State Sen. Jill Carter has called for a boycott of Atlas Restaurant Group after a video surfaced earlier this month of a manager of Ouzo Bay refusing service to a woman and her son.
In the clip, the manager allegedly refused to seat them because her son, who is Black, was wearing athletic shorts. But, his mother pointed out a similarly-dressed boy, who is White, and questioned why he was allowed to dine at the restaurant.
Sen. Carter said she’s been a longtime customer of multiple Atlas restaurants and claims she’s experienced discrimination firsthand at some of the locations. She detailed those experiences at Loch Bar and Bygone in an op-ed in The Baltimore Sun over the weekend.
“If you do not want to have business from Black people in a majority-Black city, this is not the right city where you should profit,” she said to CBS Baltimore on Monday.
Atlas Restaurant Group issued a statement in response to Carter wishing she would have addressed her concerns at the time of her reported incidents.
“Reading the column by Senator Carter, a long-term, repeat customer, was very surprising. If she had these concerns, we wish she would have shared her experiences at the time. They would have been addressed immediately, like we do with any customer concern. While we respect Senator Carter’s life experiences, it is incredibly unfair and unwarranted to call the organization or its owners racist. Upon learning of this horrible incident, we have taken full responsibility and will continue to take many steps to address this incident and reinforce our lasting commitment to equity, fairness and inclusion for everyone.”
Sen. Carter said she wants the viral incident to spark a debate on bringing diverse businesses to Harbor East. She also requested the city’s Community Relations Commission open an investigation into discrimination in public accommodations.
“This one company that seems to have a monopoly in Harbor East, and how can we maybe eliminate some of that… and open it up to… Black-owned businesses, non-discriminatory White businesses,” she said.
What do you think? Should Atlas shutter some of their locations to make way for some black-owned eateries in Harbor East?
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