Black mom confronts restaurant manager's racist 'dress code' after he refuses to seat her son
via Rex Chapman / Twitter

A Baltimore restaurant has released a public apology after refusing to serve a black woman and her son because of its dress code. In a video taken of the incident, the boy's mother, Marcia Grant, clearly points out that while her son, Dallas, wasn't allowed to be seated, a white child who is wearing a very similar outfit was eating in the restaurant.

The white manager at Ouzo Bay verbally ties himself into knots over why the black child cannot be seated in the restaurant but the white kid —who he can clearly see out the window — was eating with his parents.

The video shows that the black child is wearing athletic shorts, tennis shoes and an Air Jordan T-shirt. The white child, who appears to be just getting up and leaving the table after eating, also has on tennis shoes, an athletic shirt, and blue shorts that may or not be athletic in nature.


"I'm sorry, I would love for you to be able to come back and eat here," the manager said.

"So you're telling me my son can't eat here because he has on athletic stuff?" Grant pushes back.

"No, no, no, just the shorts," the manager replied. "It is part of our dress code."

The problem is that the manager is really sticking to his guns and splitting hairs over the two nearly identical outfits. He could have seen the similarities and let them sit down to eat, but he instead refuses service to them when he should have given them the benefit of the doubt.

At that point, it's nearly impossible not to see his decision as being discriminatory. Especially when he states that the white child's shirt wasn't athletic but also admits that he didn't get a "good look" at the shirt.

Plus, he's a child. It's not like his choice of dress is going to disturb other patrons.

"This was not about dress code it was about a black child being treated differently than a white child," Grant wrote on Instagram. "My 9yo was so hurt to see a white child that looked like one of his friends at school and somehow you adults can not seem to understand that this was not about dress code."

The restaurant's parent company, Atlas Restaurant Group, apologized for the incident and said the manager had been placed on indefinite leave. It also immediately changed its dress code so that children 12 and under will not have to adhere to one as long as they are accompanied by a parent.

The incident calls attention to the sometimes not-so-subtle dress codes at bars and restaurants that are aimed at specific ethnic groups. Some places specifically call out baggy clothing, Jordan shoes, flat-bill hats, facial tattoos, and doo-rags.

While others have codes that are ambiguous and allow the door person to make a judgements based on their personal prejudices.

Ouzo Bay's vague ban on athletic shorts invites the manager to project their own biases on the customers, allowing situations where black patrons are discriminated against and white are allowed to eat.

In the end, the sad news is that a nine-year-old boy had to face the ugly reality of racial inequality in America by seeing it in full view, first-hand. "He's 9 years old. It was so hard for him. He goes to a school that's about seventy-percent white," grant told Black News Network.

"They always teach the kids they are the same," she added. "It was really hard for Dallas to see a kid that looked like one of his friends at school sit and eat there and he couldn't."

True

In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

1 / 12

Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

Who would have thought that giving the world access to all human knowledge via the internet, the ability to follow and hear from experts on any subject via social media, and the ability to see what's happening anywhere in the world via smartphones with cameras would result in a terrifying percentage of the population believing and spouting nothing but falsehoods day in and day out?

Those of us who value facts, reason, and rational thought have found ourselves at some of our fellow citizens and thinking, "Really? THIS is how you choose to use the greatest tool humanity has ever created? To spew unfounded conspiracy theories?"

It's a marvel, truly.

Between Coronavirus/Bill Gates/5G conspiracies and QAnon/Evil Cabal/Pedophile conspiracies, I thought we were pretty much full up on kooky for 2020. But apparently not. The massive fires up and down the West Coast have ignited even more conspiracy theories, some of which local law enforcement and even the FBI have had to debunk.

Keep Reading Show less
True

In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

1 / 12

Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

I worked as a substitute teacher in my early 20s, almost exclusively in middle schools and high schools—my age of specialty. Once, I accepted a two-day subbing assignment in a first grade classroom. Only once. Halfway through the first day, as the kids ate lunch in the cafeteria, I sat at the teacher's desk in an exhausted daze. Teaching little kids was a completely different animal than teaching big kids. While adorable, they had so many needs and so little attention span. It was like herding a bunch of flies that constantly needed to go potty.

Trying to herd those flies virtually during a pandemic is too much to even fathom.

So the real-time story that mom and writer Stephanie Lucianovic shared on Twitter of what happened when her son's second grade teacher dropped from the class Zoom call was not the least bit surprising. Hilariously entertaining, but not surprising.

Keep Reading Show less
Katie Neeves (L) photo by Jayne Walsh, JK Rowling (R) photo by Sjhill, CC BY-SA 3.0

Dear JK Rowling,

I am writing this letter to say a big thank you to you. You may think it strange that a gobby trans woman such as me would wish to thank you after all your recent transphobic outpourings, but let me explain…

I certainly don't thank you for your lengthy essay last month where you describe the abuse you have suffered (for which you have my sympathy) and in which you stated that you do not hate trans people, while at the same time peddling even more anti-trans mis-information. Sadly, your diatribe directly caused some trans children to self-harm and other to attempt suicide.

Keep Reading Show less