A restaurant in Baltimore is coming under fire after denying entry to a Black child after allowing in a White child wearing similar clothing.
Ouzo Bay in Baltimore has been in the spotlight for its strict dress code before, but in the wake of racial protests around the world, incidents like this one take on a new light.
People are calling out the restaurant for racial bias.
Racial bias is a form of implicit bias.
Implicit bias means despite good intentions and often without conscious awareness, racial stereotypes and assumptions affect a person's actions. In video shared by Marcia Grant, the boy's mother, a White manager denies restaurant entry to the young boy, Dallas, because of his athletic pants, sneakers and tee-shirt.
Meanwhile, a White child wearing almost the same outfit has been seated.
Grant says in the video:
"They're telling me that my son can't eat here because there's no athletic wear? He's nine. And there's kids out there with tennis shoes on."
On Twitter, the company that owns Ouzo Bay, Atlas Restaurant Group, issued a statement saying the manager in the video had been placed on "indefinite leave."
The Atlas Group's statement commented that "while dress codes across Atlas properties are the result of ongoing input from customers, in no way are they intended to be discriminatory."
But other Atlas owned establishments have been called out for discriminatory policies in the past.
At its restaurant Choptank, many felt in September of 2019 that certain clothing policies were discriminatory towards Black and Latino individuals.
The Atlas Group responded by removing a line from their store policies that managers could "enforce [dress code] policies within [their] discretion."
Following this most recent incident, Atlas says it will not be enforcing its dress code for anyone under the age of twelve at any of their restaurants.
Many online called for a boycott of the restaurant and all others owned by the Atlas Restaurant Group.
It's time to de-normalize discrimination wherever it's found in our society, call it out and eliminate it.