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By Andrew Scot Bolsinger
According to a report in The Root, a popular club called Kung Fu Saloon in Uptown Dallas is under investigation by city officials amid allegations that managers racially discriminated against minorities. The managers allegedly ordered workers to deny reservations to callers who “sounded ghetto or too Asian,” WFAA News 8 reported.
Like a scene from the deep south of the 1950s, the managers of the club told employees to do what they could to ensure no people of color were admitted to the bar.
Stephanie Guidry, a former event coordinator at Kung Fu Saloon, told the news station that that managers enforced an unwritten dress code to deny entrance to minorities, the report says. The city council is investigating the charges.
“I never saw any white people getting turned away,” Guidry, who worked there from September 2012 to January 2013, told the station.
She said the covert racist policies extended to screening people at the front of the club, but also trying to ascertain the race of those who called in for information.
“I would have to call them up on the phone and speak to them on the phone,” she said. “And listen to their accent—listen to see if they sounded ghetto or too Asian.”
“Ghetto,” she said, was a code word for black.
Guidry said she was under orders to say the bar was booked if the caller sounded like people of color.
If she failed, she told the station, “There were comments made to me, like, ‘Why is it so dark in here? Why is it so Asian in here? Did you not screen these phone calls?’”
The bar’s policies came under scrutiny when DeAndre Upshaw tried to get in wearing the same clothes as whites. He documented his experiences on social media.
At the time, managers told News 8 it was investigating the incident and said they serve a diverse crowd. Managers later posted a dress code in compliance with Dallas city codes, the report says.
Andrew Scot Bolsinger won more than two dozen press awards during his journalism career. He is a freelance writer, author and operates www.criminalu.co, which is focused on prison reform. He can reached at Andrew.Bolsinger@gmail.com and can be followed @CriminalUniv on Twitter.