Racist Post On Hanover Twp. Bar’s Facebook Page Draws Criticism
HANOVER TWP. — A racist post to the Facebook page of a local bar drew plenty of attention Monday, including that of a Wilkes-Barre councilwoman.
The post, which appeared around 5 a.m. on the page for PT’s Late Night at 46 Oxford St., Hanover Twp., stated: “No black people with white tees, no illegals, no out of state ID’s (unless) you are white.”
Dozens of people criticized the establishment in comments to the post, and posted negative reviews as well.
Bar owner Shannon Allen denied making the post and said he had no idea who did. He said he doesn’t “even know how to work the (Facebook) page” for the bar, and he said he did not know who had access to post to the page as an administrator.
“What would I have to gain by putting that on there?” he said in a phone interview.
The post was deleted about eight hours after it appeared.
Bar rules posted outside the entrance state:
• We only accept PA ID.
• No Dew rags, hats on (crooked), or flat brim hats.
• No yelling, swearing across the bar (or) fighting.
• No baggy pants especially with your undergarments showing.
• No plain white T-shirts or tank tops.
Asked why white T-shirts aren’t allowed, Allen said many bars have dress codes, and “we don’t allow something you wear as an undergarment.”
Not everyone buys the explanation, including Wilkes-Barre Councilwoman Beth Gilbert, who posted a comment likening the post to a “segregation” sign.
Despite Allen’s comments, Gilbert said in an interview that she stood by her Facebook comments because of posts from some women making claims of racist treatment at the bar and because the dress code “seems … racially based. They’re definitely trying to keep out a certain crowd.”
“This isn’t the only place I have seen signs or posts regarding clothing that seems to be geared towards the African American community,” Gilbert said. “If bars don’t want to be called racist then they shouldn’t have rules targeting the way a certain race dresses.”
At least two women alleged discriminatory actions at the bar.
Melinda Williams, 32, of Ashley, commented on Monday that her husband, who is black, was told to leave when he took off a black hooded jacket during a game of pool, revealing a white T-shirt.
“I’ve witnessed black people be kicked out for wearing white tees as white people sat there with their white tees on,” said Williams, who is white.
Karen Kiwak, 38, of Wilkes-Barre, posted a review on the bar’s Facebook page on July 4 describing discrimination against her black husband at the bar.
In a phone interview, Kiwak, who is white, said she, her husband and two other couples entered the bar around 1:45 a.m. to buy carry-out beer, and the bartender told them, “No white tees.”
“I said we just wanted to buy some six-packs to go, and she said she already made last call. As we were leaving, a gentleman walked in and was served,” Kiwak said.
Kiwak said that when questioned, the bartender said the man had been in before and had pre-ordered the drink. Kiwak said the man followed them outside, described the situation as “crazy” and offered to buy the couples’ six-packs. He went in the bar with their money and returned with the alcohol, she said.
Told of Kiwak’s accusation, Allen said it wasn’t true and described her as a “disgruntled customer” because she wasn’t served. He said everyone is treated the same regardless of their race.
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