July 19, 2009 | | Comments 13

Racism Still Exists In The Age Of Obama


by Demetrius D. Walker

Last night I decided to take a break from writing a lecture, printing t-shirts, and coordinating superstar rap collabos.  All week long I had confined myself to my home office dungeon, only departing upon the insistence of my dreadfully bored canines.  On the verge of burnout, I knew I needed to take a break.  So when my homeboy REO The Emcee called me to hang out, I was more than ready to take a load off.  The swank bars of Rice Village would be the setting for his co-worker’s birthday celebration.  With REO needing relief from the corporate plantation and me needing some fresh air and a Red Stripe, we decided to join the festivities at The Baker St Pub.  Little did we know that the night would end in frustration, disbelief, and anger over blatant racial discrimination.

The night started off well at Baker St., as I was introduced to REO’s co-workers and their friends.  We all talked and laughed as we tossed back cold pitchers of fermented wheat and Patrón shots.  At our table, there was no conflict between us, as Black, White, Asian, and Indian all kicked it in harmony.  Sitting on the patio in the Texas heat, I struck up a conversation with the Filipino chick to my right.  She said her cousin (the birthday girl) was considering a trip across the street to Bronx Bar, where fresh Hip Hop was being spun all night.  After all, it was her birthday and she wanted to dance.  “The only problem is they don’t like letting Black or Indian guys in there” she admitted.  “Really?  In 2009 they’re still tripping like that?” I asked.  She confessed that she never had first hand experience but that was just the word on the street.  REO chimed in that he had been denied entrance on 2 prior occasions, supposedly due to dress code restrictions.  Since the birthday girl really wanted to dance and Bronx Bar was conveniently 90 feet away, another young lady with a Mariah Carey skin tone went to scout the scene.  When the attractive black/white hybrid returned, she said the bouncer guaranteed us all admittance on the condition that we were all dressed “as well” as she was.

Considering where I grew up, I was curious to see just how “Bronx” the Houston Bronx Bar was.  I could hear the DJ mixing 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, and Big Pun from across the street.  We walked over and lined up to let the rhoided up bouncer check our IDs.  Directly behind me, REO was the last person in line until he realized he neglected to close out his tab at Baker St.  He quickly ran back across the street to retrieve his credit card.  As the bouncer granted the others acceptance into Bronx Bar, he paused holding my drivers license to confirm that I was indeed with the group.  “Yeah, those are my people,” I explained “We have one more joining us in a few minutes.”   He reluctantly unlatched the velvet divider and let me pass.  I waited for REO at the front of the bar to make sure he didn’t have any issues gaining entrance.  Upon REO’s return, the bouncer asked him to wait at the front of the line.  He waived a group of white males around him and swiftly ushered them into the establishment.  I tapped the bouncer to let him know that REO was with our group and he just mumbled “Hold on, I’m doing my job.”  10 more minutes pass and the bouncer has already allowed several groups of Caucasian revelers to skip my friend in line.  Observing that the Houston police officers next to the bouncer were itching for an excuse to put their hands on a Negro, I grabbed the birthday girl and let her explain to the bouncer that REO was indeed with the group. Once again, the ogre mumbles “Hold on, I’m just doing my job.”  Two more white males show up and he promptly checks their under-21 IDs and lets them in.  That was the last straw.  Bronx Bar was actively administering the 12 percent rule, (coined by my dude Field Negro), by making sure the Black population inside the club did not meet or exceed the current proportion of Blacks to Whites in the United States.  I unhooked the velvet rope and proceeded to my car with an irate REO.

While REO was angry, I could not muster the energy to lash out at the ignorance I witnessed.  Maliciously reacting to the situation would have resolved nothing, and most likely would have resulted in us being tazered, shot, or arrested.  It doesn’t matter if the President is Black or my money is green, White supremacist ideology still lingers in pockets of this country like syphilis.  Just when you start to believe it’s gone, it burns you like a hot comb on a nappy kitchen.  Don’t allow yourself to believe that Barack Obama’s election has eliminated racism.  This is something that every man, woman, and child has to be committed to eradicating.  Therefore, if YOU truly want to end racism you have to start identifying those individuals that continue to spread the germ.  Call them out.  Hit them in their pockets.  Boycott their establishments.  To the owners of The Bronx Bar, we’ll see how you react when the Houston Chronicle and local television run this story.  REO would like to share the inside scoop with the world (filmed directly after the incident):

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  1. Brian D says:

    Take it all the way to the top brothers!

  2. Desiree D says:

    I cannot believe garbage like that is still going on!! That’s ridiculus!! I hope your story gets ran

  3. Rube The Gifted says:

    It’s obvious the “Dress Code” at clubs was created against BLACK MEN and if I was you I would contact management about the situation. Racism is not ova because of Obama theres still alot that needs to be done to eradicate this hatred and ignorant behavior and if you dont belelive me then watch this…

  4. Daniel Williams says:

    Is any kind of action planned at the club? A large, loud crowd of people on the sidewalk will hurt the club whear it matters (the pocket book), and, with the proper advance work, will encourage local press to cover the story.

  5. Action will be taken very soon. The Houston Press decided to run an article about this establishment today. They used the account of an Iraq vet as well as mine. Check it out:

  6. Navas says:

    Here are the keyords in the essay:

    13th Amendment, 14th Amendment, 2012 Election, B.E.T., Barack Hussein Obama, Booker T. Washington, Bryant Park, Cipriani’s, Colin Powell, Criminal Industrial Complex, Deb Slott, Do The Right Thing, Heidi Klum, Hip-Hop, Mark Penn, Melting Pot, Pink Elephant, Racism, Reconstruction, Robert Johnson, Seal, Segregation, Shelby Steele, Sidney Poiter, Sonia Sotomayor, Spike Lee, Tavis Smiley, Terrence Yang, The Dance Flick, To Kill a Mocking Bird, Virginia Davies, W.E.B. Dubois, Zero Mostel, Politics

    Prologue to Obama 2012

    We approach the future walking backwards, our gaze forever fixated on the past. Predicting the future is not a passive exercise; we invent it every day with our actions.

    I began the sketches for what would ultimately become Obama 2012 in March 2007, a month after Barack Obama declared his candidacy. I had spent much of the previous 18 months living abroad as an entrepreneur and statesman of sorts, and I was slightly out of touch with the pulse of life on the street in the United States. I learnt about Sen. Barack Obama’s Springfield, IL speech formally declaring his candidacy for president of the United States through one of the international cable news channels and thought how great it would be to have a fresh start after years of mediocrity in Washington and a plummeting reputation around the world.

    By September, after what seemed like raising a six-month-old child, my sketches had turned into Why the Democrats Will Win in 2008 the Road to an Obama White House. It was my answer to the burning question everyone had back in March: Can he really win? Actually, not everyone thought it was a question. For many people, including Mark Penn, director of the Clinton campaign, the answer was an easy “no way.” This strategic blunder made it that much easier for the Clinton campaign to be defeated. Then there were Black pundits like Shelby Steele, a fellow at the Hoover Institution, who came out with a 2007 book entitled A Bound Man, Why Obama Can’t Win.

    Being Black did seem to be an automatic disqualification, but then why did someone need to write an entire book arguing what should have been patently obvious? Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Colin Powell came to my mind and I remembered that he could have run for president in 1992 as a war hero. But Colin Powell was Ronald Reagan’s protégé and got a special pass on the race question. Black conservatives like Justice Thomas, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell were careful to disassociate themselves from liberal thinkers and activists like Jesse Jackson, who lost, as expected, the 1984 and 1988 Democratic primaries. Ultimately, Colin Powell, in spite of all his honors, declined to run for president. His wife Alma feared for his safety. Common sense said that a candidate like Obama, for numerous insurmountable reasons, didn’t stand a chance of winning the Democratic primary, let alone a general election in which 10% of the electorate is African American and Republicans controlled the White House for 20 of the preceding 28 years. But I decided that Obama’s chances merited a closer examination. In it, I would bring to bear my gambling skills.

  7. clint says:

    I’m white and I’ll boycott the bronx-you are right-this IS 2009. This is just another ignorant case of biggotry. It dont fly in my house.

  8. clint says:

    Please know this. All white people aren’t still in the dark ages.

  9. jay says:

    your president is NOT black, he’s half African. He grew up like most white children, his mom has a phd. he’s articulate and does not dress black, you see the difference?

  10. Zashkaser says:

    You know, I didn’t even see Casper’s comment when I made mine (how could I miss that?). Sorry Casper, you had it first!

  11. rs says:

    I’m a white guy — about as pale and Germanic-looking as they come — educated, with money, and I come off as such.

    I was denied entrance to the Bronx Bar because I was wearing shorts and a cap one night. I was showing up as a favor to someone else, but late to the party, as the protagonist in this story was.

    My point is: maybe they’re not racists, just douchebags. I’m two degrees of separation from the owner and the person I’m one degree from is an awful human being if there ever was one, so my guess is that “birds of a feather…” in this case.

    Best wishes to you at any rate.

  12. Sandra says:



  13. How do you do? siblings loves your amazing blog thank you and please stick to it

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