HOUSTON (TX) — Have you ever heard that oft-used opening line of jokes that go something like, “A guy walks into a bar”? Well, THREE Black men attempted to walk into a bar this past weekend, and were turned away for an outrageous reason, which is certainly no laughing matter.
Brandon Ball, Kennard D. Piggee, and Dan Scarborough were three professional Black men who decided to enjoy a night on the town at a local bar in Houston this past weekend (Friday Sept. 11th), when they were abruptly stopped by the staff of Gaslamp bar. According to Atty. Ball, what he and his friends experienced that night was the typcial case of racial discrimination. Here’s what Ball wrote on his Facebook page, which can also be seen by following this link:
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My name is Brandon Ball. I am 32 years old. I am African American. Tonight I was with my friends Dan Scarbrough (42) and Ken Piggee (43). Both are also African American. We were in the Midtown area of Houston, TX tonight and tried to go into The Gaslamp. Both Dan and Ken had on blazers. I had on a button up and slacks. When we walked up the guy at the door told us $20 each (pictured below in the long sleeve shirt). We didn’t want to pay that amount so we decided to go to the next bar down, The Dogwood, which was free.
After about 30 minutes we left The Dogwood and were walking back. As we passed The Gaslamp we noticed folks walking into The Gaslamp without having to pay. Those folks who didn’t have to pay were white. I brought this to Dan’s attention a few minutes later and he said we should go back and just watch from across the street to see if there was some “funny business” going on.
Ken, Dan, and I went back and watched from across the street as the guys who were working the front door of The Gaslamp (pictured) allowed white people to come in one after the other. Every black person who we watched try to go in was told there was a $20 cover or that their attire was not proper. One black guy was told that he could not get in because he had on Polo Boots.
Dan spoke to several people who were told there was a $20 cover and they pretty much all said the same thing. It was not just blacks they were charging. It was people of both Asain and Latin decent.
I again tried to walk in and was told there was a $20 cover. This was right after I had just seen a group of white guys walk right in.
I finally went and spoke to the cop (also pictured) who was working the door (who is a minority himself) and asked him if he was aware and comfortable with how the door guys were conducting business. His reply was basically…”I just work and do my job and those guys over there do their job.” I told him he was complicit but he blew me off.
I then took pictures of the two main guys at the front door (pictured below) and both of them began to ask if I had a problem. The one in the short sleeved shirt went as far to tell me that he hoped I didn’t “run up on him in the streets because it would be a problem.”
Why does this matter to me? Why is this important? If I have to answer that please just move along. This post is not meant for you. This event occurred in the late night of Sept. 11th. A day in which we as a country are supposed to come together. But events like this just tells us how far apart we are.
Please share this. Please pass along. Please read this and understand what type of establishment The Gaslamp is. If you were at The Gaslamp on this night and had a similar experience please comment and share. Don’t let actions such as this continue with no recourse. If you know the guys working the door let them see this. Please let them. Remember, this is 2015.
Despite this unfortunate incident, this isn’t the first occasion where Melanoid men are forced out of nightlife venues. Oftentimes, many of these establishments create outlandish rules to specifically target Melanoid men based upon our distinctive–and trendsetting– sense of fashion. Another reason why white supremacists keep Black men out of their bars & nightclubs is bred out of an envious fear of the “Black guys taking all of our women”.
Besides, who needs bars like Gaslamp, when there is a plethora of other opportunities for grown Black folks to truly enjoy themselves without strings attached?