A well known bar in Houston has landed itself in hot water after it tried to charge three black men a $20 cover charge when they tried to enter. This wouldn’t be too much of a big deal, besides the fact that the bar was letting white people in for free.
The racially-imposed cover charge was experienced first-hand by Houston attorney Brandon Ball, who posted on his Facebook page that he and two friends had tried to have a drink on Friday night at Gaslamp bar, but were told they needed to pay $20 to get in. The three men had a change of heart and went to another local bar instead of paying the steep cover charge, but noticed something startling as they were leaving– the white patrons were being allowed into the bar without the cover charge, while only non-white customers were asked to pay. Ball wrote:
Ball also took photos of the doormen – one of which is identified as Mike Ross. According to Ball, Ross wrote to him after the story was posted on Facebook and started gaining attention. Ross asked Ball to stop using his name, said that his step-father was African-American and claimed that he is “the furthest thing from racist or prejudice (sic).”“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 Asian and Latin descent.”
Ball explained why he felt the need to share his experience:
“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.”
Ken Piggee, one of the men who was with Ball at Gaslamp when they were asked to pay the $20 cover charge, said:
“This is 2015 and we’re supposed to be living in post racial America but this is what’s going on.”
Once Ball’s post started going viral, an attorney for Gaslamp claimed that Ball and his friends were trying to get into the VIP section, where there is a cover charge. Ball and his companions maintain that they were just trying to go to the main bar. In an interview, Ball said:
“The Gaslamp is an example of the things that need to change all over America, not just here. Hopefully the post puts a little dent in that.”
Here’s the report, courtesy of KHOU:
Currently, Ball and his friends are discussing whether or not they want to take legal action against Gaslamp.