Local Bar Accused of Racist Conduct

Visiting students protest after 6 Black men were refused entry

By Matt Bartosik
|  Friday, Oct 23, 2009  |  Updated 12:36 PM CDT
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Local Bar Accused of Racist Conduct

Mother's is in hot water.

Dozens of Washington University in St. Louis students gathered on Sunday about a block away from a Chicago nightclub to protest that bar's alleged refusal to admit six black male students.

The night before, about 200 WUSL students tried to get into The Original Mother's, one of Chicago's most popular watering holes. The bar excursion was part of thier class trip.

But according to Senior Class President Fernando Cutz, six of their fellow St. Louis classmates were not allowed to join them. Six out of 200, they say.

When we called Mother's they said no one there was authorized to comment on the situation.

But Regis Murayi, Franklin Pandolf-John, Nick Brooks, Blake Jones, Chuka Chike-Obi and Iboro Umana say they were all told they would not be allowed inside the bar because they were wearing "baggy jeans."

A few Caucasian students who had already been admitted inside heard of the troubles at the door and came to help their friends. They showed the person at the door that their jeans were even baggier than those of the black students. According to Student Life, the six men were still denied admission.

The black students even offered to change their clothes, but to no avail. The bar manager still allegedly refused to allow them in.

Two of the denied students, Umana and Murayi, were class officers involved in the planning of the Chicago trip.

"I would say that a lot of people underestimate how much this stuff goes on outside of the Washington University 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."

In response, several students staged a protest a block away from the bar. Because they did not have a permit, they were not allowed to hold their protest in front of the bar directly.

Management at Mother's has yet to make a comment.

Matt Bartosik is a "between blogs" blogger and a Chicago native.

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