Attorneys Abre’ Conner and Novella Coleman, attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union, just wanted to have a night out and sing some karaoke at a California bar. But instead, they were kicked out because they were black.
“But before our song was called, a bar employee came up and said we had to buy drinks to sing karaoke,” they wrote on the ACLU’s website. “Another bartender lunged at us within inches of our faces and shouted ‘Buy drinks!’”
The two had already bought drinks.
“A second bartender — a very tall and large man — shouted louder and louder that we were loitering and that the bar wasn’t a hangout place,” they wrote. “Over and over again he pushed his body up against Abre’ — who is just 5’4” tall — to force her out of the bar.”
The behavior was even more egregious because the two were the only black people in the bar.
“We pointed out that the bar staff was only using the rule against us and we seemed to be the only two Black people in the bar,” they wrote.
Eventually, the bar called the police, who escorted the women out of the bar.
“The bartender and police claimed to be exercising the business’ supposed ‘right’ to refuse service,” they wrote. “This sounds too much like when the country still had ‘colored’ sections and racially segregated water fountains. But this happened in March 2016.”