscoe approached him in a rather aggressive manner and demanded that he buy a drink immediately or leave the bar. Wall was waiting for his friends to return form the bathroom and told Chriscoe he would be drinking but was only waiting for his friend to return. After a few moments, when Wall’s friend hadn’t returned form the bathroom, Chriscoe allegedly attacked Wall and began to physically remove him from the bar.

“After staring me down for about 30 seconds, he walked back over and said “Are you going to buy a drink, or are you going to leave?” I replied, “As soon as my friend comes from the bathroom.” Before I cold utter another word, he grabbed my right wrist and my left arm and threw them behind my head in an effort to constrain me, although I was speaking to him [in a] calm and non-aggressive tone and didn’t once even gesture. He then used excessive force to push me through the crowd and out of the club while I was still in this “headlock” of sorts, before pushing me out of the front door. As soon as he grabbed me, I let my body go limp because with the degree of force he was already using, I didn’t want him to think I was trying to fight back. I accepted that he was on an ego-trip, and let him guide me through the club in this position before pushing me out.”

Once outside, Wall found a police officer standing outside and tried to explain what had just occurred. The officer spoke with both parties, but encouraged Wall to overlook the episode, telling him she knew something like this would happen once he entered the bar.

“She explained that this happens all the time, and that if she approached the bartender about it, he’d have witnesses that would corroborate whatever story he made up as to why he kicked me out in such an aggressive manner. She then explained that my options were limited because if she proceeded with getting statements from both of us and conducted an investigation, the end result could be worse for me: either it would get dismissed in court, or we would both be charged with what is the equivalent of “fighting” and both have a misdemeanor. She said “He probably has a few charges already, but you’re young with a bright future ahead of you, and you don’t want that on your record.”

What disturbed Wall most was the officer’s casual response to the incident and “that she seemed to assume the worst case scenario in every possible solution to my encounter. She kept talking about how much paper work would be involved,” Wall explained to friends after the encounter.

After Wall’s former professor at the North Carolina Central University, Philip Christman, posted Wall’s account of the incident on his blog yesterday, other African-Americans began to post comments on Christaman’s blog relaying similar experiences at Downtown Sports Bar and Grill in Raleigh. There are now more than a dozen posts telling tales of racial discrimination at the same bar and others in the area.

Now, Wall and others have embarked on an social media campaign to have the bar shut down and are demanding action on the part of local law enforcement and the City of Raleigh.

The incident has spawned a Facebook page, ‘Stop Race Discrimination at Downtown Sports bar NOW’ and has over 3000 followers. On the page, followers tell tales of similar experiences, share legal advice and seem to be building a ground swell of support that may result in serious consequences for the bar and law enforcement for allegedly overlooking these accounts of racial discrimination.

Bar manager accused of racial discrimination at another Raleigh club

Allegations of racially discriminatory practices at a downtown Raleigh bar are nothing new to the man who allegedly put a 21-year-old black patron in a headlock and removed him from the bar last weekend.

Todd Chriscoe, general manager of The Downtown Sports Bar and Grill on Glenwood Avenue, was the subject of a 2001 WRAL Investigates story, which looked into membership and dress code policies at a private Raleigh club on West Street.

At the time, Chriscoe co-owned The Office, which billed itself as an upscale dance club with a strict dress code policy. One thing expressly prohibited by the club: FUBU clothing, a fashion line targeted primarily to African Americans.

Four months after The Office opened, WRAL Investigates sent one white couple and one black couple, both wearing identical outfits, to try to get into the club, which closed in 2009.

The white couple, who said they didn't have a membership, were admitted and told by the doorman that they could get a membership inside the door. The black couple, however, was told that they couldn't come in and that memberships could only be obtained during daytime hours with three full days required for processing.

When confronted about the disparity, Chriscoe said it had nothing to do with race.

"You guys are trying to make it out to be a racist thing and we're not racist at all," he said in 2001. "What we are is an extremely private club, and we hammer people on the dress code because we want to have a very upscale, nice environment."

The Office later released a statement saying their club was a "virtual melting pot of members."

"What we tell our door people is to not let anyone in that their wife or girlfriend would not feel comfortable standing next to at the bar," the statement said. "Is this discrimination? Possibly it is."

Fast forward to the early morning hours of June 17, 2012, when a 21-year-old graduate assistant at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill claims he had a run-in with Chriscoe at The Downtown Sports Bar and Grill.

Jonathan Wall alleges that he and a friend went to the bar early Sunday morning and that they were initially told they couldn't go in because the bar required a membership.

Once inside, Wall says, he was quickly confronted by Chriscoe, the bar's general manager, who told him he had to "buy a drink or leave."

Wall says there were no other black patrons in his vicinity. When he explained that he was waiting for his friend to use the restroom, he says, Chriscoe put him in a headlock and forced him out of the bar.

"It was shock, more than anything," Wall said in a news conference Friday. "It was like one of those feelings, like, 'Is this really happening?'"

Wall said the experience was "demoralizing" and that it underscores the need for dialog about racial discrimination in the 21st century.

His allegations have sparked email and social media campaigns, and even prompted several other people to come forward saying they, too, were treated differently at the sports bar because of their race.

The bar issued a statement Friday, denying Wall's claims.

"Mr. Wall was not roughed up or improperly treated. Mr. Wall was not the subject of racial discrimination," the statement reads.

It continues, saying that Wall "took advantage of a crowded door situation" after being told he could not enter without being a member or the guest of a member.

William Potter, the bar's attorney, says that because of its liquor license, by law, the bar is a private club that limits access to members and their guests.

Plans for a protest at the bar Saturday night have been put on hold because of safety and security concerns due to the high number of people wanting to attend.

The state NAACP has gotten involved to help Wall's supporters organize a larger protest, possibly next weekend, with thousands of expected attendees.

WRAL News spoke with Chriscoe Friday, but he declined to comment on Wall's allegations. He referred all questions to Potter.

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Sources: ABC News, The Grio, WRAL, Google Maps

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