Chicago, October 29, 2009 ... ADL applauds the advocacy efforts of Washington University students who were victims of apparent racial discrimination at The Original Mother's Bar on October 17th.
Washington University's Senior Class officers had arranged for students on the Senior Class Trip to enjoy themselves at the bar that night. Unfortunately, 6 African-American male students were not able to participate because the bar refused to let them enter. The bar cited its "no baggy pants" policy as a reason for rejecting the students, but this rationale was likely a pretext for racial discrimination: the bar's management told the students that they would not be allowed to enter even if they changed their clothes, and the bar admitted a white student who had exchanged pants with one of the African-American students who had been denied admission.
The Anti-Defamation League wrote a letter insisting that Mothers reexamine its dress code, conduct immediate retraining of all employees to avoid any further racial discrimination or appearance thereof, and issue a formal letter of apology to the six students who were denied entry.
Lonnie Nasatir, ADL Regional Director of the Chicago/Upper Midwest Region said, "The real heroes are the students at Washington University of all races who stood up to prejudice and stared it down. If there is one central lesson from our nearly 100 years of battling prejudice, it is that there is no force more powerful than good people banding together to make a difference and enact positive social change. We are pleased that Mothers has acceded to every demand outlined in our letter communicating their commitment that incidents of hate, bigotry and intolerance will not be tolerated. We are also pleased that Mothers will be undergoing a workplace sensitivity training."
"We are happy to offer ADL's Workplace of Difference® Sensitivity Training to its management team and employees. ADL's Workplace of Difference® is a program that encourages employees to examine stereotypes and assumptions, discuss issues related to bias and discrimination, and identify strategies to effectively address them."