A popular Chicago bar is facing allegations that it denied entry to black patrons on account of their race.
Six black students at Washington University in St. Louis claim that bouncers at the Original Mother's bar on Division Street refused to let them in Saturday night because their pants were too baggy, even though similarly dressed white people were admitted.
The six black men reportedly offered to change their clothes, but still were not allowed in. They were part of a group of nearly 200 classmates in town for a senior class trip.
In a press release posted on the Windy Citizen, class president Fernando Cutz claims that a white student switched pants with one of the African-American students who was denied admission as "an experiment." According to Cutz, the white student wearing the supposedly offending pants was let in without any problems.
"I think it's because we were a group of predominantly black men and they felt threatened," senior Blake Jones told Student Life, a school paper.
Club representatives told the Tribune it refused to let the men in because of security concerns, citing recent gang activity in the area.
When called by the Huffington Post, a Mother's employee, who did not identify himself, said the company was waiting on its attorneys to make a statement and hung up.
An anonymous review of the bar on Citysearch from 2008 made a similar allegation of racism.
"The bouncers are ignorant and biased against people of color," the reviewer wrote. "They denied my husband access due to his wardrobe my husband changed his clothes and meanwhile they allowed a white man to enter even though he had on gymshoes like my husband did."
In response, the Washington University students filed a civil rights complaint with the Illinois attorney general's office and additional complaints with the Chicago Commission on Human Relations and the U.S. Justice Department.